Microsoft improves Edge for Business with screenshot blocking, logo creation and more • The Register

Build Edge for Business, Microsoft’s year-old entry into the enterprise browser race, received a handful of security and productivity updates that were announced Tuesday at the tech giant’s Build developer conference.

While web browsers have long been subject to enterprise IT controls, both Google and Microsoft have decided to create standalone enterprise browsers (both based on the same Chromium engine, of course) presumably for the value of blocking capabilities not standard. The idea seems to be to adopt, expand and make it difficult to switch to a rival product.

Last month, Google introduced Chrome Enterprise Premium, which sells AI-based data loss prevention controls for $6 per user per month and complements its free Chrome Enterprise Core browser.

Edge for Business, which debuted at Build last year, also offers data loss prevention, although without the additional fee.

As described by Lindsay Kubasik, Microsoft Edge group product manager, the latest version of Edge for Business can block screenshots (at least some of them) with screenshot prevention policies.

It’s funny that Microsoft is adding that right when it talks about Recall, a Windows 11 feature that will take screenshots of your desktop every few seconds and store them on disk so they can later be searched using AI-powered search.

“When these policies are set, screenshot attempts while using Edge on the desktop will be prevented by displaying a black screen instead of protected content,” explains Kubasik. “This protection also applies to Copilot in the Edge sidebar, so prompts and responses in Copilot cannot be captured via screenshot.”

Policies to this effect can be applied to Microsoft 365, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Applications (MDA), Microsoft Intune Mobile Application Management (MAM), and Microsoft Purview.

It goes without saying that a mobile phone with a camera defeats any protection in the browser. But we’ll say it anyway: this won’t prevent screenshots with a smartphone. But the existence of a limited application screenshot defense can serve as a reminder to computer users that they are on a managed machine as a form of psychological leak deterrence. This feature will at least give IT administrators something to cite as an example of security posture.

In typical Microsoft fashion, this capability is not available at this time. It is promised “in the coming months.”

Edge for Business has also been taught to respect usage rights restrictions on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files that have been designated as “sensitive.” These settings, which are available in desktop apps, can now be extended to Edge for Business to deny document screenshots and keep Copilot away from sensitive files.

This capability is not yet available but is expected “in the coming weeks.”

Microsoft’s Edge management service has received more work, so it can identify outdated browser instances and perform updates or send an update recommendation. The administration tool can also enable enhanced security mode, which disables just-in-time compilation of JavaScript, among other things. Or rather he will be able to do so “in the coming weeks.”

Additionally, the Edge management service now provides a configuration file setting to enable or prevent Copilot from accessing web content, making text predictions, or offering “Search on Page” suggestions.

Edge already has support for unmanaged devices through mobile app management, so businesses can provide app protection and wipe data remotely. Edge for Business now gains support for session policies through Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps. This gives administrators access to site blocking, the ability to monitor uploads and downloads, and gain control over clipboard and printing actions on unmanaged devices. Support for such policies is available in preview for Edge users when they sign in with their Entra ID.

Microsoft’s browser will also offer real-time video translation on a limited number of websites: YouTube, Reuters, CNBC News, Bloomberg, Money Control (India), LinkedIn and Coursera, with more planned. This can take the form of subtitles or audio translation.

However, audio options are currently limited: Spanish and Korean can be translated into English; and English audio can be converted to Hindi, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian. This real-time translation feature appears to be available for Edge as a whole, not just Edge for Business.

Finally, Edge for Business has introduced the ability to add organizational branding through the Edge management service. Basically, IT administrators can overlay their name and corporate logo on top of the Edge logo, which may be important to some. So when users see their beloved employer Contoso logo on the Edge logo in the taskbar, they’ll say, “Of course, it’s Contoso that doesn’t trust me enough to allow screenshots.” ®