Seven for 7: Best Practices for Implementing Windows 7

If you’re planning to roll out Microsoft's Windows 7, now is the time to review your endpoint and data protection practices for all your Windows PCs. These 7 steps will help you make a seamless, secure migration.

Windows 7 security features and updates

What kind of security does Windows 7 provide, and how can users safely deploy this new operating system? What security improvements has Microsoft made over its previous versions of Windows?

Watch Windows 7 - Security updates and features

Sophos experts Chester Wisniewski and Michael Argast of Sophos Canada discuss the latest security updates and features of Windows 7. Watch now

1. Stop the threats

An obvious but important step is to use anti-virus software to prevent, detect and remove all the different types of malware that have the potential to cause considerable damage to your systems and your data.

2. Ensure safe web browsing

The internet has rapidly become a mission-critical tool for many businesses. As a result innocent websites have become targets for malware writers and hackers looking to infect visitors with the aim of stealing company confidential information, spreading malicious code or even creating botnets for distributing further malware or spam.

3. Keep computers patched

Rogue hackers are focusing more than ever on exploiting holes in third-party plugins and anything that retrieves content from the internet. Attackers continue to target the operating system, but are increasingly looking to applications your browser loads to view media, documents, and other file types.

4. Bolster your DLP

The malware threat used to be about the writers making as much noise as possible to gain notoriety. However, more recently it has become a criminal enterprise that’s out to steal personal information. In light of this, you should also consider the steps you can take to protect your data from accidentally getting into the wrong hands.

5. Manage user privileges

Windows 7 provides more ways than ever to ensure a safe secure computing environment. With the introduction of User Account Control (UAC) Microsoft provides more control for network administrators to ease users into running with standard user accounts. When UAC is enabled it prevents users from making system level changes without an administrator’s approval. This better secures desktops from drive-by malware attacks taking advantage of users Administrative rights, but also simplifies the process for administrators to authorize behaviors that they know to be safe.

6. Prevent security loopholes

With more and more employees looking for increased mobility, it’s becoming harder for you to ensure that all computers, including roaming laptops, are meeting the levels of security you need to protect your business, such as running an up-to-date anti-virus solution and having their firewalls enabled.

7. Educate your users

A safe-computing policy should include rules that prohibit downloading executables and documents directly from the internet or via email, running or opening unsolicited executables, documents and spreadsheets, and playing computer games or using screensavers that did not come with the operating system.

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