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Best new Windows 10 security features: Passwordless authentication, Chromium-based Edge support

With the new era of Windows as a service, Microsoft is rolling out changes to the operating system twice a year. Many of those changes will allow you to improve your security posture and offer more security choices. You no longer have to wait for a new operating system to deploy new security features.

Windows 10 2004

Microsoft will release Windows 10 2004 to developers in mid-May 2020 and then to the general public at the end of May. Many organizations are on 1903 and have not moved to 1909. Version 2004 has new security features that might make an upgrade worthwhile.

Windows 10 2004 is a spring feature release, so it will have an 18-month servicing time from release date. Version 1909 will be supported until May 11, 2021 for Home, Pro, Pro Education, and Pro for Workstations editions, and until May 10, 2022 for Education and Enterprise versions. This extended due date in response to the impact of the public health situation. Version 2004 was built to minimize update processing time and does not share the code of Windows 10 1903/1909, and thus is a more impactful feature release than version 1909.

Windows 10 Hello

Windows 10 Version 2004 emphasizes passwordless technology and lets you use Windows 10 Hello biometric security system to sign on. To turn this feature on, launch “Settings”. Then click on “Accounts” and “Sign-in options” Under “Require Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts,” select “On”. Once Hello is enabled you can then login for Microsoft services on company devices.

Windows Hello allows for log in with your face, iris, fingerprint, or a PIN. Support depends on you’re your devices support for authentication. Windows Hello can take data from a camera, iris sensor, or fingerprint reader. The data is then encrypted before it’s stored on the device. Research if your hardware supports Windows Hello before deploying it.

Windows Defender Application Guard upgrades

Windows Defender Application Guard is a security tool originally developed for Microsoft’s HTML-based Edge browser. It protects users by isolating files received from untrusted or potentially dangerous sites. In Windows 10 2004 Pro or Enterprise. Application Guard also works in the new Chromium-based Edge and allows Edge extensions to run in containers. This is a change from prior versions, which allowed Device Guard/ Application Guard policies to be created only on Enterprise but enforced on any SKU. Version 2004 allows Application Guard policies for Windows 10 Pro specifically for the new Edge version.

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