Microsoft often talks about the security benefits of Windows 10. The company says it is the most secure platform for both consumers and organizations. However, new research by enterprise software company 1E suggests organizations are actually at risk due to the way they migrate Windows 10.
The report points out that many companies are opting to install Windows 10 via an in-place upgrade. Because this is happening frequently, many organizations are missing the advanced security features. Windows 10 security suite features like Secure Boot and Device Guard are missing when using in-place upgrades.
If you are unfamiliar with the term, an in-place upgrade is the upgrading of an operating system without removing the previous OS. This installation process can cause issues if the new OS is different in many aspects from the older OS.
For example, upgrading to Windows 10 from older Windows versions may cause problems because they are very different. When this happens, it is recommended that a “clean install” be conducted where all the data is saved off machine and restored.
This is a full reinstall that basically start the OS as new. Companies are avoiding a clean install, opting for the in-place upgrades to save the data and avoid having to reinstall applications. Because organizations are avoiding clean installs, they are unprotected from security threats.
Of course, it is not directly Microsoft's fault and not a direct cause of Windows 10. Indeed, it is companies taking the easier option that makes them more vulnerable. If organizations choose the clean install option they would get the in-built security that would keep the migration process safe.
Companies Choose Windows 10 for Security
1E conducted a survey that involved 500 IT managers in the United States. The results show that companies are choosing Windows 10 specifically for its security benefits. 47 percent of those asked said that security was the primary factor for adoptions. Two in three of all respondents say their organizations have been subjected to security breaches.
“Companies clearly want a more secure operating system by adopting Windows 10,” said Sumir Karayi, founder and CEO of 1E, “but in the rush to get there, organizations can end up being inadequately protected and would benefit from a more methodical approach.”