Windows 10

DoD Goes All In with Windows 10 to Improve Security

The US Department of Defense is one of the largest enterprise IT customers in the world, and it just launched an initiative to upgrade all systems and devices–roughly four million in all–to Windows 10 over the course of the next year. The decision by the DoD to go all in with Windows 10 is a huge victory for Microsoft and a significant vote of confidence for Windows 10.

Windows 10 is about to get a boost in market share thanks to the United States Department of Defense. Windows 10 is already active on more than 200 million devices, and that number is about to increase substantially thanks to the DoD—one of the largest enterprise customers in the world—announcing an initiative to update all systems and devices to Windows 10.

According to a post on the Microsoft on Government blog, the Secretary of Defense has directed all DoD agencies currently using legacy operating systems to standardize on Windows 10. Deployments will begin immediately, and all four million DoD systems and devices are expected to be upgraded to Windows 10 within one year. It is an unprecedented move for the DoD and will be the largest deployment of Windows 10 to date.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the DoD faced 10 million cyber attacks per day in 2012. It’s safe to assume that number has grown since then—both as a function of increased reliance on technology and an expansion of the devices used within the DoD over the past few years, and the evolution of exploits and attack techniques. The rapidly changing threat landscape is a significant factor in the cybersecurity action plan announced recently by President Obama.

The DoD CIO, Terry Halvorsen issued a memo in November of 2015 directing all Combatant Commands, Service Agencies and Field Activities to rapidly deploy Windows 10 in an effort to improve cybersecurity, reduce IT cost, and streamline IT operations. The DoD spends an estimated $38 billion annually on IT and cybersecurity, but Halvorsen noted that the DoD is a prime target for cyber attacks and that securing the baseline DoD systems is imperative to national security.

Windows 10 has been certified as meeting stringent government criteria and standards. A blog post from Microsoft explains, “The National Information Assurance Program, the arm of the US government responsible for evaluating commercial IT products for use in National Security Systems has certified Windows 10 against the Mobile Device Fundamentals Common Criteria protection profile. Additionally, Microsoft’s Surface family of devices have been certified and are available through the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Unified Capabilities Approved Products List and can be easily worked into deployment plans.”

Check out the complete story on Forbes: DoD Bets Big On Windows 10.

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