Fintech Mobile & Online Security

Windows 10: The key to unlocking unified IT

Windows 10: The key to unlocking unified IT. Photo by ymgerman, Shutterstock.com
Written by Chris Koeneman

Windows 7 has been the financial industry’s operating system of choice for some time, but its days are numbered, says Chris Koeneman.

A lot can happen in eight years, especially where enterprise IT is concerned. While Windows 7 has been the corporate operating system of choice for what seems like forever, there’s no doubt this technology’s days are numbered.

In fact, Microsoft already announced that there will be no new Windows 7 feature updates, and that security patches will completely stop after January 2020. Despite this news, there are still organisations all over the world that continue to use this outdated operating system – it still owns almost 49% of the entire desktop operating system market share. If your company hasn’t given much thought to a Windows 10 upgrade yet, its sensitive data and IT assets could face severe risks very soon.

Many folks, myself included, consider Windows 10 the first truly mobile operating system because of its ability to manage and secure all IT devices from a single platform – this includes desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and pretty much any other gadget a financial services firm could use. Plus, this next-generation operating system is optimised for the enterprise technology needs of today, not 2009.

While some organisations still need to update legacy system infrastructure before they can make Windows 10 work, early adopters such as the US Department of Defense already enjoy this software’s “immense security advances”. By integrating this version-less product with Microsoft’s full cloud services suite, organisations have already ensured secure, real-time access to customer data from virtually anywhere and any device … forever, on more than 400 million global IT assets. No hidden or costly software upgrades necessary.

A unified IT management platform isn’t the only benefit Windows 10 brings to businesses, however. In addition to reduced complexity, this operating system also introduces a new generation of mobile software capabilities and protections. The Windows 10 features listed below are just part of why financial services companies (and everybody else) are adopting this operating system 115% faster than its predecessor:

  • Cortana. As more and more IT assets make virtual assistants a standard feature, organisations are benefiting from remote employees equipped with mobile knowledge bases, so why shouldn’t in-office workers have the same advantage? Windows 10 not only makes Microsoft’s virtual assistant available for desktop technology, it also creates new search capabilities to gather data across a company’s PCs, applications and networks. Now, financial services companies can take advantage of company-wide data visibility to access information from anywhere and on any device.
  • Device Guard. As reliable as Windows 7 has been, it’s no longer a match for numerous modern malware threats such as the Secure Boot Bypass, which exploits flaws in the operating system’s startup process to install rootkits and other troublesome things. In addition to fixing vulnerabilities like this, Windows 10’s Device Guard feature allows financial services companies to control user application access and accelerate device startup times by almost 30%.
  • Windows Information Protection. Windows Information Protection (WIP) is a security tool that creates hardware-based safeguards to store user login credentials in virtualised containers, protect enterprise data, and enforce predetermined user compliance and access policies. As the number of employee-owned mobile devices increases in financial service companies, WIP gives enterprises additional abilities to prevent data leaks through user applications, email accounts, social media posts, or public cloud storage systems.
  • Microsoft Passport and Windows Hello. When combined, these features enable employees to log into Windows 10 devices securely without a password, eliminating repetitive login processes and the need for workers to remember multiple sets of software credentials. More importantly, this creates interactive, personal and nimble customer service efforts that lead to a much more enjoyable and streamlined overall customer experience.
  • Windows Update for Business. Operating system updates are great if a business knows exactly when and how to deploy them. Windows 10 has the potential to make any financial services company an expert. By pairing this feature with Current Branch (Microsoft’s model for testing updates and new tools), organisations can customise any Microsoft update’s rollout to reduce IT expenses and increase program control.
  • Windows Store for Business. As mobile applications grow increasingly popular for work-related tasks, being able to manage employee behaviour and access is paramount to IT success. This Windows 10 tool helps businesses minimise the impact shadow IT can have by centralising the acquisition, management and distribution of all enterprise applications. Financial services organisations can lock down questionable applications and prevent employees from downloading, installing and/or accessing them in the first place.

As anyone can see, there’s more than a few reasons why 86% of organisations – financial services or otherwise – plan to upgrade to Windows 10 by 2020. Will your company use Windows 10 to ensure successful and unified IT management?

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Photo by ymgerman, Shutterstock.com

About the author

Chris Koeneman

Chris Koeneman is senior vice president at Mobi. He has extensive experience in developing go-to-market strategies for technology organisations, and has held leadership positions with AT&T, Intel and Cisco, among others, as well as innovative startups. Chris has led global teams focused on networking infrastructure, cloud services, and virtualisation solutions sold through OEMs, channel partners and direct, and has been part of two successful wireless acquisitions.

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