Microsoft last week reported $60 billion in profit and $165 billion in sales for its most recent year — with a staggering increase in cloud revenues. But that good news comes in a year when not a day goes by without reports of another security issue, another ransomware attack. Yes, Windows 11 will require hardware that should bring with it better security, but it comes at a price. Most users have systems that won’t support Windows 11, so we’ll be stuck using Windows 10.

There seems to be a big disconnect between the reality (and financial success) of the Windows ecosystem and the reality for its users. We need more security now, not later.

For many people, malware often infiltrates systems via phishing lures and enticing links. Microsoft could serve users better by recommending security solutions we have on our systems now that aren’t enabled. Some of these settings don’t require additional licensing, while others are gated behind the holy grail of Windows licensing — the Microsoft 365 E5 license. While a user can purchase a single E5 license to get the included security enhancements, it raises a concern that Microsoft is starting to make security an add-on to the OS rather than built in. I remember when Microsoft talked up “Secure by Design,” “Secure by Default,” and “Secure in Deployment and Communication” (also known as SD3+C). Now, instead, it is touting security solutions with its E5 licensing rather than those already in Windows that could protect us better.

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