Security

Microsoft: Windows 10 S not affected by any 'known ransomware'

In a blog post, Microsoft called Windows 10 S its "latest and most hardened operating system," and explained how it protects users against ransomware and other threats.

Ransomware is one of the most prominent cybersecurity threats in the enterprise, but it doesn't work against Windows 10 S, Microsoft said. According to a recent blog post by Robert Lefferts, director of program management for Windows Enterprise and Security, "no known ransomware works against Windows 10 S," which Lefferts also called Microsoft's "most hardened operating system."

No Windows 10 users were "known to be compromised" by WannaCrypt, Lefferts also mentioned in the post. The success of the operating system against security issues is due to a three-pronged approach to security:

  1. Hardened software and devices.
  2. Use of Windows Defender Antivirus and Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection to help users find emerging threats.
  3. Enabling of threat response and remediation with Windows Defender ATP.

SEE: Ransomware: The smart person's guide

However, Lefferts wrote, Microsoft also recognizes that not all Windows users are running Windows 10. As such, they also understand that other users can fall victim to cyberattacks and work to provide software updates—even to unsupported versions of Windows "in extreme cases," Lefferts wrote.

Other technologies that the firm is using to secure its OS are the cloud and artificial intelligence (AI). Windows Defender AV uses these technologies on top of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph (ISG) to find new threats around the world and build on their capabilities to further protect against those threats.

A new whitepaper ( download link here), also announced in the post, gives more information on the ransomware protection in the Windows 10 Creators Update. Leffert's post mentioned that the company is working on hardening, threat detection, and mitigation features this summer as well.

Despite the steps to improve privacy, Windows 10 has received criticism for the amount of data it collects and potential privacy violations that could come with that. Additionally, the security updates, while welcome, won't do much for the majority of businesses that are running Windows 7, according to recent adoption trends survey.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. According to a Microsoft blog post, no known form of ransomware affects Windows 10 S, which the firm called its "most hardened" OS.
  2. The post also said that no Windows 10 users was compromised by WannaCrypt, because of the company's approach to security.
  3. Microsoft is working on new security features, to be released this summer.

Also see

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Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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