June was an active month for Windows 10 advancements, new resources, and security events! For this edition of the “news you can use”, I’ve broken it into categories for deployment | security | productivity | windows insider feature highlights.
Deployment & Management
- MDOP servicing update released in March 2017, which includes updates for things like MBAM 2.5 SP1 support for SQL Server 2016 SP1.
- Demystifying Windows as a Service – David das Neves (PFE for Microsoft Germany) shares his current experience and guidance for organizational preparation for WaaS.
- Introducing a new service to the Windows Analytics suite – Device Health. Device Health functionality is designed to ensure employees have the best possible experience with Windows 10. To achieve that goal, it helps identify issues that could affect a person’s experience, before they may even notice, while also identifying steps needed to resolve those issues proactively. This reduces helpdesk calls and support costs, saving time and money.
https://blogs.windows.com/business/2017/06/29/delivering-modern-promise-windows-10 (read the Proactive Insights section)
- Windows AutoPilot is a suite of capabilities designed to simplify and modernize the deployment and management of new Windows 10 PCs. With Windows AutoPilot, IT professionals can customize the Out of Box Experience (OOBE) for Windows 10 PCs and enable end users to take a brand-new Windows 10 device and—with just a few clicks—have a fully-configured device ready for business use. There are no images to deploy, no drivers to inject, and no infrastructure to manage. Most importantly, users can go through the process independently, without making any decisions and without needing to involve IT. Furthermore, an upcoming WEBINAR on Modernize the deployment process with Windows AutoPilot
- Modern management of Internet-based clients using SCCM.
- Videos and setup guides for Upgrade Readiness in the Windows Analytics suite.
- One-hour “Ask Microsoft Anything” event upcoming about Windows 10 management at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time on July 25th. Members of the Windows engineering and product teams will be standing by to answer your questions. Note: You must be a member of Tech Community to post questions so save the date for the AMA event and visit http://aka.ms/community/Windows10 to join the Windows 10 Tech Community today.
- EMET protections coming to Windows 10 RS3 (branded as Windows Defender Exploit Guard)!
- Microsoft Mechanics video highlighting the RS3 capability for Windows Defender Application Guard.
- New ransomware, old techniques: Petya adds worm capabilities – analysis and recommendations. Plus, Windows 10 resilience against the Petya ransomware attack.
- Find out how to prevent and contain cyberattacks across email and endpoints with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Windows Defender ATP) and Office 365 ATP. This new demo explains how these technologies work together to help detect and prevent attacks, and how—if an attack makes it through your defenses—they can help you contain the threat and take immediate action.
- What’s new and coming to Windows Defender ATP in Win10 RS3.
- Microsoft is pleased to announce the beta release of the recommended security configuration baseline settings for Windows 10 “Creators Update”.
- Microsoft reluctantly announces the retirement of the Security Compliance Manager (SCM) tool. At the same time, we are reaffirming our commitment to delivering robust and useful security guidance for Windows, and tools to manage that guidance.
- The Microsoft Security Configuration Toolkit (replacing SCM as noted above) enables enterprise security administrators to effectively manage their enterprise’s Group Policy Objects (GPOs). Using the toolkit, administrators can compare their current GPOs with Microsoft-recommended GPO baselines or other baselines, edit them, store them in GPO backup file format, and apply them via a Domain Controller or inject them directly into testbed hosts to test their effects. The Security Configuration Toolkit consists of two tools, Policy Analyzer and LGPO, and a set of configuration baselines for different releases of Windows.
- Windows 10 tip: Organize your Start files with new tile folders.
Windows Insider Feature Highlights
- Windows 10 and SMB1: As part of a multi-year security plan, we are removing the SMB1 networking protocol from Windows by default. This build has this change, however the change only affects clean installations of Windows, not upgrades. We are making this change to reduce the attack surface of the OS.
- Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) Improvements.
- Introducing Controlled folder access in Windows Defender Antivirus: making it easier for you to protect valuable data from malicious apps and threats, such as ransomware.
- OneDrive files on-demand now available for Windows Insiders.
This June 2017 edition of Win10 news you can use is primarily based around security. Do note that item #1 is for an upcoming webcast that could be beneficial for you or others in your team to attend.
- Windows 10 deployment: Tips and Tricks from Microsoft IT – LIVE June 20 at 10AM PST – This webinar will focus on best practices and lessons learned, from application compatibility testing and upgrade strategies to smoothing the deployment path through end user readiness
- R.I.P … Windows 10 1507 end of support. Next up is end of support for Win10 1511 (Anniversary Update).
