Windows 8.1 to get many security improvements

With the release of the preview version of Windows 8.1 Enterprise earlier this week, Microsoft is helping large businesses make the transition to its newest operating system. With that transition comes some new security features which will make Windows 8.1 PCs more secure for those organizations.

In a new blog post, Microsoft outlined the new Windows 8.1 security improvements and additions, which include better support for biometric access to PCs. Microsoft believes that biometrics will replace regular passwords over time. In Windows 8.1, PCs can now support capacitive full-fingerprint hardware, and added biometric APIs for opening Windows 8 apps. Microsoft added:

Before, we supported biometrics when a customer first signed into the device. Now any time a user sees a Windows credential prompt, he or she can use biometrics, effectively eliminating the password for logging into secure sites and in-app user account validations.

Windows 8.1 also adds more Trusted Platform Module support, and the company says its goal is to have all Windows devices require TPM 2.0 by January 2015 so that companies that let employees bring their own PCs to work can be confident they can work with their own corporate security set-up.

Windows 8.1 can also be enabled to set up device encryption if the PC supports InstantGo. In addition, it adds Remote Data Removal, which will allow an IT administrator to remotely wipe a PC of all corporate data on an employee's personal PC, while keeping the employee's personal data intact.

Microsoft will be launching a new version of its Windows Defender software with Windows 8.1. It states:

We are introducing high performance behavior monitoring to Windows Defender that enable Defender to detect certain bad behaviors in memory, the registry, or the file system; even before signatures have been created.

Finally, Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 8.1 has security improvements on its own, including a new API that Microsoft says will let an anti-malware program "to make a security determination before a binary extension is loaded."

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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41 Comments

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I'm not sure why MS keeps talking "security" when by default it sends a constant stream of data and "metrics" to MS servers over almost anything you do on your PC.

Security against others monitoring or benefiting from your data or using your resources to launch stuff like dos.
You can turn off most of the data being reported back to ms through gpedit.msc ... search prefterk & Microsoft and disable as needed.

Major_Plonquer said,
I think a rectal scanner would be much better. All you'd have to do is stare into it as it does its work and bingo!

Did you mean "rectal" or "retinal". I doubt you could stare into a rectal scanner.

Major_Plonquer said,
I think a rectal scanner would be much better. All you'd have to do is stare into it as it does its work and bingo!

Is this an euphemism for something?

Major_Plonquer said,
I think a rectal scanner would be much better. All you'd have to do is stare into it as it does its work and bingo!

I totally read this as "rectum scanner". When you said "All you'd have to do is stare into it" I thought what good is a rectum scanner when you just "stare" into it? Then it dawned on me you said RECTAL scanner.

Whats taking it so d**m long to RTM? I need to migrate from my RTM install because I only have 28 MBs of free space left on the partition where I am now dual booting with Windows XP. I have the Preview on a machine where I plan to migrate all my files and apps too. Just need 8.1 to RTM.

Its government owned computer, I just installed my personal copy of Windows 8 on it. But I will be installing it on another Dell 760 I currently have 8.1 preview installed on and use that full time. I am just waiting on the RTM so I can install from the TechNet ISO then migrate over my apps and files.

Its used everyday by most students and staff and it seems to get the job done. Whether its checking email, social networks, typing up documents, creating publications. I don't see it being any less productive than Windows 8 with Office 2013 which I use everyday or Windows 7 and Office 2007 at home. Yes, we would love to all use the latest, but at the end of the day, these computers belong to the Ministry of Education. I can't upgrade them and they are not interested in upgrading them. Why? Well, its getting the job done apparently and to be honest, they have a point. Not to mention, it will be supported by April 2014, so maybe they have plans. Until then, the 95 computers deployed across the school will remain Windows XP.

Steven Hutchison said,
Windows 8.1 or .2 or .34774. Doesn't matter.
Windows 8 is junk.

That's called an opinion and you know what they say about those....

There are now nearly twice as many Windows 8 systems in the world as there are Macintoshes. And Macs have been on sale since 1984. I guess people like junk.

