That because for the first time, Microsoft's requirements make it clear how security software packages have to neatly be removed at command off Windows 8 when that's the user request. The dirty little secret of the industry has been that anti-malware software has long been known to make registry changes and other modifications to the OS that basically make it hard to return to its previous state, says Goretsky. He says often there's a mess of device drivers and services left running after an anti-malware package has in theory been uninstalled. This makes the OS not as simple for the next anti-malware software to deal with. "We're as guilty of this as anyone else," says Goretsky.
There are other aspects of Windows 8 security to be appreciated, he points out. One big one is what's called the "Unified Extensible Firmware Interface" that requires digitally signed firmware to be used in booting up to prevent a rootkit from making it in. This secure boot process is supported through the UEFI industry standard. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has been a strong proponent of this secure-boot process.
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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