- Recently the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) research team noticed security alerts that demonstrated an intriguing attack pattern. These early alerts uncovered a well-planned, finely orchestrated cyberattack that targeted several high-profile technology and financial organizations.
- Announced last September in the Microsoft Edge Blog, Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge is now available in Windows Insider Preview (Build 16188) for Enterprise users in the Fast Ring. Microsoft Edge running in Application Guard provides enterprises the maximum level of protection from malware and zero day attacks against Windows.
- Improvements for Enterprises in Microsoft Edge on the Windows 10 Creators Update
- The security capabilities of Windows 10, Windows Defender Antivirus, and Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection are constantly evolving to protect against current and future threats. Download this white paper to learn how Microsoft uses data science, machine learning, automation, behavioral analysis, and expert threat researchers to forge the next generation of security solutions.
- Microsoft Secure Blog on “7 types of highly effective hackers (and what to do about them)”; get the free e-book (registration required) to learn about the seven different types of hackers and get recommendations on how you can better prepare your organization against their potential threats.
For this month’s edition of Windows 10 news that you can use, I’m excited to share that the Windows 10 Creators Update (aka RS2, aka 1703) has arrived! Announcement: https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2017/03/29/windows-10-creators-update-coming-april-11-surface-expands-markets. Additionally, there is a webcast on April 27th, which will cover changes and new features in further detail – register for it at https://aka.ms/w10itpro/new-in-v1703-webcast.
For the rest of this month’s news:
- The Microsoft Edge security team employs a layered strategy to protect you from vulnerabilities that could be used to compromise your device or personal data. In this post, we’ll explore some of the significant improvements we’ve made in the Windows 10 Creators Update to strengthen our next line of defense: the Microsoft Edge sandbox.
- If you upgraded in-place to Win10 x64 from Win7 x64, then it’s highly likely the disk is in the MBR format. With the release of the Win10 Creators Update (v. 1703), the disk conversion MBR to GPT tool is now ready to be used so that you can convert BIOS to UEFI.
- Win10 virtual hands-on labs let you try out Windows 10 setup, deployment, and management scenarios using a cloud-based private virtual machine environment. Each lab presents you with a series of instructions, and access to one or more virtual machines, with no additional software or setup required.
- Easy to follow Win10 technical demonstration videos – Explore the new features and improvements in Windows 10, and find tips and tricks to simplify deployment.
- Windows Defender Antivirus protection evaluation guide. Related, if you would like a demo or to personally test out the Block at First Sight capabilities to protect against zero-day malware, then let me know so that I can provide you with instructions to mimic polymorphic malware.
- Features that are removed or deprecated in Windows 10 Creators Update 1703. This list is intended for IT professionals who are updating operating systems in a commercial environment.
- On-demand video for Best Practices on Win10 deployment. Refresh your memory on what Windows as a Service means, and understand how it applies to your own business. Get an overview of the management features and integrations in Windows 10 that make it simpler but also more flexible, such as In-Place Upgrade, Dynamic Provisioning, Azure Active Directory, and Mobile Device Management. Learn more about App-V and UE-V, which makes management of applications and settings more streamlined.
- Windows 10 Deployment and Management Lab Kit updated and good through June 1, 2017. Note this is still using Win10 1607 as that is the CBB.
This March 2017 edition of “news you can use” for Windows 10 is chalked full of many resources as it was an active month in February! To help break apart such a large list, I have split it into three sections – Win10 news and resources, combating new security threats with Win10, and training / how-to guides.
Windows 10 News & Resources
- Signup for the new Win10 IT Professional insider newsletter! Get the latest news, resources, tools, and guidance to help you explore and deploy Windows 10; migrate from Windows 8.1 or Windows 7; and manage your existing Windows client infrastructures successfully—and with less effort.
- Windows 10 security experts share how to stay ahead of the catalysts shaping the cyber landscape
- FastTrack for Windows 10 announced
- The whitepaper on the “total economic impact” of Windows 10 was updated and refreshed in December 2016. This Microsoft-commissioned report by Forrester demonstrates how deploying Windows 10 can help reduce costs and provide significant benefits to your organization. The report found an ROI of 233% with a payback period of only 14 months. Download now to read more!
- Infographic: Simplify Windows 10 management and lower TCO
- For those using and creating Provisioning Packages, the Windows Image Configuration Designer is now available as a universal application. So it’s not necessary to download and install from the Windows ADK!
