Microsoft Secure Boot is a component of Microsoft’s Windows 8, 10, and 11 operating systems that relies on the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) specification’s secure boot functionality to help prevent malicious software applications and “unauthorized” operating systems from loading during the system start-up process. Mac computers that have the Apple T2 chip support secure boot options. Mac computers, unlike Windows, support three settings to make sure that your Mac always starts up from a legitimate, trusted Mac operating system.
Why is this important? In an office environment, someone can again plugin or boot off unsecured media like a password manager or an operating system that’s on a jump drive or Live CD and gain access to the computer. This is probably not an issue in your home but in an office environment, it can be a major security hole for a network administrator to protect against.
A Windows password reset disk is a specially created disk or USB flash drive that can be used to gain access to Windows if you’ve forgotten your password. It’s a useful step to take if you tend to forget your password, and it’s easy to create; all you need is a USB flash drive or disk. Great for the home user who forgets their password no so good for a large company network to boot off of and reset a local administrator password.
A live CD is a complete bootable computer installation including an operating system that runs directly from a CD-ROM or USB Stick. Linux has been adapted to the needs of modern computer users by offering a live CD. This type of operating system type can be booted from a CD, DVD, or USB drive without actually being installed on the computer’s hard drive. Again, great for troubleshooting a computer issue and not so good for a secured network.
Microsoft Windows 11 even has a version that you can use to boot off a jump drive with preloaded tools to help you hack a secure network this is why secure boot is so important and is coming on by default on a lot of new computers.