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5 Security Improvements in Windows 8

Windows Defender 2.0 – Post-Boot Security

Along with the update of the Windows 8, its Windows Defender also improved. Unlike the old Windows Defender which only protects you from spywares and adware, the updated Windows Defender will also protect you from malware and it now offers real-time protection.

While it may seem to compete with their own partners, Sunil Gottumukkala of Microsoft explained that 95 percent of the systems come with antimalware software. But the AV solution expires within 6 months which makes 25 percent of the systems vulnerable.

To continue business with their partners, Microsoft made the Defender not readily available in the taskbar upon the Windows 8’s installation. It functions as a background service and can only be found through manual search. This way, they do not compete with their partners while still protecting their users.

Early Launch Anti-Malware – Pre Boot Security

Most of us are still not aware that there are viruses that load even before Antivirus software and Windows starts up. This is the job of Windows 8’s Early Launch Anti Malware (ELAM); to start in advance before Windows boot loader becomes active and prevents any malicious code to take over. And to prove their support for their partner’s products, the ELAM driver will simply launch the currently installed and compatible anti-malware software. Chris Hallum said that Microsoft has collaborated with antivirus sellers to develop their own ELAM component.

Measured Boot

Microsoft is introducing a foundation in Windows 8 which is called “Measured Boot”. The whole booting process will be stored and signed in the TPM chip to prevent malware from infecting the system.  This information can be validated remotely to determine the client’s security state. Microsoft offers a 1.8 MB whitepaper that explains the entire Measure Boot.

Internet Explorer 10

IE 10 features tabs that are completely isolated from each other. Meaning, one tab doesn’t affect another tab such as interfering or capturing data. Another feature is IE 10’s improved Address Space Layout Randomization or ASLR.

Application Security

This security protects you starting from the Windows Store to running apps.

Windows Store – Every apps in Windows Store has passed Microsoft’s screening to provide users malware-free products.

Installation – All the available apps are verified by Windows Store and by clients including Defender, Smart Screen, etc.

App Container – Microsoft extensively limits their apps’ privileges and access to resources. They provide “Contracts” to access data and other apps. It can be seen in Windows 8’s charms bar.

Need more information? We are here. Ask us questions via our helpdesk or when we stop in to update you (or your system) on Windows 8.

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