Windows 10 and Surface stomp on security threats with new enterprise innovations
These are key announcements from blog post: https://blogs.windows.com/business/2017/02/10/windows-10-surface-stomp-security-threats-new-enterprise-innovations
- NSA adds Windows 10 and Surface to list for classified use – Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book have been added to the NSA’s Commercial Solutions for Classified Programs (CSfC) list. Additional information on the NSA site: https://www.nsa.gov/resources/everyone/csfc/components-list
- Enhanced security capabilities with Surface Enterprise Management Mode (SEMM). SEMM will protect PCs at the UEFI level – “so a lot of the attacks you would expect attackers to use in order to just re-enable the camera without the user knowing, won’t even work, because the device is disabled at a fundamental, hardware level”.
- Extending device management in Windows 10 using MDM software, administrators will be able to apply settings and configurations from the Security Baseline Policies list. Previously, those settings were only available through Group Policy.
- New MDM Migration Analytics Tool designed to help customers figure out migrating from Group Policy to MDM. It scans a system for all of the policies applied to it, tries to map those policies to their MDM equivalents, and spits out a report of the results.
- The quest for No More Passwords with Windows Hello – Now available with on-premises Active Directory not just Azure AD.
- Additionally, the Dynamic Lock feature in Windows Hello connects a user’s smartphone to their Windows 10 device, and automatically locks the device when the phone’s Bluetooth signal drifts far away.
- The Upgrade Analytics “tool” is being rolled into a suite of tools called Windows Analytics. Upgrade Analytics itself is being rebranded as Upgrade Readiness.
- Windows Analytics will now include Update Compliance – free insights that provide a holistic view of Windows 10 update compliance for both monthly quality updates and new feature updates. This free resource will help organizations monitor deployment progress, identify issues and provide insights about their fully-patched, secure Windows 10 device environment.
Windows 10 Training and Guides
- New how-to articles and guides available from Microsoft!
- Step by step guide: Configure a test lab to deploy Windows 10
- Deploy Windows 10 in a test lab using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
- Deploy Windows 10 in a test lab using System Center Configuration Manager
- Determine the Enterprise Context of an app running in Windows Information Protection (WIP)
- Recommended Enterprise Cloud Resources and Neutral Resources network settings with Windows Information Protection (WIP)
- Using Outlook Web Access with Windows Information Protection (WIP)
- Cortana integration in your business or enterprise
- Quick guide to Windows as a service
- Wake On LAN for Surface devices
- Stop malware with Windows 10 Device Guard
- Microsoft Mechanics video: A look at Advanced Threat Analytics in the datacenter
- NSS Labs reports showing that Microsoft Edge (in Windows 10) blocks more phishing sites and socially engineered malware than Chrome or Firefox. Available for download from http://www.nsslabs.com/browser-security.
- New evidence and stories on enterprise detection and response (EDR) against threat actors:
PROMETHIUM and NEODYMIUM
- Detecting threat actors in recent German industrial attacks with Windows Defender ATP
- Microsoft IT Showcase – Windows Defender ATP for EDR helps detect sophisticated threats https://www.microsoft.com/itshowcase/Article/Content/854/Windows-Defender-ATP-helps-detect-sophisticated-threats
- Desktop as a Service (DaaS) – Virtualization of Win10 in the cloud, fast provisioning and flexibility
- “At Citrix Synergy last year, we promised to make it easy for Windows 10 Enterprise E3 Per User customers to deploy Windows 10 desktops virtually on Azure using XenDesktop. Today, we’re introducing XenDesktop Essentials — coming soon to the Azure Marketplace — which provides a straightforward XenDesktop service for delivering Windows 10 desktops on Azure that partners and customers can manage through Citrix Cloud. Delivering Windows 10 workspaces running on Azure to any device has never been simpler or easier, or more cost-effective.”
- Interested to learn more in general, watch this 48-minute session from Ignite 2016
- Two new videos in the Win10 IT pro series have been published online!
- Microsoft Mechanics: an overview of Windows as a Service
- New Microsoft Virtual Academy Course: Dropping the Hammer on Malware with Windows 10 Device Guard
- Microsoft Mechanics: an overview of Windows as a Service
- Windows Hello supports a growing variety of secured companion devices
- BIOS legacy to UEFI conversion tool.
- Windows 10 achieves FIPS 140-2 compliance.
Happy new year to one and all! Welcome to my first 2017 edition of “news you can use” for Windows 10. I originally set out to compile and share these bits of information that I see come through the wire, with the hopes that it would be beneficial to you as well.
