Microsoft has vastly enhanced system security in Windows 10. Windows Defender, which is embedded as part of the Windows 10 operating system, features an integrated tool for antispyware. The Windows Defender and Windows Firewall are believed to provide better protection for the devices based on the Windows 10 operating system. However, tests seem to prove that the Windows Defender could at best provide basic protection for computers and other devices.
In real world testing, the Windows Defender demonstrated a detection rate of 87.7%, which is quite low, as other security products have demonstrated the capability to detect malware 100%. Malware detection is a very important feature for security suites, and this low detection rate emphasizes the need for an effective antivirus software.
New malware threats and vulnerabilities are discovered everyday, and how rapidly Microsoft could update their security system for Windows 10 in order to rapidly respond to the threat is yet to be seen. Typically, other security product manufacturers respond rapidly, and update their products to take care of novel threats. Zero-day malware attacks are becoming quite common, and effective protection is necessary.
Windows Operating Systems Prone to Virus Attacks
Worldwide, when compared to other operating systems, Windows 10 and other Windows operating systems are very popular, and hence are a favorite target for malware and virus attacks. Viruses impact computers in many ways. They could typically corrupt, modify or delete files; slow down the system; send spam to contacts; log keystrokes; steal sensitive data such as passwords; and render the device unusable.
When computers and devices are induced to execute malicious software, such as a Trojan horse program, they can be co-opted into a botnet. This would allow a botnet operator to control the infected botnet computer, and use it to send email spam, and mount denial-of-service attacks. The computer turns into a zombie.
Ransomware trojans such as CryptoLockers infect computers through email attachments. This malware uses RSA public-key cryptography to encrypt files on the infected computer. Though the CryptoLocker infection can be removed, it is nearly impossible to decrypt the files without the key, which requires payment of ransom.
Attackers often target the internet browser and plug-ins and anti-malware products offer anti-exploit programs that help repel such attacks.
Features of Antivirus Programs for Windows 10
Security products for computers and other devices typically bundle an antivirus program, firewall, and intrusion prevention and detection systems. Antivirus programs prevent threats from viruses, malware and hackers. They also detect existing virus infections, spyware and rootkits in the system and remove them.
Firewalls are based on defined security rules and are used to secure the network. All incoming and outgoing network traffic are monitored and controlled based on these rules.
Intrusion prevention systems help monitor the processes and applications on the computer. They help block malicious program activity. Sandboxing is a process that runs all unrecognized processes and applications under specific restrictions. Running of the unrecognized process in this virtual environment would not affect the computer or device in any way. This could help prevent newly developed infections and the CryptoLocker infection.
Vulnerability of Windows 10
Microsoft is offering free upgrade to Windows 10 operating system from Windows 7 and Windows 8. It has stopped support for Windows XP, and support for Windows Vista could probably be stopped shortly. Lack of support or updates for the older operating systems make them more vulnerable to infections, and users will have no option but upgrade to Windows 10. With all Windows users being induced to upgrade to Windows 10, cyber criminals and hackers would be targeting their energies at Windows 10.
Security vulnerabilities will exist, more will be found, and newer ways of attacks would be mounted.
Records would show that dedicated security product companies deliver better antivirus products than Microsoft. Though it has been argued that Microsoft security products are sufficient for baseline system work when the user is careful enough to avoid opening suspicious mails or virus programs, most virus programs masquerade as safe programs or files. Computer or device users cannot be expected to have the knowledge to discern between harmful and harmless files or programs. An antivirus program is hence, essential for Windows 10 operating systems.