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Windows Creators Update to improve Defender’s detection and response

Why it matters to you

An ever vigilant Windows Defender is an important part of Windows security, so Microsoft's actions in keeping it updated should help keep us all safe.

Microsoft is continuing to update its Windows Defender platform and will issue a big overhaul to some of its functions in the upcoming Creators Update. Specifically, it will improve the ways in which the anti-malware software detects, investigates and responds to a range of threats from different actors.

Along with Windows Firewall, Windows Defender is seen by many as the baseline of defense for a Windows-based PC. It can go hand in hand with third-party antivirus and anti-malware products, but Windows Defender is the first and last step in protecting many millions of systems the world over. So, keeping it updated and capable of tackling the latest threats is rather important.

In the Creators Update, Microsoft will update its ability to detect memory and kernel intrusions, where typically attackers could hide from traditional detection methods. Microsoft claims to have already leveraged this ability to prevent new zero-day attacks on Windows and has used machine learning to counter the changing trends in attack vectors.

Customers can even add in their own indications of intrusion to augment the detection dictionary.

Opening up the anti-malware process to consumers is a major part of the changes Microsoft is making in the Creators Update. When it comes to threat investigation, Microsoft has added a “single pane of glass across the entire Windows security stack.” In essence, everyone will be able to see what Windows Defender is doing: what it’s blocking, what it’s quarantining and what it’s keeping an eye on.

All of that will be available within a single view to make it easier for security teams to analyse potential and historic threats to the system. This should enable a deeper understanding of the types of attacks coming in, which makes it easier for security professionals and end users to prevent further attacks in the future.

IT managers will be able to look at up to six months of logs for an entire organization’s cloud-connected systems, to provide historic context for any studied attacks.

Giving those same security professionals additional power to combat ongoing attacks, Windows Defender’s update response system will give them manual controls for isolating machines, banning certain files from the network, and killing and quarantining certain processes or files.

All of that and more will be added as part of the upcoming Creators Update. If you’d like to try it out now, you can start a free trial with the Advanced Thread Protection system today.