Windows 10: Security Settings and Key Features one Should Know

By CIOReview | Monday, July 25, 2016
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Threats against OS in recent times need to be handled with new methods. Microsoft Windows 10 deals with it in a unique way by offering significant architectural change that remains secure against viruses, spyware and malware threats. The way security threats have evolved, is something to be taken care of. The transformation of threats from individual to small group to criminal organizations with clandestine intentions and sophisticated attacks has intimidated Microsoft to enhance Windows security. Bitter truth is that attackers have an edge, when enterprise is in the crosshairs. It doesn’t matter if the attacker is able to break through the network defense, what matters is how much time does an enterprise takes to acknowledge a security breach. Although Windows 10 takes full benefit of state-of-the-art hardware technologies to help protect privacy, yet there are ways to make device even more secure. 

Foremost thing to keep in mind would be to enable minimum security settings upon installation. Here are few security elements one should be aware of to improve Windows 10 security. The first widget that is seen after the download of Windows 10 is the terms and conditions checkbox. It is highly important to go through the agreement carefully because in this day and age it is very easy to collect personal data without any prior information. This is not the only safety step; there are many other options to safeguard the operating system.

To begin with, it’s a good practice to have Windows firewall enabled and ensure no needless ports are open. Subsequently, focus on antimalware software. Windows 10 operating system comes with windows defender software that protects system from security threats like malware and spyware, slow performance and unwanted pop ups. It also gives flexibility to use third party antimalware.

In spite of using Windows Defender, it is necessary to ensure that the security offered works effectively. Updating virus definitions boosts software update mechanism and verifies the software’s functionality by a manual scan. Windows 10 also offers a channel to check if the Windows update is works properly.

Lot of companies use image based operating system. It’s a unique method to rebuild images to ensure the latest image contains new updates and can avoid obsolete OS builds. It is necessary to keep updating the images because lately deployed OS may contain security threats until the update has an opportunity to run.   

Windows 10 Security Features

The security and identity features have evolved over time. Catching up with the current trend Microsoft offers transparency and control to users over their data. On top of that it provides key security features like Device guard, Microsoft Passport and Windows Hello.

Device guard

This feature of Microsoft provides enterprise with the ability to secure the devices by providing enhanced protection against new and unidentified malware. It also focuses on zero-day attack by blocking anything other than trusted apps. The latest version of Windows offers protection against malware when the application is executed. While checking the credibility of the app, if the app is not authentic, Windows 10 provides notification to users.

Providing Enterprise-Ready identity solution

Windows Hello and Microsoft Passport are the two significant features that are introduced in the Windows OS space. Windows 10 helps to secure the business data and online experiences by using biometric and two-factor authentication and also eliminates the need of changing the passwords. In order to support facial recognition feature, finger print reader or iris detection, Windows Hello leverages illuminated infrared camera, multiple lenses, and an exceptional processing chip to analyze images that embrace Windows Biometric Framework. Microsoft Passport feature allows users to authenticate networks, applications, and websites. Passport will work along Microsoft's Azure Active Directory Services and the ‘signature’ of user’s in biometric is protected and stored on-premise of the user device and utilized only to unlock passport, and not to authenticate by the network.

Additional Features

Device integrity: To stop malware and hacking, it’s necessary to maintain the reliability of the hardware and booting process of OS. Current devices possess a new hardware component called UEFI Secure Boot that assists in maintaining the integrity of the system firmware and operating system from turn on to turn off.

Cryptographic processing: Windows leverage standard-based technology in a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) to generate encrypted data from the ordinary information. Windows 10 has an option to use TPM in order to validate the systems security and integrity capabilities from authenticated boot, UEFI, and other features. Windows 10 TPM is beneficial to conditional access and remote health attestation.

Virtualization: Microsoft’s platform security strategy focuses on isolation and hardware-based security. Previously Microsoft used Windows server scenarios while installation but now Windows 10 leverage virtualization technologies and that assist in shifting sensitive windows process into a safe environment to avoid tampering. Virtualization-Based Security (VBS) includes features like Device Guard and Credential Guard that mainly prevent occurrence of hacking, malware and breaches.

Biometric sensor: Provides secured login experience for customers and the key features of Windows 10 offers enhanced protection during authentication and capabilities to make use of apps like facial recognition, finger print and iris detection. Most of the customers are shifting to Windows 10 because of these security benefits.