Oh yeah now compare flop windows 8 from Mac which has very restrictive policy of running on its own hardware compare to Windows which has monopoly of coming preinstalled on every computer purchased by user. If Mac has no hardware restriction to run on its own expensive hardware then Windows would have ruined a long time back.

Huge write off on surface tablets and meager 5% market share after almost going be an year in launch and several U-turn by MS, you are still calling Windows 8 a success. Your unconditional love for MS is laughable. MS whole vision of this tablet interface catching up mainstream is simply unsustainable and pretty stupid. They should have kept conventional desktop untouched and just create a separate OS for consumer tablets. Ballmer and his monkey company should be fired for this failure.

Windows 8 is not junk. Windows 8 desktop is much better, faster, smoother than Windows 7. How much does your Mac take to boot ? How is that for Junk ?

C#Rocks said,
Windows 8 is not junk. Windows 8 desktop is much better, faster, smoother than Windows 7. How much does your Mac take to boot ? How is that for Junk ?

Why everyone keep talking about boot time. It is not that I boot my computer every five minute. I boot my computer once a day and 10 second longer boot time is not a make or break deal for me. Windows 8 is junk because it is huge step backword in term of productivity. The biggest gripe is metro UI which is totally useless and unnecessary. I himself use Windows 8 because I bought it for $15 but use it with startisback to get visually rid of Metro UI.

Exactly, its ****ing weird, boot time should not be that relevant. I hate Windows 8 METRO and MS can go straight to bankruptcy.

Windows 8 is not just faster in boot time. It's faster in every sense, every minute, every second. If you don't like the Metro UI... it's simple... don't use it. It can nicely get out of the way. Personally I hated Windows 7 start Menu and I always pinned programs to the taskbar or Desktop Shortcuts. Don't tell me you go through the maze of me menus each time you start a program! Do you think that is productivity ?

"Windows 8 is junk because it is huge step backword in term of productivity." You have a spelling mistake in this sentence. Windows 8 has a system wide spelling checker. Another plus. No, it's not junk. This is not Windows ME.

I have i7 with 16 GB RAM and SSD in my computer. It's already a beast. I don't see any significant change is speed or performance either running windows 7 or 8. Anyway many people, they are not complaining about Windows 8 desktop but shoehorning metro tablet interface on desktop which is absolutely unnecessary and uncalled for.

MS should have given people option to either install or do not install Metro to users or make separate edition in a same way they had Media centre edition before. So if some one really wants metro then they could get that version. Its pure greed and MS scared of tablet that they decided to force feed consumer and this is what everyone is complaining about.

"Helping large businesses make the transition...," boy if that isn't a oxymoron. What Microsoft needs to do start doing something really constructive for the laptop/desktop marketplace. touch-centric tablets is just a small piece of the marketplace, yet that is where MS is putting all of its effort.

We already have a few test Win8 setups at work, and we haven't actually finished migrating to 7, and this is a very large health insurance company, wish they would let me test it

francescob said,

They're controlling us with microwaves and vaccines!!!1!

Some vaccines have a by far more nefarious effects; to control people smartphones and social networks are much better

Personally I don't want fingerprint login. I'm not convinced fingerprint biometric login is any better than the past bunch of years. Mythbusters busted industrial fingerprint scanners (far better any iPhone will have) easily!

EDIT: Youtube it.

FYI: Hackers don't try to bust passwords or fingerprints. It's much easier to change the software that does the checking. In every case there's some software routine that asks "is this the right password/fingerprint or not?" Changing a few bytes to always return positive can give a hacker entry to any system.

You might as well have a rectal scanner for all the good it will do.

francescob said,
But all I wanted is being able to log-in to a Microsoft account without having to enter password/pins every damn time

Type netplwiz and uncheck the option.

SidVicious said,
Type netplwiz and uncheck the option.

That's only if you have a single account, it won't help when you need to switch from one account to another.

There are several really good topics on this flying around the internet. I have mine setup so that I never have to sign in. . .just go into your favorite search engine and type in "do start up without having to sign in."
Will do a search to fine the thread I used, and post back with it. . .

Here's a Link: http://www.eightforums.com/tut...ally-windows-8-startup.html (hopefully the mods won't delete it)

Edited by Pam14160, Aug 3 2013, 1:33am :