The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be launched on 2nd August 2016. Alongside changes to the Start menu, Windows Ink and extensions to the Edge browser are changes to Cortana (the intelligent personal assistant) and three security features.
The first is Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP). It is aimed at enterprise customers to detect, investigate, and respond to advanced and targeted attacks on their networks. Windows 10 currently has pre-breach protection that aims to protect devices, identify and information. WDATP is used post-breach. It logs what is happening on endpoints and has a cloud security analytics service that combines data from endpoints with Microsoft’s broad data optics from over 1 billion Windows devices and other resources to detect anomalous behaviours, adversary techniques and identify similarities to known attacks. It runs on Microsoft’s scalable Big Data platform and combines Indicators of Attacks, behavioural analytics, and machine learning rules. It will be interesting to see the impact this has on existing services that provide similar facilities. Will people switch to WDATP?
The second feature is biometric support for Windows apps and Microsoft Edge. Windows Hello can be used instead of a password to gain access to devices that supports biometric authentication. Just smile into the camera to get access.
The last security feature are changes to Windows Defender. It gets quick scan scheduling, as well as new notifications and summaries of completed scans and threats.
One part of the Cortana changes may provide some security headaches. I have not tried out the Anniversary upgrade, so this is just speculation. It is getting a “productivity boost” and is available “above” the lock screen so you can “ask questions, play music from your PC or set a reminder without unlocking your device”. Now isn’t that feature a security issue in iOS and Andriod? I certainly don’t want Cortana always listening to what is going on and responding to questions like “when am I going on holiday” or “what are my bank account details”. But maybe I am being a bit too paranoid.