How the evolution of security threats impacts businesses

Delivering software solutions that can help mitigate and prevent cyber security threats continues to be a top priority here at Microsoft. I shared back in late February that with Windows 8 we made substantial security updates since Windows 7, like the delivery of ground breaking malware resistance (e.g: Secure and Trusted Boot), much improved data protection (e.g.: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0, Device Encryption, support for Encrypted Hard Drives), and modern access control (e.g.: Virtual Smartcards, Dynamic Access Control). And as my colleague Dustin shared a few weeks ago, Windows 8.1 brings even more security features into the hands of organizations, including: touch based fingerprint biometrics, a selective wipe capability with our Remote Data Removal feature that can allow IT to wipe corporate data off of BYOD devices, device encryption on all editions of Windows, and a cloud-based malware detection service called Provable PC Health, just to name a few.

These feature enhancements and additions are being delivered only a year after the launch of Windows 8 because of the rapidly changing threat landscape – and it’s our goal to continue to stay ahead of these threats. Today, hackers are targeting both small and large businesses, government organizations and non-profits. If you think you’re that too small of a target for hackers think again – as data says otherwise – and there is a growing and prolific black market for selling your customers’ personal data and credit card information. Consequently making sure that you and your customers’ data is secure with the latest hardware and software technology has never been more important.

And while Windows XP was a great operating system for its time, we want to make sure we are reminding our customers that end of support for the OS is April 8, 2014 – a little over half a year away. While Windows XP introduced some great anti-malware and security features like firewall, Windows Update and Windows Security Center – it’s no longer enough to defend against the onslaught of modern threats that organizations face on a daily basis. Today, the Trustworthy Computing group discussed how the threat landscape has changed over the past 12 years since Windows XP’s launch and how businesses that still run Windows XP will become even more vulnerable to malware and attacks after April 2014. It’s definitely worth a read.

The way organizations and their employees use technology has changed dramatically in the last decade – and unfortunately, hackers have evolved too. To bring this to life, we’ve put together this handy infographic that compares and contrasts the internet and threat landscape of yesterday versus today, and then shows the security capabilities that we’ve added to Windows to address the modern day threats. We hope that this information helps you understand the importance of getting to a modern hardware and operating system platform.

MS WINXP EOS V2_8-9-13