The Windows 10 Creators Update will continue to bring new security capabilities to IT administrators to better protect, defend and respond to threats on their networks and devices.
A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced new features coming in the Windows 10 Creators Update bringing innovation in mixed reality and 3D for everyone. They shared their view of empowering the creators in all of us as they build Windows for each of us. This rings just as true for business professionals as it does for artists and students.
Microsoft built Windows 10 for modern IT to be safer, more secure and more productive for business with access to powerful new devices and experiences for their employees. In response, our customers are upgrading to Windows 10 at an incredible pace, with a 3X increase in Windows 10 enterprise deployments over the last six months. But they’ve just begun.
Security intelligence across devices, networks and cloud
The cyber threat landscape today requires an ongoing and relentless focus on security. The Creators Update will continue to bring new security capabilities to IT administrators to better protect, defend and respond to threats on their networks and devices.
To start, they will make it easier to monitor, track and act by creating one view of Windows 10 security events in the centralized portal called the Windows Security Center. First released in the Anniversary Update, the Windows Security Center will link to Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, via the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, to allow IT administrators to easily follow an attack across endpoints and email in a seamless and integrated way.
In the Creators Update they’re also adding new actions and insights in Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to investigate and respond to network attacks, including sensors in memory, enriched intelligence and new remediation actions.
- Enriched Detection. Methods and means attackers use are increasingly varied, complex and well-funded. The sensors we have today across the network traffic channeled through end points and the cloud are powerful. However, cyber threats won’t stop, and neither will they. With the Creators Update they will expand Windows Defender ATP sensors to detect threats that persist only in memory or kernel level exploits. This will enable IT administrators to monitor loaded drivers and in-memory activities, and to detect various patterns of injection, reflective loading, and in-memory modifications indicating potential kernel exploits.
- Enriched Intelligence. They already add on to their Microsoft Threat Intelligence (TI) with industry partners like FireEye iSIGHT Threat Intelligence. In the Creators Update, they’ll enable IT administrators to feed their own intelligence into the Windows Security Center for alerts on activities based on their own indicators of compromise. This added level of insight will enrich machine learning models to identify and block malware more quickly and better protect their unique environment.
- Enhanced Remediation. They will also deliver new remediation actions in Windows Defender ATP that will give IT administrators the tools to isolate machines, collect forensics, kill and clean running processes and quarantine or block files with a single click in the Windows Security Center and further reduce response time.
Best-in-class modern IT to streamline management
It’s an exciting time to be in IT, yet Microsoft also understands that for many organizations the digital transformation can be overwhelming. That’s why they built Windows 10 with best-in-class modern IT capabilities through the power of the cloud. Already, IT administrators estimate a 15% improvement in IT management time with Windows 10. The Creators Update will further shift resources and time-intensive tasks to the cloud, allowing our customers to acquire, provision, support and secure devices more easily than ever.
Cloud-based insights with Windows Analytics.
Microsoft released Windows Upgrade Analytics to help customers move to Windows 10 more quickly by analyzing their environment to identify app compatibility, device and driver readiness. In the coming months, we’ll be delivering additional resources to the Windows Analytics dashboard that will help IT administrators better manage and support Windows 10 devices. The additions to the dashboard will enable organizations to use their own telemetry to provide new insights and ensure compliance on the upgrade, update and device health processes within their organizations.
In-place UEFI conversion
They’ve heard from their customers that they want to take advantage of new Windows 10 security investments like Device Guard on their existing modern hardware, but many of these new features require UEFI-enabled devices. For those customers who have already provisioned modern Windows PCs that support UEFI but installed Windows 7 using legacy BIOS, converting a device to UEFI required an IT manager to repartition the disc and reconfigure the firmware. This meant they would need to physically touch each device in their enterprise. With the Creators Update, they will introduce a simple conversion tool that automates this previously manual work. This conversion tool can be integrated with management tools such as System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr)* as part of the Windows 7 to Windows 10 in-place upgrade process.
Mobile application management
With the Creators Update they’re introducing mobile application management, a new feature that will protect data on personal devices without requiring the device to be enrolled in a Mobile Device Management solution. As employees use their own devices at work more and more, they are providing IT with oversight to apply policies to the applications employees use to be productive. This helps keep corporate data more secure without taking on the added responsibility of managing employees’ personal devices.
Continued improvements for Windows as a service
Finally, their enterprise customers have told us they want to better manage the size of downloads. Soon they’ll enable differential downloads for both mobile and PC devices. This means updates after the Creators Update will only include the changes that have been made since the last update, decreasing the download size by approximately 35%. They’re also working to improve System Center Configuration Manager express updates to help reduce the monthly update size by up to 90%.
Microsoft is building Windows for each of us and for our enterprise customers that means supporting their digital transformation. Over the next few weeks, some of the Creators Update features will start to show up in Windows Insider builds. If you are not already a Windows Insider, please join in providing feedback to help shape the final experience and empower the creators in all of us.
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