Marking a birthday with an update
The core concept of Windows 10 marketing has been increased security features. Visual features like the Windows Hello face and fingerprint recognition have made it a difficult OS to target and exploit. With the Microsoft release of ‘Build 14352 to Fast Ring Insiders’ last week, they announced a forthcoming feature to further improve security.
The weakness in this plan may be that a user must opt-in to enable this feature. The optional feature is called Limited Period Scanning – LPS. It’s aimed at users who run third-party AV software on their machines; if Windows Defender is used, then this runs the scan element already.
Windows 10 LPS is a result of innovations made in the company’s Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT). This tool has a monthly update on Patch Tuesday. Microsoft claim that MSRT scans more than 500 million devices each month. Out of this number, it deals with malware on 1 – 2 million cases of malware, including devices already running third-party anti-malware programs.
One it’s enabled, Windows will use the Windows Defender scanner to periodically check for threats and eliminate them. The scans will use Automatic Maintenance to choose optimal times for the user, PC performance and to conserve energy. If this isn’t maximized, then the user can configure this schedule manually. Limited Period Scanning is intended as an ADDITIONAL defensive layer to complement efficient AV software.
Some users will see this as another M/S incursion into choice, and as forced, through-system marketing, though Microsoft insist that their intention is only to make Windows 10 the most secure OS ever. Time will tell.
The company say that the other big benefit of W10 LPS is that it eliminates conflict. In the past, problems using several scanning programs have lead to scans running at the same time due to resource optimization parameters, and issues on detection. Apparently, M/S are confident that this will not be an issue.
When good working practice is routine, and is combined with regular scans, this goes a long way to negating threats.