In tandem with the release of a new security white paper, Microsoft is claiming that Windows 10 version 1607 is the most secure version of Windows yet.
“Every day cybercriminals test new ways to attack and gain control of your PC,” a Microsoft representative told me. “In the last 12 months alone, the number of ransomware variants in the wild have more than doubled. Because Microsoft understands how destructive ransomware can be, the company has developed and incorporated multiple solutions into its technologies to help protect your PC. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update comes with enhanced security features that make this OS the most secure and more ransomware-resilient than ever.”
Microsoft has published a new white paper called Ransomware Protection in Windows 10 Anniversary Update that details how the latest Windows 10 version helps to protect all of its customers, from consumers to businesses. But in a separate blog post, it also makes its case for why Windows 10 version 1607—that is, Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update installed—is the most secure Windows version yet. Improvements in this release include:
Browser hardening. Microsoft Edge runs Adobe Flash Player in an isolated container, and Edge exploits cannot execute other applications. “These improvements block malware from silently downloading and executing additional payloads on customers’ systems,” Microsoft says.
Windows Defender improvements. The Windows Defender signature delivery channel works faster than before so that the in-box anti-virus and antimalware solution can help block ransomware, both in the cloud and on the client. Additionally, Windows Defender responds to new threats faster using improved cloud protection and automatic sample submission features, plus improved behavioral heuristics aimed at detecting ransomware-related activities.
Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. This new service helps business customers respond to attacks by alerting the security team, identify any damage caused, and understand where it might be moving next. It can also work with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection to provide a more holistic view of what is attacking the enterprise.
To help prevent ransomeware specifically, Microsoft recommends that customers install the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and accept the default security settings, keep machines up to date with the very latest updates, and create and follow a comprehensive backup strategy.