Security is getting better

Windows 8 is just fab isn’t? So many nice words and so useful. This blog may still be biased, but we just love it.

Highlighted this week are just some of the security highlights available on the operating system. Windows 8 includes a number of new and improved security features. Not only is there the ultra-cool new touch-based security log-on feature, but it benefits from improvements to SmartScreen, Windows Defender, Modern Reader and others.

Some of this content may be a bit ‘techy’, but the main thing to understand is that this data will help businesses be better protected against those pesky cyber criminals out there.

Picture Password

The new touch-based security log-in is a remarkable feature that will help protect your machine in a more fun way. The user selects a picture, then makes three
touch gestures on top of the image. The systems remembers that sequence, then the user repeats that sequence of gestures to log-in. Impressive, eh?

Image you have a pet dog and use that as a picture, you could touch its nose, then tail and then back. That gesture is tied to the image, and increase log-in security considerably.




Windows Defender Improvements

Windows Defender anti-malware tool gets an upgrade in Windows 8, including an expanded set of malware signatures that have been provided by the Microsoft Malware Protection Center.

The Windows 8 version of Defender provide protections from a wider array of hostile software threats, including all types of malware, including viruses, worms,
bots and rootkits. Just what it needed.


Exploit Mitigation enhancements

A number of improvements at code level has given Windows 8 enhanced protection against software exploits, including the improved Address Space Layout
Randomisation (ASLR), which works by randomly shuffling the location of most code and data in memory to block assumptions that the code and data are at same address on all PCs.

Windows kernel and Windows heap have been revamped with code improvements and integrity checks, respectively, that should harden Windows 8 and make it even more difficult for software exploits to work properly.   

UEFI Secure Boot secure

Windows 8 supports the secure boot feature offered in the unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), which should provide an additional layer of protection during the system startup process. UEFI was designed to serve as the successor to the decades-old BIOS system and was designed to support mobile and tablet devices as well as PCs.

Despite some controversy over how leveraging a UEFI secure boot process could potentially cause problems for dual-booting with other OSes, Microsoft has attempted to debunk those claims.



The SmartScreen filter has used URL reputation to help Internet Explorer customers form more than 1.5 billion attempted malware attacks and over 150 million
attempted phishing attacks. Microsoft must be doing something right after all.

SmartScreen also warns users when they open files downloaded from the Internet; in Windows 8 the feature will now notify users only when the reputation of the application they’re trying to open has been established.

Modern Reader

One of the most noteworthy potential new features of Windows 8 from a security perspective could be the new Windows 8 integrated document reader, which will reportedly support PDF (and potentially more) file formats.

PDF files and flash plug-ins have been notoriously porous from a security perspective, and Modern Reader may signal a move by Microsoft to add yet even more default security to the Windows platform.

Hope you ‘techy’ people found that blog interesting about the new features of Windows 8. However, if you are not up together with the lingo – this stuff is basically very good and massive improvements. If you buy Windows 8, you would have a lot less to worry about.


Let us know what you think. (@MicrosoftBizUK)

Posted by Steven Woodgate


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