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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