Microsoft has been on an aggressive push to get consumers and customers to upgrade to Windows 10. The company has been pushing the narrative since the platform launched. Now, Microsoft wants as many people as possible on supported Windows 10 builds. Security is the reason, the company says.

The company is back with another blog post highlighting the secure nature of Windows 10. Every so often, Microsoft likes to double down and let us all know how protective Windows Defender is. The last such boast came just before the Fall Creators Update.

This time Tanmay Ganacharya, Principal Group Manager, Windows Defender Research, describes Windows 10 as a “worthy upgrade”. He says 2017 highlighted the threat posed by ransomware. Some of the highlights of ransomware during the year were:

  • Three global outbreaks showed the force of ransomware in making real-world impact, affecting corporate networks and bringing down critical services like hospitals, transportation, and traffic systems
  • Three million unique computers encountered ransomware; millions more saw downloader trojans, exploits, emails, websites and other components of the ransomware kill chain
  • New attack vectors, including compromised supply chain, exploits, phishing emails, and documents taking advantage of the DDE feature in Office were used to deliver ransomware
  • More than 120 new ransomware families, plus countless variants of established families and less prevalent ransomware caught by heuristic and generic detections, emerged from a thriving cybercriminal enterprise powered by ransomware-as-a-service

He says users still on Windows 7 should upgrade to Windows 10 ASAP. The older version of the platform is 3.4 times more likely to receive a ransomware attack. Ganacharya says this is because Windows 7 lacks a “built-in end-to-end stack defense”, which is found in Windows 10.

WannaCry was a now infamous ransomware attack last year that affected Windows. However, Ganacharya points out it was mostly on Windows 7 as Windows 10 has integrated protection.

Ransom Mitigation

He says the newest versions of Windows have several mitigations to protect against ransomware. These mitigations include Windows Defender Application Control, Credential Guard, and Windows Defender System Guard (Secure Boot).

Ganacharya went on to say:

“With all of these security technologies, Microsoft has built the most secure Windows version ever with Windows 10. While the threat landscape will continue to evolve in 2018 and beyond, we don’t stop innovating and investing in security solutions that continue to harden Windows 10 against attacks. The twice-per-year feature update release cycle reflects our commitment to innovate and to make it easier to disrupt successful attack techniques with new protection features. Upgrading to Windows 10 not only means decreased risk; it also means access to advanced, multi-layered defense against ransomware and other types of modern attacks.”