Microsoft is adding Windows Hello support for on-premises Active Directory users

Microsoft is continuing its quest to secure its Windows, Office and cloud products and services. Here's what the company will highlight at RSA next week.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is continuing to beef up its security offerings across Windows 10, SQL Server, Office, and Azure and is using next week's RSA conference to highlight its latest incremental updates.


Windows Hello, Microsoft's authentication service meant to replace passwords, already works with Azure Active Directory and Azure Active Directory Connect. With the Windows 10 Creators Update, users also will be able to use Windows Hello in on-premises Active-Directory-only environments, Microsoft officials said on Feb. 10.

Microsoft and Intel also are working together on integrating Hello with Intel's Authenticate technology. Windows devices that support this hardware-based authentication and integration will be available by the end of 2017, officials said. (This is part of the Intel Project EVO work.)

Other Microsoft RSA announcements:

  • Windows 10 and Surface Pro 3, Pro 4 and Surface Book have been added to the NSA's Commercial Solutions for Classified Programs (CsfC) list, meaning they're approved for classified use.
  • Microsoft is adding a new layer of hardware security support to Surface Pro 4, Surface Book and Surface Studio via a new Surface Enterprise Management Mode (SEMM) option. This lets users do things like disable cameras or turn off microphones for devices used in certain classified and secure areas.
  • More incremental security-focused updates are coming to Windows 10 with the Creators Update, as officials said late last year, including the addition of security settings and configurations previously available only through Group Policy to mobile device management products. Creators Update users also will get the ability to add customized detection rules and policies through Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. Creators Update is expected to start rolling out in April 2017.
  • Microsoft is planning to add more security features to Office 365. A new security analytics tool called Office 365 Secure Score, is generally available to Office 365 commercial customers and those in multi-tenant and Office 365 US Government Clouds. Office 365 Threat Intelligence (in preview, with general availability for Office 365 E5 users in March) for detecting potential cyber threats; and Office 365 Advanced Data Governance (in preview, with availability slated for later this quarter for Office 365 E5 users).
  • Azure SQL Database Threat Detection, with proactive monitoring and alerting of suspicious database activity and vulnerabilities, will be generally available in April 2017.

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