Microsoft Excel’s security updates and your financial modelling

Author: Ed O'Hanrahan



Microsoft is restricting the way VBA macros contained within downloaded files are handled. Rather than a user getting a prominent warning banner when they open the file, all macros will be turned off by default. Only someone with admin-level access rights will be able to turn them back on.

Microsoft hopes this change will reduce the security issues that have plagued Excel for some time. Attackers can hide malicious code within macros that can then infect an organisation’s systems and cause significant damage and disruption.

Benefits of moving away from macros:

There are two key benefits that come from moving away from using macros in Excel: better performance and improved security.

Because Excel data files will no longer contain macros, they will open much more quickly on first use. Users will also find it a much smoother experience when navigating to different parts of a sheet or between workbooks.

Security is greatly improved because the macro functionality is now handled in a separate add-in module. This runs in a sandboxed environment with only limited communication with Excel. This means it’s no longer possible for malicious code to be introduced into the Excel file and run on a user’s device.

For more information on VBA Macros feel free to watch our webinar here:

The Forbury Add-in

With our product being built on the merits of Excel, it means we work closely with the Microsoft team to ensure we’re aware of any upcoming security changes or general updates.

VBA macro changes have been on the horizon for some time, which allowed us to produce a tool for the UK market that wasn’t reliant on the use of macros. Forbury Datum utilises the Forbury ‘Add-in’ module, which works in conjunction with Excel to provide the functionality traditionally delivered by macros. Meaning macro changes don’t affect our product. Utilising an Add-in improves security, speed and reliability, so you can quickly create comprehensive models and business cases without it slowing down or crashing, whilst also being security and ISO compliant.

To learn more about Forbury Datum visit our UK product page here. Or get in touch with our UK Sales Manager for more information.


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