Perimeter
Guest Blog // Selected Security Content Provided By Sophos
What's This?
9/25/2012
12:13 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Security Insights
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Whether You Call It Modern Or Metro, Here Are Eight Security Tips For Windows 8

Windows 8 a case of improved security, increased vigilance

The naming of its user interface aside, on Oct. 26 Microsoft is releasing Windows 8, the newest version of the Windows operating system. 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. Courtesy of Darren Teagles, senior poduct manager, Sophos, here are eight security tips that can help you stay secure as you move to Windows 8.

1. Exercise caution with apps for the new Windows 8 user interface. Some familiar applications have been completely rewritten for the new Windows 8 UI. As a result, they may work completely differently, despite looking the same. For example, an application historically delivered as an executable could now be entirely Web-based. This impacts the visibility your existing security and monitoring tools have into these apps.

2. Use the Windows 8 style UI version of Internet Explorer. By default, plug-ins are disabled, blocking a major target for exploit kits and Blackhole attacks.

3. Make sure your security vendor can flag malicious Windows 8 UI apps. Windows 8 UI apps have important differences from regular applications, and your security product should be able to distinguish the two. The security product should correctly flag malicious or modified Windows 8 UI applications (tampered, modified, invalid license).

4. Disable hard-drive encryption hibernation. Hard-drive encryption is a cornerstone of data protection. If possible, disable the hibernation option in Windows 8 through group policy because it doesn’t always work well with encryption.

5. Make sure your hardware carries the "Designed for Windows 8" logo. To carry this logo, hardware must be UEFI-compliant. This means you can take advantage of the secure boot functionality available in Windows 8. Secure boot is designed to ensure the pre-OS environment is secure to minimize the risk from boot loader attacks.

6. Make application control a priority. The Windows 8 app store makes application control increasingly important for both malware prevention and productivity control. While the Windows Store will be secured, history shows that malicious apps are likely to slip through. Disable the use of apps that aren’t relevant to your organization.

7. Treat Windows RT (ARM) devices like any other mobile device. Make sure you impose the same security levels on Windows RT devices as all others. You should have the ability to control, track, remote wipe, and encrypt them.

8. Block near field communications features you don’t need. Windows 8 now caters to near field communications within the operating system. Because it uses Wi-Fi, it’s another potential vector for security attacks. Block or disable features you don't need to close unnecessary security holes.

Bonus tip: Don't allow sign-in to Windows 8 PCs with a Live ID. Live ID sign-on lets your users personalize their computers based on their own settings, regardless of which computer they sign onto. In doing so, all Windows 8 Style UI apps will be reacquired along with their settings, and apps will be automatically signed in where they use a Windows Live ID. This opens the potential for accidental data loss.

Of course, all the old security rules also apply with Window 8. It's still a bad idea to disable the lock screen or allow automatic log-on. Keep to your principles and, above all, remain vigilant.

Download a PDF of "The Top Eight Security Tips for Windows 8"on Sophos Security News and Trends.

Brian Royer, a security subject matter expert, Sophos U.S., is partnering with SophosLabs to research and report on the latest trends in malware, web threats, endpoint and data protection, mobile security, cloud computing and data center virtualization.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
CBess
50%
50%
CBess,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/4/2012 | 6:56:09 PM
re: Whether You Call It Modern Or Metro, Here Are Eight Security Tips For Windows 8
When you say-ádisable NFC-á"Because it uses Wi-Fi", you left me a little confused NFC works around 13 MHz where Wi-Fi is in the multiple gigahertz range. What did you mean?
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7392
Published: 2014-07-22
Gitlist allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters in a file name to Source/.

CVE-2014-2385
Published: 2014-07-22
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the web UI in Sophos Anti-Virus for Linux before 9.6.1 allow local users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) newListList:ExcludeFileOnExpression, (2) newListList:ExcludeFilesystems, or (3) newListList:ExcludeMountPaths parameter t...

CVE-2014-3518
Published: 2014-07-22
jmx-remoting.sar in JBoss Remoting, as used in Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JEAP) 5.2.0, Red Hat JBoss BRMS 5.3.1, Red Hat JBoss Portal Platform 5.2.2, and Red Hat JBoss SOA Platform 5.3.1, does not properly implement the JSR 160 specification, which allows remote attackers to exec...

CVE-2014-3530
Published: 2014-07-22
The org.picketlink.common.util.DocumentUtil.getDocumentBuilderFactory method in PicketLink, as used in Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBEAP) 5.2.0 and 6.2.4, expands entity references, which allows remote attackers to read arbitrary code and possibly have other unspecified impact via...

CVE-2014-4326
Published: 2014-07-22
Elasticsearch Logstash 1.0.14 through 1.4.x before 1.4.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via a crafted event in (1) zabbix.rb or (2) nagios_nsca.rb in outputs/.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Where do information security startups come from? More important, how can I tell a good one from a flash in the pan? Learn how to separate ITSec wheat from chaff in this episode.