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Microsoft Security Essentials

This tag is associated with 2 posts

Evolution of Datacenters – Secure, Scalable and Reliable Cloud Services

I often get asked how Microsoft provides over 200 cloud services and what security measures are in place. There is a good video available that addresses how Microsoft delivers cloud services to more than a billion customers and 20 million businesses in over 70 countries. It is also a fascinating view onto the evolution of modern datacenters and their energy efficiency.

Here it goes:

Securing your computer – it’s simple!


Sometimes I think maybe too much about the needs of medium and large enterprises and don’t put enough emphasis on the security of private computers. An interview with the Tages-Anzeiger (here is the article in german) reminded me to address this issue here.

Microsoft is offering professional tools to first get your computer clean of “critters” and secondly to keep it safe. If you haven’t used a virus scanner for a while, aren’t sure how well it worked, if your computer behaves strangely (and no – not being able to read your mind is NOT strange!) or your subscription to your virus scanner has expired then I recommend that you use first the free Microsoft Safety Scanner (download here). This is a new product that you can download to your harddisk or to an USB drive. It is designed that it runs without internet connection so that you can take it to your parent’s over the weekend to check their computer (something I highly recommend!). It will only work for 10 days so that the virus signatures aren’t too old but you can download it as many times as you want.

Once your computer is cleaned from any “critters” I recommend protecting it with a good virus scanner. One can pay for that or one can use a good free scanner. Windows 8 comes already with built-in Windows Defender so the basic protection is already enabled. For older versions of Windows I recommend the Microsoft Security Essentials. They are free for private use and small businesses with up to 10 PC’s. They run quietly in the background and don’t massively impact on your computer’s performance and have been proven as one of the top security scanners available. The Microsoft Security Essentials is backed by the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC), which provides world-class antimalware research and response capabilities to support all Microsoft security products and services. In addition using the latest Internet Explorer protects you well against many threats and it is an especially good protection against malware. This, combined with having the automatic update enabled on your system, gives you a good starting point against the threats that are storming on a daily basis against your computer.

However, technology can help but the most important thing is still your actions. Be aware on what you click, download applications only from their official source and open only documents from sources that you know and you will be able to enjoy a safe internet experience. And if everything fails or if you are not sure if your system was infected run the Windows Defender Offline – a tool against advanced malware that I described in another post.

About the Author

Reto is partner at PwC Switzerland. He is leading the Cybersecurity practice and is member of PwC Digital Services leadership Team. He has over 15 years work experience in an information security and risk focused IT environment. Prior to working at PwC he was Microsoft's Chief Security Officer for Western Europe and also has work experience as group CIO, Chief Risk Officer, Technical Director and Program Manager.

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