Can Windows Defender protect against ransomware?

Yes, Windows Defender can offer protection against ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that cyber-criminals use to gain access to a computer or network and lock the user out. It typically uses encryption to prevent the user from accessing their files and data until a payment is made to the attackers.

Microsoft Windows Defender is a built-in security scanner for Windows devices, which provides continuous protection against threats, including ransomware. In order to protect against ransomware, Windows Defender uses a combination of techniques, including file scanning, behavior monitoring, and heuristic analysis to identify malicious activity.

Windows Defender runs in the background of your system and keeps an eye out for suspicious activity. It monitors the system’s processes and blocks any suspicious ones. In addition, it scans your system regularly, looking for malware and removing any instances it finds. It also checks your files and networks for any malicious code and will warn you if any is detected.

In order to detect ransomware, Windows Defender uses heuristic analysis, which means it looks for certain code patterns or behaviors that are associated with known ransomware families. If the malware engine identifies one of these patterns, it takes action to block the threat. Windows Defender also has a “Containment” feature that prevents any ransomware from encrypting files until its detection is confirmed by the security team.

In addition to traditional scans, Windows Defender also offers cloud-based protection to guard against ransomware. Windows Defender can compare files against a cloud-based database to verify that they are not malicious. If a file is found to be malicious, it will be blocked from entering the system.

Finally, Windows Defender also has a backup feature that allows users to recover their files if they should become encrypted due to a ransomware attack. This feature allows users to restore their files from a previous version, allowing them to continue working without the need to pay a ransom.

Overall, Windows Defender can provide good protection from ransomware. It can detect potential threats quickly and prevent them from gaining access to sensitive data. Its cloud-based protection ensures that new threats are identified quickly, and its backup feature helps users to recover their files in the event of an attack. Therefore, Windows Defender can be an effective tool for defending against ransomware.