When it comes to securing a computer, many factors come into play. Common Criteria certification does not guarantee security, but it proves that claims about the product’s security attributes were independently verified. This proof includes an evaluation document called an Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL).
Whether you’re looking to reduce the attack surface for a more secure infrastructure or protect sensitive data against ransomware, Windows Server 2019 has various tools that can help. It comes with a more robust antimalware protection that assesses common vectors for security breaches and automatically blocks and warns of malicious activity. These are the reasons why it is essential to evaluate Windows 2019. The LTSC version of Windows Server comes with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, which provides host intrusion features to prevent malware attacks by monitoring network traffic for signs of malicious activities and blocking any potential threats in real time. It also helps keep attackers away from the system by preventing them from accessing the cached credentials within the guest OS. Microsoft has also included several other new security features designed to make the system more secure. These include Windows Subsystem for Linux, which allows you to run native Linux-based workloads on the system with less storage and CPU resources.
Additionally, it includes Shielded VMs, which use several layers of security to protect the VM from attack. This includes encryption, a Trusted Platform Module, and a Host Guardian Service (HGS). The system also has Control Flow Guard, a built-in security feature that prevents memory corruption vulnerabilities. It does this by preventing the execution of specific code within the kernel.
Windows security features protect your computer against unauthorized changes to the operating system. The User Account Control (UAC) feature prevents malicious software from running with administrator privileges, as the UAC process identifies any changes that could potentially impact your device’s performance and security. Local accounts are a common target for attacks, including lateral movement across the network. By enabling the default to deny local account login to remote servers, you can prevent a local password hash from being stolen and used in an attack. The SAM (Security Accounts Manager) is a file on a computer that contains user information, such as password hashes, for users on the local machine. It also stores the security tokens that grant access to files, directories, and services. The SAM requires HKLM/SAM and SYSTEM privileges to access. The SAM is a critical component of the Microsoft OS that mitigates authentication relay attacks, known as man-in-the-middle attacks. These attacks are conducted when an attacker intercepts and spoofs authentication traffic between the client and server, such as when a NAS acting as a file server connects to a Windows client without SMB signing or encryption. The SAM also enables the Account lockout setting, which blocks attempts to access protected folders. To reduce the risk of these attacks, implement a firm password policy and deactivate unused local accounts.
In addition to the preventive security features that Microsoft is known for, the Windows Server 2019 operating system is also delivering several new mechanisms that are elevating the operating system’s overall security stance. These include a Shielded Virtual Machine enhancement that enables more robust protection for these machines and the ability to detect malware attacks in real-time. Another security enhancement in Windows Server includes Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, which combines advanced malware protection and threat detection into a single solution. This offers post-breach detection and automated investigation, among other capabilities and prevention. Aside from this, the latest Microsoft operating system will also provide an improved attestation mechanism for virtual machines that will replace Active Directory mode with more straightforward and more secure host key attestation. This is a significant improvement for the operating system because it will enable enterprises to use the virtual machine platform more effectively while reducing the risk of unauthorized access and privilege abuse. One of the best things about the new Microsoft operating system is its improved scalability for hybrid environments. It is designed to run on-premises and in the cloud so that companies can take advantage of both to optimize resources and increase agility. Lastly, the operating system includes a consolidated password management feature to reduce user risk and improve security across the board.
While some people are staunchly loyal to their preferred operating system, Windows has good security features for those who need to work from home or the office. The newest version of Microsoft’s OS offers several new security features that mitigate attacks. Attack surface reduction and Exploit Protection are two security features designed to help reduce the attack surface for malware. They do this by turning off certain behaviors common in malware, such as creating child processes. This helps to significantly reduce the number of ways a malicious user can gain access to your computer. This is particularly important when protecting against pass-the-hash attacks and lateral movement from computer to computer. The best way to protect your systems against these new threats is to upgrade to a supported version of Windows.