Now we have come up with Windows 8 security tips and tricks. One might almost certainly hear about the exciting changes from Microsoft planned for Windows 8. By incorporating a “touch-first” interface and introducing the Metro-UI to PC users, Microsoft is attempting to combine the rich functionality we have come to expect from our laptops and desktops. Microsoft is hoping that Windows 8 will also change the game with regard to Windows security. With Windows 8, Microsoft is raising the bar once again by updating the default security solution provided with the OS, enhancing its reputation-based security, and by adding functionality to watch for the deadliest threats.
These changes are interesting and will undoubtedly change the face of Windows security. And, in the end, every user has something that attackers want, whether that is a password to a bank account, sensitive documents or even just your network bandwidth. That being said, it is worth taking a closer look at the new security features in Windows 8 to see which threats Microsoft views as the greatest threat to its platform. A clear understanding of these features will show that the changes proposed by Microsoft emphasize the need for solid, up-to-date security software as a key part of the Windows ecosystem. This is why products like Norton Internet Security, McAffee, and Bit Defender will provide customers with the fastest, most secure Windows 8 experiences.
The first security feature, that Windows 8 users will notice, is a revamped Windows Defender. In Windows 7, Defender was a basic feature that provided minimal protection against a subset of common threats. Defender did not include behavior-based protection, virus detection, and removal, or network intrusion prevention—all key components in a full security solution. In Windows 8, Defender now includes all these components.
Defender is the assurance that customers who would not have installed security software before, will now at least have something basic protecting their machines. Customers, who want complete high-performance protection, will continue to turn to products like Norton Internet Security, Norton 360, or Symantec Endpoint Protection to secure their machines.
SmartScreen is a set of sophisticated technologies to help protect you from malicious websites and programs. Whether you’re downloading or running a new program on the desktop, SmartScreen has you covered.
SmartScreen continues to provide protection from phishing and socially engineered malware attacks using URL and application reputation and removes unnecessary warnings for programs and publishers with an established reputation. To add another layer of protection, SmartScreen is now integrated with program launch to screen programs downloaded from the web. It also shows new warnings before higher-risk programs can run and will block known malware.
AppLocker contains new capabilities that enable it to manage both desktop and Metro-style applications. IT pros can create security policies that allow or deny specific applications from being run by specific users or groups of users
Boot Time Protection
Another security feature in Windows 8, boot time protection, is not as visible to users as the other changes in Windows Defender and the expansion of Smart Screen technology. By adding new boot time protection features, Microsoft hopes to close a hole in the security profile of Windows 8. In spite of great advances in anti-malware technology, the modern PC remains most vulnerable and essentially unprotected in a few moments after power up and before any countermeasure can launch. Microsoft has tackled this problem head on with the “Secure Boot” feature available in Windows 8.
The normal boot process relies on a chain of control passed from component to component until there is enough functionality present to start the host operating system. A typical computer bootstrap process executes the following chain of modules:
BIOS flash -> Option ROMS -> MBR & Volume Boot Record -> OS loader -> OS kernel -> Boot drivers
If the malware succeeds in corrupting any point along that chain, subsequent modules can be corrupted in turn. The operating system and all of the loaded applications will be untrustworthy.
Secured boot stops malware in its tracks and makes Windows 8 significantly more resistant to low-level attacks. Even when a virus has made it onto your PC, Windows will authenticate boot components to prevent any attempt to start malware before the operating system is up and running. If the component isn’t correctly signed by Microsoft, Windows will begin remediation and start the Windows Recovery Environment, which will automatically try to fix your operating system.
According to my expectations, we may see the first WinRT targeted attacks well before the Windows 8 release, or shortly thereafter. Even if these new Metro-UI apps do not end up being an easy target for malware authors, they can rest assured that the threats, they wrote for previous versions of Windows, will still run on the Windows 8 desktop. Microsoft has made it clear that most applications, that run on Windows 7, will run on Windows 8 without any changes. This means that the vast majority of malware, that runs on Windows 7, will still run on Windows 8 without any modification. The new Windows 8 OS itself is not going to make Windows machines more secure. Microsoft knows this, which is why it has improved its default security product, Defender, installed with Windows 8.