New security features of Windows Server 2016

As ever evolving cyber threats are making it difficult for IT companies to secure their data and applications, but Microsoft is enhancing the security features of its products. New age cyber attackers know how to access the most secure of admin credentials. They can remain undetected for quite some time and hack the environment at the most vulnerable of situations. The risk is higher with virtual environments since they don’t have the hardware-rooted security features like physical servers. Rather, breaching the security of a virtual server is so easy that the attacker can simply copy your domain controller VMs and SQL into a flash-drive and walk away with it.

windows server 2016

Thankfully, Microsoft is aware of these advanced security concerns and has enhanced the security for its Windows Server 2016. New security layers have been created to maximize the effort for a hacker to access a system. Even in that rare case that a security breach happens, the damage would be minimum.

Windows Server 2016 security features

Protecting the admin credentials: The most sophisticated method to acquire the credentials of a vulnerable virtual server is ‘Pass-the-Hash attacks’. The Credential Guard feature of the server delivers single sign-on, thereby eliminating the need for passing the credentials to the RDP host.

Protecting the server and responding on time: Malware could be dangerous for servers, especially if it is in the form of Ransomware. The Device Guard feature of the server allows only a set of fixed binary commands to be executed on the server, thus protecting it from malware attacks. Control Flow Guard helps prevent memory corruption, which is very helpful to prevent ransomware attacks. The capabilities of the server are restricted to whatever is needed at that point of time to reduce the attack surface.

Identifies suspicious behavior: A known way of hacking virtual servers is to attack its credential manager. After the recent changes, Microsoft has introduced enhanced logging to monitor such intrusions. The most sensitive processes in the server are monitored by the Microsoft Operations Management Suite, and a log is kept for the same.

Virtualizes the server technology while minimizing security breaches: Since Microsoft knows that the first generation of virtual machines wasn’t the best with their security, they made sure that the shortcomings are improved upon while crafting second generation VMs. The new set of VMs, which they call shielded virtual machines are encrypted using Bitlocker and have their own virtual TPM. Another service called Host Guardian Service checks if every host associated with the server is secure, before the server boots or migrates.

Further details of the new security features in Windows Server 2016 can be checked at

You can also download the ultimate guide to Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 eBook, Whitepaper, PDF, Documents, Resources to learn more about this new Server operating system.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.