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Top 10 enterprise desktop and Windows security stories of 2013

Don't miss our most popular Windows security stories of 2013, including coverage of Windows 8.1 features, IE and Office flaws, and mobile security.

There were a lot of developments in enterprise IT this past year, but the end of security worries for administrators wasn't one of them. The shift from desktop security to endpoint security management, a new operating system from Microsoft, and the ongoing race against malware and other attacks made 2013 another eventful year for IT security.

Here are SearchEnterpriseDesktop's top 10 stories about Windows security and related issues for the year.

10. Enterprises can't afford a half-baked mobile security strategy

IT admins are right to be concerned about the influx of mobile devices into the enterprise. The first step is to know what devices are being used, from company-owned laptops to employee-owned smartphones and tablets. Remember issues such as data leakage and levels of control. You can't lock down everything, but you can have a solid endpoint security plan.

9. Windows Server Update Services weaknesses you may not know about

Microsoft's Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) might be free, but that doesn't make it the best way to maintain Windows security. False reports, the constant need for patches and other concerns might well lead you to consider third-party patch management tools beyond WSUS.

8. Top five Windows 8 security features new to Windows 8.1

Microsoft has beefed up security with the Windows 8.1 release. Check out five new Windows security features, including remote business data removal, Workplace Join and biometrics support. They might persuade you to make the upgrade to the latest OS version.

7. Beat bad browser behavior by troubleshooting Internet Explorer 10

Everybody uses Microsoft Internet Explorer 10, so it should be secure, right? Wrong. The Web browser can still suffer from performance problems and get hit by malware, so check out these IE 10 troubleshooting tips.

6. Q&A: Microsoft's Erwin Visser on Windows 8.1 updates, security

In this exclusive interview, TechTarget discusses Microsoft's plans for Windows 8.1 with Erwin Visser, general manager of the company's Windows commercial division. He responds to questions about Windows security across devices and a faster pace for updates.

5. Windows 8.1 biometric support increases security, but do you need it?

Among the new and updated security features in Windows 8.1 are support for the Windows Biometrics Framework, fingerprint-based authentication and Windows Store apps. The question remains, though: Will you use them?

More on desktop and Windows security

Sharp HealthCare finds a prescription for desktop security

The best endpoint security products of 2013

Five popular Windows security tips from last summer

Application sandboxing can help IT get proactive with desktop security

Enterprise security is challenged by supercookies

How do document Windows desktop security policies

Finding the best Windows security log analysis tools

4. Securing Windows 8 with the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface

The Basic Input Output System (BIOS) was responsible for hardware startup for years, but Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 support the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Before you move to the new OS, be aware of differences between BIOS and UEFI, and note that Linux may not run smoothly on UEFI machines without a workaround.

3. Windows 8.1 security, management enhancements entice enterprise IT

Microsoft hopes that new desktop management features and tighter security in Windows 8.1 will encourage enterprises to migrate to its latest OS, but are they enough to overcome institutional inertia and user reluctance to learn the new interface?

2. Microsoft Office 2013 crackable, so look to Office password recovery

With all the attention around Windows security, it's easy to forget about Microsoft Office security. However, Office 2013 passwords were cracked before the product even shipped, so make sure you know how to use Office password recovery to defend your systems.

1. Comparing Windows Defender in Windows 8 vs. third-party malware tools

Our most popular Windows security tip of the past year acknowledges that Windows 8 is more secure than its predecessors. That's partly because of Windows Defender, a built-in antimalware utility. Tests compared Windows Defender with third-party products in terms of protection, performance and usability, and the results may surprise you.

Let's hope that Microsoft's Patch Tuesday releases and any protective measures your IT shop takes are successful in the coming year!

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Was 2013 a good year or a bad one for your IT security?