Is Windows 10 really more secure than Windows 7?
When it comes to IT Security, 2017 was not a good year for many businesses. With data breaches, ransomware attacks, and security vulnerabilities making headlines around the globe, it appears as if both organisations and individuals were under attack. So, it’s hardly a wonder that IT security remains one of the most important considerations when looking at software upgrades for your business.
Windows 10 was released back in 2015 in a bid to provide users with the most secure operating system yet. However, Windows 7 continued and still continues to be a very popular operating system, especially with businesses, but that will now have to change. Mainstream support for Windows 7 expired in early 2015 with only extended support available until January 2020. The primary difference in these support levels is that when mainstream support ends, performance improvements, new features and free support also end. Extended support means that Microsoft will only provide bug fixes and security updates. Essentially, anyone running Windows 7 should be planning to transition over the next year and a half.
Microsoft has released many updates and some have been criticised by tech experts, but Windows 10 is being hailed as a secure piece of software that will help protect organisations. Webroot, a security company, reported that only 15% of the total known malware files in 2017 were found on Windows 10 systems while 63 percent of the known malicious files were found on Windows 7 systems. There are a number of reasons for this, but a major difference is that Windows 10 forces automatic updates while Windows 7 allows users to fully control when updates are installed.
It is also important to note that during the well-known WannaCry ransomware attacks last year, the vast majority of victims were running Windows 7 and Windows 10 users were completely unaffected. Since Windows 7 was originally released in 2009, hackers have had a longer time to discover exploits and create clever tactics to compromise users. Knowing of these tactics, Microsoft created Windows 10 with completely new code, making many of the Windows 7 specific exploits harmless to users.
Windows 10 also works much better with Microsoft Office 365 including features such as OneDrive backup and integration and Microsoft Cortana assistant integration for planning and effectively using Office 365. Windows 10 also integrates with the Azure platform allowing the joining to corporate networks to be much smoother and the delivery and setup of new systems to be completed remotely more effectively. Ideal for multi-site organisations.
Key security features of Windows 10 include built-in features like Windows Hello, Microsoft Edge, and SmartScreen - which protects your users’ identities, information, and devices from threats with several threat protection and security management tools.
It also includes;
- Windows Defender Antivirus
- Exploit Guard, System Guard
- Application Guard
- Application Control
all working together to remove or defend against attack vectors used by hackers.