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FCW : October 2016
managing the OS than previous versions and experienced improved productivity through faster boot times, better security, easier access to applications and better mobility tools. The study, commissioned by Microsoft, found employees and mobile workers estimate they have 25 percent more time to get work done than they did before. In addition, security features in Windows 10 such as Credential Guard and Device Guard improve client device management. These features also reduce the need for IT remediation and could save organizations up to $700,000 a year. Windows 10 also contributes to an organization’s digital workplace strategy, according to industry researcher Gartner Inc., by supporting a more “cloud-connected, user-centric and self-service environment.” For instance, Windows 10 users have access to Cortana, a virtual personal assistant, and a common cloud-based account that maintains user settings and preferences across multiple devices. Windows 10 can also make adjustments based on the device on which it’s running, creating a single user experience, Gartner reports. MIND MIGRATION SCHEDULES Large-scale migrations such as the DoD’s are challenging, but there are other risks other than scale. Some are specific to government, such as addressing non-traditional applications and maintaining compatibility with certain security standards, such as the DoD Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs). There are many variables that affect migration schedules. It depends on the agency’s technology refresh schedule, how may users are migrating, how widely dispersed they are, whether there is IT staff in remote offices that can help and how many applications need remediation, among other issues. “Everything is supposed to work, but unfortunately, migrating is not always that simple,” says Smid. “That’s why agencies should start small, with a pilot program to test what will work, what will break and how to remediate any problems. It also makes sense to have a back-out plan if necessary.” Agencies should be sure to test any new security patches before moving forward with any broader installation. In Windows 10, Microsoft offers automatic software updates to ensure organizations install security patches as soon as possible. “It’s about having a good plan and a good partner who has been through it before,” says Smid. “It’s about risk avoidance. You can’t eliminate risk, but you can help ensure users don’t end up feeling the pain in the long run.” Iron Bow has spearheaded large migration efforts before, including its own ongoing migration to Windows 10. The company helped the IRS upgrade more than 110,000 seats and thousands of servers at over 600 sites from Windows XP to Windows 7. The legacy IRS enterprise included nearly 6,000 unique software applications that required remediation. That was reduced to just over 1,800 after the migration. Agencies should begin their migration efforts sooner rather than later. “There will always be problems that arise. Although Microsoft has set the expectation that a Windows 10 migration is simple, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security,” says Smid. SPONSORED REPORT For more information, please visit: www.ironbow.com and www.dell.com. WINDOWS 10 DELIVERS ON SECURITY The security features in Windows 10 are of particular interest to government agency users. Here’s a review of some of the fundamental security features: Windows Hello—Biometric sign-in system using a user’s face or fingerprint Microsoft Passport—Combines an enrolled device with biometric information or a PIN for t wo-factor authentication Enterprise Data Protection—Uses an encr ypted container that follows corporate data wherever it goes Credential Guard—Separates credential authentication information from other par ts of the operating system Device Guard—Prevents malware from being installed on devices Secure Boot—Prevents malware from embedding itself within the hardware Windows Defender—Protects against pop-up windows and security threats caused by spy ware IT Mandate-Iron Bow Dell-FCW-24281-0916.indd 3 10/5/16 6:53 AM
September 30, 2016
November and December 2016