The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is finally here. The update has many exciting and innovative new features for consumers, enterprises and education.
Microsoft has invested in making Windows 10 a truly productive and enterprise secure operating system (OS). Windows 10 makes great strides in unifying the experiences on desktop and mobile. Microsoft added plenty of features to enhance the consumer experience.
[Related Videos: Want to See How Windows 10 Management Actually Works?]
Windows Ink, a new drawing platform, is just one such feature that now allows users to be productive without a keyboard and mouse. Through enhancements to Cortana, users can now take actions without unlocking their devices and take quick and easy steps to set up reminders and share information.
There’s no doubt that end users today are more mobile than ever before. They demand an experience that gives them this simplicity and the choice to use the devices they are most comfortable with. Moreover, the boundaries between work and personal data are shrinking. Employees are increasingly using their corporate-provisioned devices for personal use or bringing their own PCs to work. Organizations can no longer ignore these requirements of the changing workforce.
Here on the AirWatch Blog, we have spoken at length on how Windows 10 is a change agent across the enterprise. As users and organizations embrace this new OS, IT departments need to be ready on day zero to support, manage and secure these endpoints.
[Related: 6 Ways Windows 10 Is Changing the Enterprise]
As a Microsoft and Windows 10 launch partner, we have been working hard and collaborating with the Windows product teams to provide same-day support for the business and education features available in the Anniversary Update. This ensures that your admins and users can make the most of the enhanced productivity and security features available to them via the new OS update.
Let’s take a look at some of those key Windows 10 Anniversary Update features for businesses:
Windows Information Protection (aka Enterprise Data Protection)
One of the most powerful features of the Anniversary Update is Windows Information Protection (WIP). WIP allows end users to clearly separate their personal data from work data while allowing IT admins to protect and secure enterprise data at rest and in transit.
Using VMware AirWatch, IT admins can protect company data and manage employees’ privacy concerns over personal data. An admin can define a list of Windows Store or Desktop Win32 applications that access work data. Admins can easily allow or exempt applications from WIP by specifying the file path, store app package family name or app publisher.
Admins can then define enterprise data sources, for which the Windows OS automatically encrypts any data coming from a defined IP range, cloud resource or enterprise domain.
Icons and badges on protected applications and data sources give end users a visual indication that they are accessing work data.
When users save data within a work application or from a protected source, the data is automatically encrypted and protected by the work domain that admins configured.
Accidental data leakages are also prevented, as the OS prompts the end user when work data is being shared to a personal application.
Moreover, WIP can be combined with per-app VPN to ensure that work applications automatically connect to corporate data sources like Microsoft SharePoint when launched. This provides a seamless experience for end users, while ensuring that admins provide security and enable ease of use.
Windows Hello for Apps & Websites
We all know that passwords are not the most efficient way to authenticate access to secure resources. We tend to use the same passwords in many different places, forget them or write them down where they can easily be lost or misused. Microsoft addressed this problem for Windows login with Windows Hello biometric authentication, as well as per-device secure PIN codes.
In the Anniversary Update, Windows Hello extends to websites and applications that leverage the service. Through the Passport for Work policy in AirWatch, IT prompts end users to use Windows Hello, as well as set policies that determine the level of PIN security required. Read more on Windows 10 and AirWatch identity capabilities in Windows 10 Security Features Built for the Digital Workspace.
Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP)
Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) is a new security feature that helps mitigate the increasing threat of cyber attacks. Attackers use increasingly sophisticated means to conduct identity theft and to steal sensitive corporate or government data.
“WDATP now covers more than 700,000 endpoints and is being used in pilots by more than 300 active enterprises participating in 70 countries around the world.”
—Windows Experience Blog
WDATP leverages Microsoft’s internal research and security partner network to provide the data to help IT react to the millions of daily cyber threats. AirWatch helps IT manage the lifecycle of onboarding into and removing a device from WDATP. Admins can also configure sample sharing and retrieve parameters like OrgID, last connected time and status of threat protection sense, among others.
For Educational institutions
For schools and colleges, onboarding thousands of devices can be a cumbersome and expensive process. Using AirWatch and the Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (WICD), admins can create a simple file known as a provisioning package to bootstrap and enroll devices into management with a single click. Once the devices are onboarded, they can be completely managed over the air. Using the WICD tool, multiple settings including MDM details can be specified in the provisioning package as seen below.
We are excited for you to try out all the great new features that are enabled by the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and AirWatch. Register now to learn more about the newest Windows 10 features and take a deep dive into AirWatch support.
Which Windows 10 Anniversary Update are you most excited about for your business? Anything you’d like to see in the next release?
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