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GCN : October 2012
16 GCN OCTOBER 2012 • GCN.COM would allow feds to work from home and enable telework and continuity of operations plans. However, there are some restrictions. Key drives must be cer- tified as USB 3. You can use a USB 2 port on a host system, but the drive itself must be USB 3. The portable drive must also report itself as a fixed drive to the OS, something only a few do FEATURE ANALYSIS 4 STEPS TO BETTER SECURITY IN WINDOWS 8 When Windows 8 splashes down, a lot of the attention ini- tially will be on its tablet-style interface. But for government agencies, the big focus will be on its improved security. Here are four significant steps Microsoft has taken to strengthen security in the new OS. 1. GOODBYE BIOS, HELLO UEFI. The Basic Input/Output Sys- tem has been a trusty bridge between the hardware and the OS since 1976, but it's also proved to be vulnerable to hacking, as the National Institute of Standards and Technology has pointed out. Windows 8 will work with the BIOS, but Microsoft plans to replace it with the more secure Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. With UEFI, Windows 8 checks the master boot record to ensure that everything is still in a pristine state, a process called Secure Boot. If root kits or other malware have changed anything at all, or if the connection between Windows 8 and UEFI is blocked, UEFI won't allow a system to start up. 2. TRUSTED BOOT. This feature scans every file being loaded during the boot phase and identifies any that have been replaced or modified. If they have, Windows 8 draws the real file from a secure area and continues to boot. It also loads anti-virus software first, including the pre-installed Windows Defender, to undo the hacker trick of writing malware that loads before antivirus and can stop antivirus from working. 3. BITLOCKER ACCESS. Windows 8 makes it easier to manage systems encrypted with the BitLocker program by granting admins access to protected systems under certain circumstances. This eliminates a sticking point on using BitLocker, because a previ- ous lack of access prevented admins from applying updates to encrypted systems. 4. WINDOWS TO GO. All versions of the new OS will support Windows to Go, which lets you keep your OS on a secure USB 3 flash drive and work with it on any computer. It would allow government employees to work from just about any place while keeping all data on the secure drive, and could help boost tele- work and continuity of operations plans. • Sponsored by General Dynamics Information Technology SCAN THIS QR CODE with your smartphone for the full research report. TOPICS INCLUDE Wireless networks: Getting ahead of the demand Bandwidth hogs: What's on your network? Under attack: Network security trends The cloud: An extension of your network Future pipes: 4 networking technologies for the future GCN.com/ModernNetwork TO LEARN MORE, VISIT Modernizing the Network SPECIAL REPORT