Microsoft kicked off its TechEd Europe conference in Barcelona today by joining up the dots with its security plans for Windows 10, as well as offerings for Microsoft services on mobile devices in the nearer future.
Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of PC, tablet and phone, explained how Windows 10 will “significantly improve system protection against modern security threats”.
Windows 10 “will enable you to secure the device and the code that’s running on any device you deploy” as well as “give you some terrific tools to satisfy end users” and to “protect user identities against all the types of identity theft we’re hearing about,” Belfiore told delegates.
“In Windows 10, you’ll be in control of any of the code that’s authorised to run on any device. This way of securing the device means that – by policy – you decide that only signed code runs – that you’ve signed, or the OEM, or even only Microsoft-signed code,” he explained.Belfiore showed the user experience as including only authorised apps on a custom-built menu. “Default actions” he pointed out, are still simple to carry out, but non-default actions are embedded into the experience without confusion or obstruction.
For example, when a user was about to paste sensitive information from a corporate document into Twitter, it was immediately disallowed.
But the policy could be further customised to instead flash up a message – and invitation to provide a reason – that information from a secure document was posting to Twitter and that the IT department would be informed.
“Because the platform is the same across devices,” explained Belfiore, “this works across all of them.”
Belfiore also showed two-factor authentication using a phone as the second factor for login, which he reminded delegates was “inexpensive for IT managers” as well as no longer reliant on a password “stored on some server”.
The security conversation didn’t stop here, as enhanced features for managing mobile devices were then unveiled – beyond devices using just the Windows operating system, and into devices – such as the iPad – just running Microsoft software such as Office 365.
Julia White, general manager of Office 365, demonstrated touch-controlled MDM [mobile device management] of Office 365 on an iPad. App-wrapping will also be featured, as well as secure mobile apps.
“Users want access to all their information, everywhere,” said White, explaining that, especially since the launch of Office on iPad, full control via this medium has been one of the most requested functions.
Android will also be included at rollout.
The Office 365 management functions, and the SDK to accompany it, are expected in the first quarter of 2015, while the Windows 10 features will obviously roll out with the OS – though whether they’ll all arrive on launch day remains open to speculation.