Microsoft Windows 10 to Offer New, Robust Security Features

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-10-22 Print this article Print
Windows 10 security

Of course, we already know that the U.S. government is less than totally thrilled with automatic encryption, but it would appear that this ship has sailed. Government monitoring notwithstanding, companies have an urgent need to protect their data from malware, hackers and foreign governments, not to mention inadvertent loss when an employee accidentally sends sensitive information to their aunt at the retirement home in Florida.

Finally, Alkove said that Microsoft would be providing the ability to lock down devices so that IT managers could limit exactly what software would be allowed to run on a given computer. Effectively, this would be an application white list, and if an application isn't on the list, it can't run.

The ability to lock down a computer so that it can only run applications on a white list would presumably prevent malware from running, at least until malware writers find a way to make their wares appear to be legitimate applications.

But there remains a huge problem that Windows 10 can't fix, no matter how well it's engineered. That problem is Windows XP, and machines that haven't been, and are unlikely to be, updated to a more secure platform.

Most of the point-of-sale systems that were the target of the Home Depot and Target breaches run unpatched versions of XP. These systems have little, if any, real security, and their manufacturers don't seem to be in a hurry to fix this problem.

Perhaps in its future releases, Microsoft can make upgrading, especially for security, a basic condition of the license that's provided with these products. That way, if the vendor doesn't provide regular upgrades, the underlying copy of Windows simply stops working.

I realize that there would be a lot of complaining, but without paying attention to security on all levels, the consequences are dire, as we've already seen. Let's hope that Microsoft and Alkove can find a way to make security updates required, and to make those requirements stick.


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