Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing (TwC) unit has released the full version of its Attack Surface Analyzer, a service that explains how new applications impact Windows' ability to repel malicious software.
The tool is available as a free download and works by analysing any new application installed on users' PCs.
"Attack Surface Analyzer looks for classes of security weaknesses Microsoft has seen when applications are installed on the Windows operating system, and it highlights these as issues," wrote a TwC representative in a blog post.
"The tool also gives an overview of changes to the system that Microsoft considers important to the security of the platform, and it highlights these changes in the attack surface report.
The firm explained the checks the tool can perform include the analysis of changed or newly added files, registry keys, services, Microsoft ActiveX controls, listening ports and other parameters that affect a computer's attack surface.
As well as helping IT departments, the tool is also designed to help application developers ensure their products don't affect computers cyber defences.
The new Attack Surface Analyzer is one of many SDL tools created and used by Microsoft, The company has reported that since being made available to other developers the tools have been download around one million times.
The news follows on from TwC's warning that cyber criminals are finding new and inventive ways to target companies PCs and networks.