IT security and data protection firm Sophos has released a list of security tips for Windows 8 ahead of its release on October 26. Although Windows 8 offers enhanced security features, it also raises new security concerns because of changes to the graphical user interface and a new online app store. The security tips from Sophos help business users of Windows stay secure as they move to the new version of the operating system.
"Windows 8 is a major release with new security enhancements, but perhaps one of the most interesting aspects is that Microsoft is trying to change from its traditional OS architecture to build a more modern and robust platform," said James Lyne, Director of Technology Strategy at Sophos. "This means being bolder about breaking backwards compatibility and legacy services. In Windows 8, a new ARM version exhibits some of these changes by taking on a controlled environment much more like that of Apple's walled garden. Microsoft also however continues to provide a traditional version that is similar to Windows 7 but has a new user interface and some security enhancements. End users should ensure they continue to run appropriate security controls to protect themselves on either of these platforms."
The eight tips help IT administrators to configure Windows 8 deployments to provide the best possible out-of-the-box level of protection. Tips include disabling hibernation so as not to interfere with encryption, and reviewing application permissions in the Windows Store to control access to user location information and calendars.
The eight tips are shown below:
Top Eight Security Tips for Windows 8
1 Exercise caution with apps for the new Windows 8 user interface
2 Use the Windows 8 style UI version of Internet Explorer
3 Make sure your security vendor can flag malicious Windows 8 UI apps
4 Disable hard drive encryption hibernation
5 Make sure hardware carries the "Designed for Windows 8" logo
6 Make application control a priority
7 Treat Windows RT (ARM) devices like any other
8 Review application permissions in the Windows Store