Hybrid or “anywhere” work has become commonplace for business and technology professionals. Yet, this increased accessibility and flexibility in work locations have also ushered in a wave of new threats and risks.
Three quarters of security decision makers at the VP level and above feel the move to hybrid work leaves their organization more vulnerable to security threats. And cybersecurity issues and risks are top concerns for business leaders, who worry about issues like malware, stolen credentials, devices that lack security updates, and physical attacks on lost or stolen devices.
New Windows 11 Pro devices are well-positioned to take on these security challenges brought on by the new era of hybrid work. With simple deployment and advanced security protection, the time to upgrade to Windows 11 is now.
Windows 11 Pro Upgrade: A Simple and Seamless Deployment
Windows 11 Pro is built on the same foundational architecture as Windows 10, providing the basis for a smooth and straightforward upgrade. Additionally, Microsoft has designed Windows 11 Pro to be compatible with 99.7% of apps, meaning that practically all of the apps you’re used to on your previous OS will continue to work.
Neglecting OS version updates is especially inadvisable. Once an update has been released, OS vendors only continue supporting the previous version for a limited time. This will soon be the case for Windows 10 as a whole; end of support for Windows 10 is on October 14, 2025.
To ensure a seamless upgrade by the designated time, companies should initiate the process now. This begins with ensuring that you have the necessary foundation, which entails addressing two key questions: “Do we possess the required hardware?” and “Will our apps be compatible?”
Do We Have the Necessary Hardware?
Windows 11 needs to operate on relatively newer hardware. Here’s an overview of some of the key minimum requirements:
- RAM: 4 gigabytes or more
- Processor: Minimum of 1 gigahertz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0. Check here for instructions on how your PC might be enabled to meet this requirement.
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with Windows Display Driver Model 2.0
- Display resolution: High-definition (720p) display that is greater than 9″ diagonally
See the full list of Windows 11 requirements, including feature-specific requirements like a sensor for presence detection, and a speaker and microphone for modern work. To easily check for compatibility, you can run Microsoft’s PC Health Check app.
Are My Apps Compatible?
After verifying that your hardware and systems meet the Windows 11 requirements, the next step is to determine if your apps will be compatible with Windows 11 Pro.
Fortunately, Windows 11 Pro is designed with 99.7% compatibility, so virtually all the apps you were accustomed to using on your previous operating systems will continue to function seamlessly. For Windows 10 users, line-of-business software is also compatible.
For added assurance of compatibility, the App Assure program was designed to assist Microsoft users in resolving any application compatibility issues before upgrading to Windows 11 Pro. Moreover, Test Base helps businesses to validate and test their applications on secure virtual machines before transitioning to Windows 11 Pro.
Windows 11 Pro Devices: Powerful Security from Chip to Cloud
Companies can receive the best security protection by deploying new modern Windows 11 Pro devices with security protection built in.
With phishing safeguards, passwordless security, and app control, organizations report a 58% drop in security incidents with Windows 11 Pro devices compared to Windows 10. Additionally, 2.8 times fewer instances of identity theft are reported.
Built upon the zero-trust model, modern Windows 11 Pro devices focus on giving the right people the right access at the right time, based on these three core principles:
- Verify explicitly: Reduce risk by explicitly verifying data points such as user identity, location, and device health for every access request, without exception.
- Use least privileged access: When verified, give people and devices access to only necessary resources for the necessary amount of time.
- Assume breach: Operate in a manner that minimizes blast radius and segment access. Vary end-to-end encryption, and use analytics to get visibility, drive threat detection, and improve defenses.
Windows 11 Pro Devices: Security at Every Level
In line with the zero-trust model, new modern Windows 11 Pro devices build security in to every level—from the core of your PC, all the way to the cloud. Below are some of the new security features and capabilities in Windows 11 Pro
Receive built-in hardware protection out of the box with Windows 11 Pro devices through:
- Hardware root-of-trust: Protect critical resources such as Windows Hello with a hardware-based root of trust. Windows Defender System Guard helps protect and maintain the integrity of the system as it starts up and validates that system integrity has truly been maintained through local and remote attestation.
