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How does Windows 8.1 support affect Active Directory?

Windows 8.1 support for endpoint security includes Open MDM and biometrics, but removing Remote Server Administration Tools can affect Active Directory.

As with previous editions of Windows, administrators rely on Active Directory in Windows 8.1 to ensure software gets updated and to troubleshoot connections between network endpoints. Active Directory is also the primary means for authenticating users, which has become more important given security concerns for bring your own device programs.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 provides an application programming interface for mobile device management (MDM) support through Open MDM. This is good news for users of MDM applications from vendors like Air Watch and Mobile Iron.

Windows 8.1 also offers improved biometrics with support for fingerprint-based access. Microsoft has provided fingerprint biometrics in the past, but it depended on other vendors for drivers.

It's also possible to set encryption to always be on in Windows 8.1, but admins will need to understand the hardware requirements and know which drives are affected.

In addition, Group Policy settings, such as enabling the local administrator account, can affect password policies and how a PC joins a domain.

Operating system patches and updates are generally welcome, but we do encounter occasional problems. For instance, upgrading to Windows 8.1 can remove Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), and this can disrupt Active Directory services. You can download RSAT directly from Microsoft.

Next Steps

Fix single sign-on, which threatens Windows 8.1

Five Windows 8.1 settings can tighten security

Enable the local admin account and other settings for troubleshooting

Don't make assumptions around Windows 8.1 security

A look at Windows 8.1 includes enterprise security features

Microsoft tries to entice IT with Windows 8.1 enhancements

Windows 8.1 update includes BYOD support

Windows 8 security gets a boost from Windows 8.1 features

This was last published in February 2015

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Are you doing anything differently for desktop security with Windows 8.1 support and Active Directory?
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Since upgrading to Windows 8.1 we have not radically changed the security procedures and protocols that we have been using. The Windows 8.1 support along with the Active Directory gives my company the needed security utilities for everyday office and staff use. For mobile device interfacing we have begun beefing up the compatible Android systems that interface with Windows 8.1 to prevent sensitive data from becoming vulnerable or compromised.
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Interesting to see the biometrics field heat up with improvements in Windows 8.1, Apple have been ‘patently’ (3 applied for in January) busy here.
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