Can a security-focused Windows 10 update entice enterprise?
- 05 July, 2016 09:55
Following months of uncertainty, Microsoft has finally provided IT managers with a delivery date for Windows 10 enterprise security features.
The next major ‘Anniversary Update’ of Windows 10 - as Redmond puts it - will be released on August 2, incorporating a new range of advanced security features designed to thwart the climbing number of cyber-attacks.
Previously, features released as part of the new operating system, such as Device Guard and Windows Hello, stepped up security with a view to entice the enterprise market.
Going one step further, Microsoft has launched a new service, the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDAPT), designed to help enterprise address post-breach security measures.
But is advanced security enough to drive enterprise adoption and surpass the stronghold of Windows 7 users within the business world?
Or perhaps more succinctly, is Windows 10 more secure than Windows 7?
“Despite Microsoft force-feeding some users with the operating system update, Windows 10 has been reasonably well received by consumers and IT professionals,” Ovum Research Analyst, Richard Edwards, said.
“However, consumer enthusiasm and positive reviews seldom translate into rapid enterprise adoption where the corporate desktop and laptop computer is concerned, and so it has been thus far with Windows 10.”
Edwards said the “brittle nature” of many enterprise IT environments is clearly reflected in the reserve exhibited by many corporate IT managers as they consider the likely impact of system upgrades and software updates on daily operations and business processes.
“But the rising incidence of high-profile news stories relating to cyber-attacks, security breaches, and data theft has left many business executives feeling nervous and exposed,” he countered.
Edwards said vendors offering security solutions often claim to encompass the analytics and intelligence required for enterprise customers, but these claims are rendered useless unless there is actionable context to the information provided.
“The introduction of new post-breach security measure service, WDATP, could be seen as the latest measure to tempt the enterprise,” he added.
The service is a combination of three things: a new built-in software that logs security events and behaviours, a Cloud security analysis service run by Microsoft that will collect and combine data from monitored devices, and threat intelligence gathered by Microsoft and the wider security community.
For Edwards however, the success of the service will rely, in part, on the willingness of enterprises to share security data with Microsoft.
“But with enterprise security breaches going an average of 200 days before detection, we believe that businesses and institutions will have to work in a collective and organised way if they are to stay one step ahead of hackers and cybercriminals,” he added.
In January, Microsoft reported that over 76 per cent of enterprise customers were using Windows 10, with more than 22 million enterprise devices running on the new operating system.
Additionally, recent Spiceworks survey data showed Windows 10 adoption in a business environment to stand at 11 per cent in October 2015, just 10 weeks after its launch.
Yet according to Netmarketshare’s results from June 2016, Windows 7 holds 49.05 per cent compared to Windows 10 market share of 19.14 per cent.