- Recently announced is that Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) will have integration with FireEye iSIGHT for enriched threat intelligence in the behavioral detection analytics.
- The upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update will have major advances in security and best-in-class modern IT tools.
- To help customers identify and understand the key terms and concepts associated with “Windows as a Service”, a new Quick Guide has been created.
- A new YouTube channel for Windows has been created and called Microsoft Mechanics. It is a video series targeted at Windows IT Professionals and Tech Enthusiasts in the commercial space. The team just published two new demo bench videos on the Windows Hello Companion Device Framework and an Overview of modern management for Windows 10.
- The Windows IT Center has been refreshed with new spotlights to highlight:
- Windows 10 tips for IT administrators in the Get Started app.
- Windows 10 deployment overview and live Q&A webcast.
- Quick start guides for organizations to help end users transition to Windows 10 after deployment.
- Webcast upcoming on January 23rd, Windows Defender ATP Webinar: The Post-Breach Approach to Endpoint Security. Info and registration at https://info.microsoft.com/Post-breachapproachtoendpointsecurity.html.
- New whitepapers
- Post-Breach: Dealing with Advanced Threats. Download it from http://wincom.blob.core.windows.net/documents/Post_Breach_Dealing_with_Advanced_Threats_Whitepaper.pdf.
- Ransomware Protection in Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Download it from http://wincom.blob.core.windows.net/documents/Ransomware_protection_in_Windows_10_Anniversary_Update.pdf.
- The Windows 10 Deployment & Management Lab kit (Self-service PoC) was updated to reflect the Anniversary update. Expiration of the labs extended to 3/1/2017.
This my inaugural edition of “news you can use” for Windows 10. I originally set out to compile and share these bits of information that I see come through the wire, with the hopes that it would be beneficial to you as well.
- Did you miss Microsoft Ignite in September? No worries, the sessions were recorded and are available online. Here is a catalog of the related Windows 10 sessions. Optionally, you also download all of those sessions (decks and videos) directly from my OneDrive!
- Have you heard of the new Upgrade Analytics service to help in your application compatibility planning and readiness? If not, recently a Microsoft Mechanics video (6 minutes) was created to highlight and showcase the technology.
Read more and watch: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mt743627
- The Windows 10 IT Showcase is about how Microsoft IT used the materials in this program to support the Windows 10 deployment to all employee devices within the Microsoft global enterprise. Now, you can use them to facilitate employee adoption, promote best practices, and ensure a direct path to productivity with the best Windows ever.
Read more: https://www.microsoft.com/itshowcase/windows10deployment
- Updated GPO settings reference for Win10/Server 2016.
Read more: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=25250
- The Win10 Anniversary Release (1607) has been officially declared as a Current Branch for Business (CBB).
Read more: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/mmpc/2016/11/01/our-commitment-to-our-customers-security
- Microsoft has announced the new Unified Update Platform (UUP) that is under development and coming to new branches of Windows 10. The community and customer benefits of UUP is the reduction you’ll see in download size on PCs. We have converged technologies in our build and publishing systems to enable differential downloads for all devices built on the Mobile and PC OS.
Read more: https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/11/03/introducing-unified-update-platform-uup
- Windows is the only platform with a customer commitment to investigate reported security issues and proactively update impacted devices as soon as possible. And we take this responsibility very seriously. Recently, the activity group that Microsoft Threat Intelligence calls STRONTIUM conducted a low-volume spear-phishing campaign. Customers using Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 Anniversary Update are known to be protected from versions of this attack observed in the wild. This attack campaign, originally identified by Google’s Threat Analysis Group, used two zero-day vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash and the down-level Windows kernel to target a specific set of customers.
Read more: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/mmpc/2016/11/01/our-commitment-to-our-customers-security
- Configuration Manager 1610 released and contains new features
Read more: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/enterprisemobility/2016/11/18/now-available-update-1610-for-system-center-configuration-manager
- The next Win10 branch release was announced as the Creators Update and is due to arrive in the spring of 2017. Included is the introduction of the Surface Studio and Surface Dial device!
Read more and watch demo: https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/10/26/empowering-a-new-wave-of-creativity-with-the-windows-10-creators-update-and-surface-studio
- While it’s not really “news for Win10”, are you scrambling for the perfect gifts for the geeks on your list this holiday season? Just don’t know where to start? Lucky for you, the Microsoft elves have spent 2016 putting together the ultimate list of the year’s best tech, toys, and tools and collected them here in the Holiday Gift Guide for Geeks 2016.
Read more: https://info.microsoft.com/holiday-gift-guide-2016.html