Windows 8.1 Comes with Improved Malware Resistance, Better Data Protection

Device encryption can be automatically enabled on supporting machines

By on August 3rd, 2013 13:41 GMT

Windows 8.1 was made available for download in a preview version several weeks ago, with a great deal of improvements over the previous OS version, many of which were related to the platform’s ability to keep users safe from malware and to protect their data.

This week, Microsoft provided some more info on the matter at the Black Hat 2013 conference, explaining that, with Windows 8.1, businesses could rest assured that sensitive data was kept secure even when it resided on employees’ personal devices.

Some of the features that make this possible include Pervasive Device Encryption, which has been added in all editions of Windows 8.1 for devices that pack support for InstantGo, along with Selective Wipe of Corporate Data.

Not only can device encryption be automatically enabled on supporting machines, but Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Enterprise will also offer the full feature functionality of BitLocker, including BitLocker To Go.

Furthermore, there are additional key protectors, such as the network key protector, automatic recovery key escrow to Active Directory and more enterprise features aimed at ensuring that a physical drive won’t be compromised in the event that the device is lost or stolen.

“With Windows 8.1, we introduce Remote Data Removal which will allow an IT department to wipe corporate data (e.g. emails, attachments, corporate data that came from Work Folders) off a BYOD device without affecting personal data,” Microsoft’s Dustin Ingalls explains.

Additionally, the new platform release comes with improved built-in malware resistance measures, including an updated Windows Defender with high-performance behavior monitoring, to detect bad behaviors in memory, the registry, or the file system.

The security capabilities of Internet Explorer have been enhanced as well, thanks to an API for the browser that “enables anti-malware solutions to make a security determination before a binary extension is loaded,” Dustin Ingalls notes.

At the same time, Internet Explorer 11 will arrive with the Enhanced Protection Mode turned on by default, which should ensure that users benefit from safer browsing.

These security improvements are meant for both end users and enterprise customers alike, Microsoft notes. All of them can be enjoyed in the newly released Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview bits, which can be downloaded via the link below.

Download Windows 8.1 Preview / Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview

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