Microsoft has introduced a series of firewall enhancements to Windows 11, aimed at both individual users but mostly IT professionals. The improvements include the introduction of passkeys for passwordless authentication, phish-resistant credentials with Windows Hello for Business Passwordless, and new configurations in Windows Firewall.
Passkeys: The Future of Secure Sign-In
Windows 11 is set to make it significantly more challenging for hackers exploiting stolen passwords through phishing attacks by enabling users to replace passwords with passkeys. These cryptographic credentials, promoted by Microsoft and other technology leaders as part of the FIDO Alliance, are securely stored on the user's device. Users can manage passkeys on their Windows 11 device through a management dashboard, enhancing the security of sign-in processes across various platforms.
Config Refresh ensures policy configurations remain secure, and Custom App Control, allowing only trusted applications on devices. Additionally, Windows Firewall has received upgrades, including more granular logging and the ability to configure network list manager settings, enhancing overall protection.
A Step Towards Eliminating Passwords
Microsoft's global threat intelligence has highlighted the prevalence of password attacks, with more than 4,000 occurring every second. The introduction of passkeys and multifactor authentication features in Windows 11 aims to mitigate the risks associated with such attacks. These features, along with the advancements in Windows Firewall and the tools provided to IT teams, signify Microsoft's ongoing commitment to improving security from the chip to the cloud.
Microsoft has been working on a passwordless feature for many years. Last month, the company brought on-device encryption for passwords and auto-verification for CAPTCHAs on Microsoft Edge.