A Secure Way to Activate the Windows Server 2016 without Internet Connectivity
XYZ Company is a leading provider of electronic systems for military, security, and commercial aviation customers. XYZ is an agile innovator; founded in the 90s, it now has over 30,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of USD 9 billion.
If no solution could be found, XYZ would have needed to explore the possibility of pre-activating the OS on these systems before shipment. However, this method presented many potential complications. First, it would result in increased labor costs on the production line. Second, pre-activation ran the risk of not being compliant with security regulations. Third, it would be troublesome if the system required re-activation in the field.
XYZ was looking for a solution that bypassed OS activation via an internet connection.
After consulting with the Advantech software team, a solution was found. Advantech leveraged a special mechanism that activated the OS by pairing the pre-inserted key in the OS with a matching certificate in the BIOS. This method did not require an internet connection and didn’t perform activation automatically during the first system boot up. If the BIOS did not have a certificate to pair with the key in the OS, activation would fail.
With the mechanism implemented on the Windows Server 2016, XYZ’s full-body scanner system now met all regulatory requirements.