- TPM 2.0: The tamper-proof Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is now standard in today’s Windows 11 Pro devices. This chip provides specialized encryption features and enables upgraded cutting-edge security functions.
- Microsoft Pluton: Microsoft Pluton offers extra protection for data-sensitive scenarios. Pluton technology is integrated directly into the PC’s processor, hardening new Windows 11 Pro devices with ongoing protection for identities, data, and applications.
- Virtualization-based security: To safeguard user credentials and essential system functions, virtualization-based security (VBS) and hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI) are already enabled on new Windows 11 Pro devices. VBS protects against malicious exploits by hosting a secure kernel separated from the operating system.
- Secured-core PCs: Secured-core PCs come with the advanced security features of Windows 11 Pro turned on, protecting your most sensitive data from advanced firmware-level attacks. These devices are recommended for people handling sensitive data like intellectual property, financial records, or classified information.
Guard your system and information from the moment it starts up with these Windows 11 Pro measures:
- System security: Powerful system security safeguards credentials, code integrity, and network access. When a Windows 11 Pro device starts, Secure Boot and Trusted Boot work together to prevent malware and corrupted components from loading.
- Virus and threat protection: Windows 11 Pro delivers intelligent protection against viruses and other threats. One of the ways is through the vulnerable driver blocklist, enabled by default on new devices, which prevents vulnerable versions of drivers from running.
- Network security: Windows 11 Pro offers multiple layers of protection to strengthen network security. Windows Defender Firewall is one that reduces the attack surface of a device, safeguards sensitive data, and extends the value of existing investments.
- Encryption and data protection: BitLocker and Windows Information Protection reduce the risk of lost or stolen data with advanced encryption.
Combat common application attacks from the moment a device is provisioned with app security features such as:
- Smart App Control: Adding significant protection from new and emerging threats, new Windows 11 Pro devices automatically ship with Smart App Control to block malicious or untrusted apps.
- Defender Application Guard: Using virtualization-based security (VBS), Application Guard isolates untrusted websites and Microsoft Office files in containers.
- Defender Application Control: To control what apps and drivers run on managed Windows 11 Pro devices, Windows Defender Application Control (WDAC) isolates enterprise-defined untrusted websites in virtual containers and helps prevent old and newly emerging attacks.
Protect access to sensitive information and safeguard identities with the latest security innovations like:
- Enhanced phishing protection: Enhanced phishing protection with Microsoft Defender SmartScreen helps thwart credential theft by warning users when they enter their Microsoft credentials into a malicious website.
- Passwordless security: Windows Hello for Business allows you to lose the passwords and sign in with PIN, face, or fingerprint.
Extend security to the cloud to help protect devices, data, apps, and identities from anywhere. Some capabilities include:
- Modern Device Management (MDM): Windows 11 Pro devices support MDM so that IT pros can manage company security policies and business applications without compromising user privacy on corporate or employee-owned devices. Connection partners with Microsoft to offer MDM services that help organizations improve security and service delivery while ensuring that all devices comply with corporate rules and policies.
- Remote wipe: Windows 11 Pro devices support the Remote Wipe configuration service provider (CSP) so that MDM solutions can remotely reset the device and remove user accounts and data, reset the device and clean the drive, and reset the device but persist user accounts and data in the case of a lost or stolen device.
Securely Embrace the Future of Work with Windows 11 Pro Devices
As hybrid workforces grow and cyber threats advance, Windows 11 Pro emerges not just as an upgrade, but on new modern devices, as a guardian of your security. With simple deployment and advanced security protection—from your PC all the way to the cloud—Windows 11 Pro devices provide the assurance you need to enable secure hybrid work.
To learn more about how Connection can help with your Windows 11 Pro device refresh, contact us today.