Cybersecurity: Remote work’s getting new shields

IN 2021, protections built into Windows, Azure, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Defender for Office 365 blocked more than 9.6 bn malware threats and more than 35.7 bn phishing and other malicious emails. According to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index Report, cybersecurity issues and risks top the list of concerns for decision-makers in the year ahead. Here’s a look at six new features Windows 11 is introducing to help customers combat the security challenges of distributed work scenarios:

Microsoft Pluton: Microsoft Pluton Security Processor is an innovative solution for securing a critical layer of computing. It has several key capabilities that stem from its direct integration into the CPU and the OS. It is said to be the only security processor which is regularly kept up to date with key security upgrades.

Personal Data Encryption: The new Personal Data Encryption will be used to protect user files and data when the user is not signed in to the device. To access the data, the user must first authenticate with Windows Hello for Business. This means that if a device is lost or stolen, data is more resistant to attack and sensitive data has another layer of protection built in.

Smart App Control: It prevents users from running malicious applications on Windows devices. Using code signing along with AI, the new Smart App Control allows only those processes to run that are deemed safe.

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen: The enhanced phishing detection and protection built into Windows with Microsoft Defender SmartScreen will help check phishing attacks by alerting users when they are entering their Microsoft credentials into a malicious application or hacked website.

Credential Guard by default: Windows 11 uses hardware-backed, virtualization-based security capabilities to help protect systems from credential theft attack techniques. It also helps prevent malware from accessing system secrets even if the process is running with admin privileges.

Hypervisor-Protected Code Integrity (HVCI) default enhancements: In the next Windows 11 release, HVCI will be enabled by default on a broader set of devices. This would prevent attackers from injecting their own malicious code and ensure that all drivers loaded onto the OS are signed and trustworthy.

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IN 2021, protections built into Windows, Azure, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Defender for Office 365 blocked more than 9.6 bn malware threats and more than 35.7 bn phishing and other malicious emails. According to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index Report, cybersecurity issues and risks top the list of concerns for decision-makers in the year ahead.…

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