5 Tips to Secure a Windows Environment

Tips to secure a Windows environment

Because Microsoft Windows is such a key component of so many enterprise and development environments, securing the platform is vital for ensuring efficient and secure software delivery.

This can be a challenging process for many organizations. While many tools exist for organizations to manage vulnerabilities in their software, the vast majority of these were initially built for use with Linux OS, resulting in gaps in functionality when they’re used for Windows. The market has been slow to respond to this the need for better Window-first solutions.

Here are some best practices for securing a Windows environment.

Create and maintain a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM)

An SBOM is a machine-readable artifact that’s an inventory of all software components present in the software. The goal of SBOMs is to provide greater transparency on the composition of software, its dependencies, provenance, and the potential risk associated with such components. The SBOM is quite important to better manage Windows-based vulnerabilities. This includes the discovery, prioritization and remediation phases of vulnerability management. By using a Dynamic SBOM, organizations can get a holistic and comprehensive understanding of their software attack surface, discover all Windows-related software components including open source and third-party components/packages, map associated vulnerabilities and validate them in order to understand the risk associated with such components, and prioritize and remediate Windows high-risk vulnerabilities.

Address vulnerabilities from non-Microsoft software and Windows-bundled software

Third-party software will no doubt be introduced into an organization’s environment at some point to enhance the functionality of Windows, and that makes it important to identify and remediate any vulnerabilities that such software might have. It’s also a good idea to deal with any vulnerabilities in software that’s bundled into the Windows platform. Any vulnerability scanning should include not just the Windows operating system itself, but any bundled applications included with it.

Repair unpatched or incompatible drivers

Systems today rely on a variety of hardware devices and services, and this can create problems such as vulnerabilities or incompatibility of drivers. Given that drivers are a source of security issues, teams need to make sure they are properly patched, or removed if they are no longer supported. The need to address issues with drivers might not always be obvious because the focus with remediation is typically on software code rather than on standalone components such as drivers. But this should be part of the overall security strategy.

Deploy data encryption

Even when data falls into the hands of cybercriminals it can still be protected via encryption. This is a simple way to keep data from being exposed. Microsoft offers a tool called BitLocker for file encryption with some versions of Windows. The key is to remember to actually use this feature, particularly for highly sensitive information.

Leverage other security solutions and processes to achieve layered security

As part of the Windows security strategy, organizations should take advantage of existing security tools such as firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection and prevention systems and multi-factor authentication to make their Windows environments more secure. These technologies can help protect against unauthorized access to resources and identify possible threats. Companies should also bolster their password management processes, including using stronger passwords for access to Windows.

How Rezilion can help secure your Windows environment

Rezilion’s Dynamic SBOM can be deployed in all software environments – both Windows and Linux simultaneously  – and provides a real-time versus static inventory of all software components in a single graphical UI. Rezilion’s solution also integrates dynamic runtime analysis to not only detect software vulnerabilities, but validate their actual exploitability, helping teams to clear away “false-positive” scan results and avoid wasteful patching work that shifts resources away from build activity.

Learn more about Rezilion’s Dynamic SBOM at https://www.rezilion.com/platform/dynamic-sbom/.

Book a demo today to learn more about Rezilion’s Windows software security solutions a https://www.rezilion.com/lp/windows-security-demo/.

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