Neil MacDonald

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Entries Categorized as 'Windows 7'


What the Most Recent Zero Day in IE Should Teach Us

by Neil MacDonald  |  September 22, 2012  |  Comments Off

  I saw yesterday that Microsoft had released the out of band patch for Internet Explorer as they had committed to do. Certainly, Microsoft’s motivation to quickly release the patch out of band was affected by calls from various enterprises and governments to ban the use of IE until the issue was resolved. What can [...]

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Category: Microsoft Microsoft Security Windows 7 Windows 8     Tags: , , , ,

If a Tree Falls in the Forest, is it Encrypted?

by Neil MacDonald  |  September 6, 2012  |  1 Comment

There’s a story behind the title of this blog Recently, I had a discussion in regards to Microsoft’s BitLocker with a client. One of the issues I call out in my research on BitLocker is that (unlike competing third party products), Microsoft doesn’t have an option to synchronize the pre-boot PIN with the Windows login [...]

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Category: General Technology Information Security Microsoft Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , ,

Windows 8 Raises the Bar for Security

by Neil MacDonald  |  September 28, 2011  |  1 Comment

I’ve been out the past two weeks visiting with clients and have been meaning to summarize my impression of the upcoming Windows 8 (expected mid 2012) from a security point of view. I attended Microsoft’s recent BUILD conference for developers where Windows 8 made its first official appearance. You can see my real-time tweets and [...]

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Information Security Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Single Most Important Way to Improve Endpoint Security

by Neil MacDonald  |  August 23, 2011  |  2 Comments

Run more of your Windows users without administrator rights. I’ve talked about this several times before – including here, here and here. While it may not be feasible to remove administrator rights from all users, it is an absolutely achievable goal to continue to improve the percentage of Windows users running without administrator rights year [...]

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , , ,

Full Drive Encryption is not just for Laptops

by Neil MacDonald  |  August 22, 2011  |  3 Comments

I’ve had two discussions with clients today already on the role of full drive encryption ( FDE technologies such as Microsoft’s BitLocker, McAfee Total Protection, Sophos/Utimaco, Symantec PGP, Check Point, Trend/Mobile Armor etc) for fixed desktops. Full drive encryption should be considered mandatory for laptops and most organizations have implemented this – either with Windows [...]

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform Information Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , ,

Microsoft’s Forefront Endpoint Protection – Is it “Good Enough”?

by Neil MacDonald  |  August 4, 2011  |  Comments Off

Licensing changes for Microsoft’s enterprise endpoint antimalware protection solution that were announced in March at Microsoft’s MMS conference take affect this month. If you are licensed under Microsoft’s Core Client Access License program, it now includes CALs for Forefront Endpoint Protection. For many organizations that are already licensed under Core CAL, this means that FEP [...]

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Category: Endpoint Protection Platform Microsoft Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , ,

Google’s Chrome Browser has a Zero Day – So?

by Neil MacDonald  |  May 13, 2011  |  Comments Off

I saw this article recently describing an attack against one or more zero day vulnerabilities in Google’s Chrome browser. Worse, the attack reportedly is able to break outside of the “sandbox” (created by the use of mandatory integrity controls within Windows) and execute code at a different trust level. The attack is reportedly not stopped [...]

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Category: Application Security Information Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , ,

Removing Administrator Rights for Windows Users is not “Lockdown”

by Neil MacDonald  |  May 4, 2011  |  Comments Off

In discussions with clients, I still run into some confusion on whether or not removal of administrator rights constitutes “lockdown”. Perhaps this was the case a few years ago with older Windows applications and Windows XP, but this is not the case today with Windows 7.  For example: Standard users can install and execute well-written [...]

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , , , ,

Two Lessons for Information Security from the iPhone and iPad

by Neil MacDonald  |  May 2, 2011  |  3 Comments

Rapid adoption rates, three hundred and fifty thousand apps, but not much malware. What gives? 1) The power of whitelisting. Call it what you may, but having Apple act as the steward of all applications via its App Store is a form of whitelisting (where the list of approved applications [whitelist] is defined by those [...]

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform Information Security Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , , , , ,

Even With Windows 7, Privilege Management Tools May be Needed

by Neil MacDonald  |  April 8, 2011  |  Comments Off

One of the top recommendations I made to increase your security “bang for the buck” in 2011 was to increase the percentage of users that run without administrative access. For clients, we’ve recently published a research note that details the best practices for removing administrator rights from Windows users. One of the best practices is [...]

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Category: Microsoft Security Windows 7     Tags: , , ,