Windows 7 Delivers Multiple Levels of Security
5. Windows Action Center
Windows Action Center is another major improvement over the former Vista Security Center. In Windows 7, users can now access everything from firewall protection to malware detection and backup reminders. Windows Action Center puts all the important elements of data preservation in one place to ensure that users are more aware of what they need to do to stay secure.
6. DirectAccess for VPN Connections
DirectAccess might be one of the most significant additions to the Windows ecosystem. In essence, the feature allows users to securely connect to a work VPN without setting up and maintaining that VPN manually. In Windows 7, the bridge between the two networks is secured during the entire session. It takes the user out of the equation and in the process, makes Windows even more secure.
7. DNSSEC Support
Although it's not one of the touted additions to Windows 7, DNSSEC support is extremely important. It's a little complicated (which is probably why Microsoft doesn't promote it too often), but in essence, DNSSEC validates data received from the Web. The validation is done at the server level, but the DNS client expects a security validation. If it doesn't receive it, the data is blocked off, thus providing an added layer of security to the network. It's not something users will see often, but it's especially useful for enterprises looking to secure their networks.
8. IEEE-1667 Is Finally Here
IEEE-1667 is a standard established by the IEEE that authenticates USB flash drives before they can gain access to a PC. Windows 7 supports the standard, which means any and all drives plugged into a computer will be automatically validated to ensure data cannot be accessed by third parties. It's especially useful for companies that want to be able to store data on flash drives, but don't want that data to leak out.
9. BitLocker Improvements
BitLocker, Microsoft's drive-encryption technology is more useful than ever. Rather than only allowing users to encrypt a drive that's directly attached to the PC, users can now use Microsoft's BitLocker To Go to encrypt transient data found on USB flash drives. Once again, it's an extremely important feature for the enterprise.
10. The Apple Factor
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Windows is more secure today because of Apple. For the past few years, Apple has been winning on the marketing front, driving the point home that Windows just isn't as secure as Apple's operating system. It pushed some users to Mac OS X. And Microsoft knows it. When it designed Windows 7, Microsoft had a goal in mind: make Windows' security as strong as possible to eliminate Apple's advantage.
Whether or not it has beaten Apple on security is up for debate. But if nothing else, we know that Windows is more secure than ever.