How Windows 10 Helps with Cyber Security
by Kate Smith, Director, Sales & Marketing
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus was absolutely accurate when he stated “change is the only constant in life,” and the cyber threat landscape is no exception. In our day-to-day business lives, we’ve almost become accustomed to hearing about security breaches, email phishing scams, ransomware or other cyber-attacks. According to the Cost of Data Breach: Global Analysis conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach (per incident) is upwards of $3,500,000. So how do we protect ourselves?
One of the quickest ways for cyber criminals to access private data is through weak passwords. According to Securityweek.com, 75% of individuals use only three or four passwords across all their accounts. In today’s digital age where we practically live online, it’s easy to understand why people reuse passwords across accounts. With this in mind, Microsoft took authentication further with their convenient two-factor authentication with Microsoft Passport and Windows Hello.
Windows Hello is the biometrics system built into Windows that provides authentication by using your face, iris, or fingerprint to unlock your devices all with technology that is much safer than traditional passwords. Microsoft Passport is a two-factor authentication system that combines a PIN or biometrics with encrypted keys from a user’s device to provide two-factor authentication.
You can read more about Windows Hello from this great blog post.
Another area of concern is around protecting proprietary or confidential data. While multi-tasking or working, have you ever quickly fired off an email only to then realize you have sent it to the wrong person? What if that email contained confidential data? According to HIPPA Secure Now 57% of users have sent data to the wrong person. Furthermore, according to an Information Security Risk in American Business report 87% of senior managers have leaked corporate data to unmanaged personal locations.
To combat accidental information dissemination, Windows 10 provides Enterprise Data Protection (down to the file level) to help ensure corporate data isn’t accidentally or intentionally leaked to unauthorized users or locations.
With the plethora of devices requesting access to networks, MDM is now a common solution that organizations large and small are using and/or considering for their businesses. A recent article, Beyond the Breach, states that on average, an attacker can go undetected in your environment for 200+ days via employee owned devices that access network resources.
To thwart would be hackers, Windows 10 offers Trusted Boot to help ensure that a genuine version of Windows starts on your device, preventing attackers from evading detection.
When thinking about malicious infection such as ransomware, CryptoLocker, or other infectious software, the usual entry port is through an unknowing or unaware employee. We’re all familiar with the scenario. An employee receives and email with an attachment or link which the employee then clicks starting the chain reaction that enables the malicious code to run. What’s scary is the sophistication level of these emails is ever evolving and improving. According to Kaspersky.com, more than 300,000 new malicious files are being created every day and spread through the Internet. Other than employee education, and hyper sensitivity to these kinds of attacks, how do you protect your business?
Windows 10 Device Guard completely locks down your device so you can run only trusted applications, scripts and more. According to Windows IT Center, “Device Guard is a combination of enterprise-related hardware and software security features that, when configured together, will lock a device down so that it can only run trusted applications that you define in your code integrity policies. If the app isn’t trusted it can’t run, period. With hardware that meets basic requirements, it also means that even if an attacker manages to get control of the Windows kernel, he or she will be much less likely to be able to run malicious executable code.” (Lich, 2016)
It’s time to take action to protect your business. By deploying the security features in Windows 10, you can outmaneuver today’s cyber criminals and neutralize their destructive tactics before they’ve even begun.
Lich, B. (2016). Device Guard deployment guide. Windows IT Center. Microsoft. (2015). Upgrading from SQL Server 2005
About the Author
Kate Smith, SecurElement’s Director, Sales & Marketing is responsible for SecurElement’s overall sales and marketing strategy as well as ongoing partner relationships with organizations such as Microsoft, Cisco, Barracuda and many others.