Building In More Security Tools

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-10-21 Print this article Print

5. DirectAccess

Designed with the enterprise user in mind, DirectAccess automatically creates a secure tunnel into a corporate network for employees who want access to work from home. It seems rather simple, but by taking the user out of the connection process, Microsoft can ensure that the user's work is kept secure throughout the transmission.

6. AppLocker

AppLocker will be an extremely important tool for network administrators. The application lets admins control software that's running on a corporate network. In essence, network administrators can decide which applications can run in their desktop environments. Aside from the obvious security benefit of limiting application access, AppLocker should also help companies improve operational efficiency.

7. BitLocker To Go

OK, so BitLocker might have already made the list, but that feature isn't new, it's just improved. New to Windows 7 is BitLocker To Go, a feature that gives users the option to encrypt portable devices, such as USB keys and external hard drives. Since portable technology is so easily misplaced, it should help companies feel a little more secure when employees hit the road.

8. Windows Defender

Windows Defender isn't new to Windows 7, but Microsoft did a fine job of improving it in the new operating system. The software provides simpler notifications, making it easier to understand for novice users. Perhaps most importantly, Defender now features more scanning options, allowing users to decide how it scans the PC. Microsoft has also added a "Clean System" feature, giving users the option to remove all discovered malware in a single click.

9. Customized Windows Firewall

Microsoft's Windows Firewall has caught some flak in the past for not providing enough customization features. To fix that, Microsoft has significantly improved Windows Firewall in Windows 7, giving users the option to adjust settings based on where they are. According to Microsoft, users can now decide how tight firewall settings should be for different places. Depending on where they are, they can quickly switch to the right setting.

10. Microsoft's attitude

One of the main reasons why Windows 7 will be more secure than Vista has much to do with Microsoft's new attitude when it comes to security. Whether or not Microsoft really took security seriously in the past is up for debate. The company's operating system was plagued by far too many issues. But since Microsoft announced Windows 7, it has said time and again that it is committed to making its operating system more secure. And by the looks of things, Microsoft is doing a better job at it. That should count for something as we compare Windows 7 with its predecessor.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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