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Microsoft Defender for Endpoint – Web Content Filtering for Windows 365 Cloud PC and Azure Virtual Desktop

In today’s world, online security has become more important than ever, especially for businesses. As more and more companies shift their workloads to the cloud, the need for effective security measures has increased. One of the most critical aspects of security is web content filtering. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is an excellent solution for protecting your Windows 365 Cloud PC and Azure Virtual Desktop environments. If you haven’t see my previous blog post on – Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MDE) – Getting started for Windows 365 Cloud PC and Azure Virtual Desktop check that first.


Web content filtering is a critical aspect of online security that can be used in many different scenarios. Here are some common use cases for web content filtering:

  1. Business Security: Blocking access to malicious websites and other dangerous content, web content filtering helps prevent cyber attacks and data breaches.
  2. Compliance: Many organizations are required to comply with industry-specific regulations and standards, such as HIPAA or PCI-DSS. Web content filtering can help ensure that employees are not accessing websites or content that violates these regulations.
  3. Employee Productivity: Web content filtering can also be used to enhance employee productivity by blocking access to non-work-related websites, such as social media or gaming sites.
  4. Education: Educational institutions can use web content filtering to prevent students from accessing websites that are not educational or age-appropriate.
  5. Guest Wi-Fi: Businesses that offer guest Wi-Fi can use web content filtering to protect their network and guests from online threats.

Overall, web content filtering is a versatile tool that can be used in a variety of settings to enhance online security, productivity, and compliance.


To use Microsoft Defender for Endpoint web content filtering on Windows 365 Cloud PC and Azure Virtual Desktop, there are a few prerequisites that you need to meet:

Enable Web Content Filtering

To enable Web Content Filtering in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MDE), you need to follow these steps:

Create Device Group for Windows 365 & AVD in Microsoft 365 Defender Portal

To assign the policy to particular devices such as Windows 365 Cloud and Azure Virtual Desktop Session, we will create the Device Groups:

Enable Network Protection under Microsoft Endpoint Portal (Intune)

Under the Enpoint Secruity – Antivirus policy we will enable the configuration:

In my previous blog post on getting started, I enabled Network Protect and other configurations. Here I am trying to give you a quick config guidance.

Enable Smart Screen under Microsoft Edge Browser via Intune

I want to use the security baseline around Microsoft Edge for enabling global configuration across all the endpoints:

Note you can enable them via configuration profiles too. In this scenario, I prefer using the security baselines.

Enable Smart Screen for Google Chrome Browser via Intune

To enable Smart Screen on Google Chrome, follow these steps:


Create policy for Web Content Filtering

To create a web content filtering policy in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, follow these steps:

Validate the URLs within Windows 365 Cloud PC

Before going ahead and checking the URLs within the browser verify the following on the virtual desktop or endpoints:


Open the browser and type edge://policy and make sure the Smart Screen is enabled

Network Protection

Open the Powershell and check if network protection is enable (Value 1) block mode

Microsoft Edge

Open Microsoft Edge and open https:\\ or https:\\

Google Chrome

Check reports in Defender Portal

Under the Microsoft Defender Portal go to Reports > Web Protection > Web content filtering categories details

Useful LinksCredits
Web content filtering –
How to configure Microsoft Defender SmartScreen via Microsoft Intune? – Endpoint CaveRene Laas
Enabling web filtering with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint – CIAOPSRobert Crane

I hope you will find this helpful information towards web content filtering journey to secure your Windows 365 and AVD environments using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Please let me know if I have missed any steps or details, and I will be happy to update the post.

Aresh Sarkari

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