Chip to cloud security: Pluton-powered Windows 11 PCs are coming

Gandalf_The_Grey

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As we enter this new year, security remains a top concern as businesses continue to evolve and define their digital transformation strategies and what hybrid work means for their organizations and their employees. Over the last year, we’ve seen a 150% increase in ransomware attacks. Every second there are 579 password attacks, and since March 2020 we have seen a 667% increase in phishing attacks. While cloud-delivered protections and significant advancements in the Windows OS have made things more difficult for attackers, they continue to evolve as well – targeting the seams that exist between hardware and software and sensitive information like encryption keys and credentials within a device’s firmware. Security decision makers have taken note. The Microsoft Security Signals 2021 survey found that 80% believe that modern hardware, and not just software, is needed to protect against emerging threats.

These modern, sophisticated threats, combined with today’s distributed workforce, require solutions that are designed to protect each layer of computing from the chip to the cloud. To deliver that for our customers, we’ve made several important strides with the release of secured-core PCs, Windows 11 and the Microsoft Pluton security processor. The Microsoft Pluton is a security processor, pioneered in Xbox and Azure Sphere, designed to store sensitive data, like encryption keys, securely within the Pluton hardware, which is integrated into the die of a device’s CPU and is therefore more difficult for attackers to access, even if they have physical possession of a device. This design helps ensure that emerging attack techniques cannot access key material.