Microsoft’s continuing quest to make the Edge web-browsing experience as secure as possible improved again today, with news that it’s adding Intel’s Control-Flow Enforcement Technology (CET) to the browser.
As such, Edge users can enjoy an even tougher layer of security when browsing, but only as long as you have the right hardware.
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Initially thought to be rolling out with Microsoft Edge version 94 (opens in new tab), CET support will now roll out with Edge version 95. While it may sound like a load of acronymistic gibberish, the term basically means that Edge will become more protected from bad actors looking to exploit Edge's code against itself.
Hackers can do this in a variety of ways, launching malicious attacks that alter Edge's own processes, making them downright difficult to detect. CET thwarts these flow-changing attacks, using something known as Hardware-enforced Stack Protection (opens in new tab), which leverages the Intel CET chipset security extension to secure Windows apps from common exploit techniques.
CET will only work on modern processors
One industrious Reddit user (opens in new tab) has collated all the inbound changes from Microsoft's What's Next page (opens in new tab) for Edge, which is very useful because the post is otherwise quite difficult to read. We can see from the list that Edge will only begin supporting the CET-based safer browsing mode if you are running either an Intel 11th Gen or an AMD Zen 3 processor.
Unfortunately, if you're not running either of these then you won't be able to enable the feature. With many of us still working from home and reliant on Microsoft Edge as part of hybrid working setups, CET should go some way to blocking remotely delivered exploits, meaning catastrophe is thankfully averted if anything goes sideways while working from home.
Microsoft has been busy tinkering with lots of its product ecosystem of late, including plans for Microsoft Teams phones to be used as walkie-talkies in a nostalgic throwback to the days of analog.