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Microsoft Security

Windows 11 enables security by design from the chip to the cloud

Over the last year, PCs have kept us connected to family, friends, and enabled businesses to continue to run. This new hybrid work paradigm has got us thinking about how we will continue to deliver the best possible quality, experience, and security for the more than 1 billion people who use Windows. While we have adapted to working from home, it’s been rare to get through a day without reading an account of a new cybersecurity threat. Phishing, ransomware, supply chain, and IoT vulnerabilities—attackers are constantly developing new approaches to wreak digital havoc.

But as attacks have increased in scope and sophistication, so have we. Microsoft has a clear vision for how to help protect our customers now and in the future and we know our approach works.

Today, we are announcing Windows 11 to raise security baselines with new hardware security requirements built-in that will give our customers the confidence that they are even more protected from the chip to the cloud on certified devices. Windows 11 is redesigned for hybrid work and security with built-in hardware-based isolation, proven encryption, and our strongest protection against malware.

Security by design: Built-in and turned on

Security by design has long been a priority at Microsoft. What other companies invest more than $1 billion a year on security and employ more than 3,500 dedicated security professionals?

We’ve made significant strides in that journey to create chip-to-cloud Zero Trust out of the box. In 2019, we announced secured-core PCs that apply security best-practices to the firmware layer, or device core, that underpins Windows. These devices combine hardware, software, and OS protections to help provide end-to-end safeguards against sophisticated and emerging threats like those against hardware and firmware that are on the rise according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology as well as the Department of Homeland Security. Our Security Signals report found that 83 percent of businesses experienced a firmware attack, and only 29 percent are allocating resources to protect this critical layer.

With Windows 11, we’re making it easier for customers to get protection from these advanced attacks out of the box. All certified Windows 11 systems will come with a TPM 2.0 chip to help ensure customers benefit from security backed by a hardware root-of-trust.

The Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a chip that is either integrated into your PC’s motherboard or added separately into the CPU. Its purpose is to help protect encryption keys, user credentials, and other sensitive data behind a hardware barrier so that malware and attackers can’t access or tamper with that data.

PCs of the future need this modern hardware root-of-trust to help protect from both common and sophisticated attacks like ransomware and more sophisticated attacks from nation-states. Requiring the TPM 2.0 elevates the standard for hardware security by requiring that built-in root-of-trust.

TPM 2.0 is a critical building block for providing security with Windows Hello and BitLocker to help customers better protect their identities and data. In addition, for many enterprise customers, TPMs help facilitate Zero Trust security by providing a secure element for attesting to the health of devices.

Windows 11 also has out of the box support for Azure-based Microsoft Azure Attestation (MAA) bringing hardware-based Zero Trust to the forefront of security, allowing customers to enforce Zero Trust policies when accessing sensitive resources in the cloud with supported mobile device managements (MDMs) like Intune or on-premises.

This next level of hardware security is compatible with upcoming Pluton-equipped systems and also any device using the TPM 2.0 security chip, including hundreds of devices available from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic, and many others.

Windows 11 is a smarter way for everyone to collaborate, share, and present—with the confidence of hardware-backed protections.

Learn more

For more information, check out the other features that come with Windows 11:

To learn more about Microsoft Security solutions, visit our website. Bookmark the Security blog to keep up with our expert coverage on security matters. Also, follow us at @MSFTSecurity for the latest news and updates on cybersecurity.