Neil MacDonald

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Entries Tagged as 'Windows'


Virtualization, Containers and Other Sandboxing Techniques Should be on Your Radar Screen

by Neil MacDonald  |  March 16, 2013  |  Comments Off

  The idea of “sandboxing” potentially malicious content and applications isn’t new but interest in this type of approach on Windows desktops is growing. Further, the increasing variety of virtualization and abstraction techniques available on Windows create isolation that can be used to provide security separation – aka “sandboxing”. Given the innovation around virtualization techniques […]

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform Next-generation Security Infrastructure Virtualization Virtualization Security     Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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: , , , ,

Is Antivirus Obsolete?

by Neil MacDonald  |  September 13, 2012  |  3 Comments

I blogged about this question years ago, but a recent blog on CSO got me thinking once again. Has anything changed? Thoughts: 1) The question “Has antivirus outlived its value?” is wrong. AV hasn’t been AV for years. Gartner stopped calling the market “AV” back in 2006. Modern Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP – the term […]

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform Information Security Next-generation Security Infrastructure 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: , , , , ,

Does Protecting Desktops Require a Different Vendor/Product than Protecting Servers?

by Neil MacDonald  |  September 29, 2011  |  2 Comments

I’ve made it a point over the past 6 months to ask clients if they are combining their endpoint protection platform contracts across desktops, laptops and servers. In most cases (about 75%), the answer is yes – contracts are being combined in order to reduce complexity and costs. Is protecting a desktop different than a […]

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform Next-generation Security Infrastructure     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: , , , ,

Don’t Trust Your Servers

by Neil MacDonald  |  June 17, 2011  |  3 Comments

One of the toughest problems in information security is addressing advanced intrusions that have bypassed traditional security controls and now reside undetected on enterprise systems. With financially motivated attacks and state-sponsored “advanced persistent threats” both on the rise, intrusions can remain undetectable for extended periods of time. We have reached a point where our systems […]

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Next-generation Security Infrastructure Virtualization Virtualization Security     Tags: , , , , , , , ,