I'm just back from a very very relaxing break.  So relaxing in fact that I was really 'jet lagged' coming back into the office yesterday morning.  That is after getting used to the Christmas timezone (with me that was 1pm starts and 3am finishes) it was a killer to get up a 7:30!  Though I must admit I really feel refreshed after a week of being completely switched off.  Now all I have to do is stick to some of those new year resolutions.

To begin the new year I thought I'd let you know about some of the cracking webcasts for IT Pros coming up in January - they're all free of course. If you're an IT Professional and would like to broaden your understanding of IT Security, SQL, MOM, SMS and more check this out.

If there are any other topics that you would like to see covered in the future - let me know colm.torris@microsoft.com


Complete list of all IT Pro webcasts

Complete list of Security webcasts

Complete list of SQL webcasts

Complete list of MOM webcasts

Complete list of SMS webcasts


A Selection of Some Choice Security Webcasts

TechNet Webcast: Identity and Access Management (Part 1 of 2): Technical Overview (Level 200)

Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 17:00 AM - 18:00 PM GMT

Chris Avis, TechNet Presenter, Microsoft Corporation

This two-part series describes how you can use identity management solutions to create and manage user account information efficiently and securely across multiple systems in an enterprise. This first webcast shows how identity information may be shared and synchronized even when distributed across several different locations. We show how access management solutions can help you to ensure that user accounts are granted the appropriate access to resources across different systems in an enterprise network


TechNet Webcast: Identity and Access Management (Part 2 of 2): Details of Intranet and Extranet Access Management (Level 200)

Friday, January 06, 2006 - 17:00 PM - 18:00 PM GMT

Chris Avis, TechNet Presenter, Microsoft Corporation

This two-part series describes how you can use identity management solutions to create and manage user account information efficiently and securely across multiple systems in an enterprise. Having described the principles and concepts of access management in the first webcast, this second webcast explains in more detail how to apply these principles and methods specifically to your organization's intranet, and also how to apply them to an external network.


TechNet Webcast: How Microsoft Information Security Protects Critical Information Assets (Level 300)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 17:00 PM - 18:00 PM GMT

Igor Volovich, Microsoft Information Security, Security Engineer, Microsoft Corporation

How does the Microsoft Information Technology (IT) team secure a computing environment that has more than 300,000 network devices in 96 countries? This webcast shows how Microsoft Information Security manages security risks by adhering to the following standards: fast, reliable, protected, and secure by design. Learn how we align the Information Security organization with the security life cycle, translating risk into a coherent plan composed of key strategies and tactics. Then take a deeper dive into enhanced auditing and monitoring. We discuss two hot topics, automated  vulnerability scans and network-based intrusion detection systems (NIDS). Learn our approach to protecting critical information by monitoring for vulnerabilities, complying with policy, and using NIDS.


TechNet Webcast: Defense in Depth: Sybari Antigen Solutions for E-Mail Hygiene (Level 200)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 17:00 PM - 18:00 PM GMT

Peter Eicher, Sr. Product Manager, Enterprise Access and Security Products, Microsoft Corporation

Now that 50% of all e-mail is spam and 85% of viruses use e-mail to propagate, comprehensive e-mail protection is critical for overall network integrity. This webcast presents defense-in-depth to strengthen e-mail—and thereby overall network—security. We describe the protection that Sybari Antigen Solutions offers from viruses, worms, and spam. We also discuss content protection technologies that you can combine to eliminate single points of failure and reduce the window of vulnerability for emerging threats. We also cover perimeter defense; layered elimination of unsolicited traffic; multi-engine, server-level threat detection, and incident containment. Learn how you can apply a defense-in-depth strategy to reduce infection rates and maximize performance in e-mail environments.


TechNet Webcast: Information About Microsoft January Security Bulletins (Level 200)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 19:00 PM - 20:00 PM GMT

Christopher Budd, CISA, CISM, CISSP, ISSMP Security Program Manager, PSS Security, Microsoft Corporation

Stephen Toulouse, Security Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation

On January 10, 2005, Microsoft releases its monthly security bulletins. Join us for a brief overview of the technical details of the January security bulletins. The intent of this webcast is to address your concerns. Therefore, most of our time is devoted to giving you the opportunity to ask questions about the bulletins and get answers from our security experts.


TechNet Webcast: How Microsoft IT Implements Exchange 2003 Anti-Spam Technologies (Level 300)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 17:00 PM - 18:00 PM GMT

Konstantin Ryvkin, Microsoft IT Group Manager, Microsoft Corporation

Alexander Nikolayev, Microsoft Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation

Wouldn’t we all like to improve how we manage spam? This webcast presents how Microsoft does just that, providing an overview of anti-spam technology in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and how the Microsoft Information Technology (IT) department uses these technologies to help control spam. The webcast also provides a complete overview of the anti-spam technologies available in SP2 and explains how the department implements them. Join us to learn best practices, tips, and other useful information for getting the most from the anti-spam technologies in SP2. We conclude with a question and answer session.


TechNet Webcast: Security Considerations When Upgrading to SQL Server 2005 (Level 200)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 17:00 PM - 18:30 PM GMT

Girish Chander, Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 offers improved capabilities to secure the database, but there are still other things to consider when upgrading. From a security perspective, this webcast prepares you to upgrade from a previous version of Microsoft SQL Server to Microsoft SQL Server 2005. This webcast covers configuration option changes, surface area controls, and feature enhancements. Take advantage of the new capabilities in SQL Server 2005 by learning about the other steps you can take to further secure your system after the upgrade.


TechNet Webcast: Best Practices for Security Update Management with Systems Management Server 2003 (Level 200)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 19:00 PM - 20:30 PM GMT

John Baker, TechNet Presenter, Microsoft Corporation

Join this webcast to learn about the best practices you should consider when you develop an update management solution using Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003. Get detailed recommendations for all parts of a software update solution, including the setup stage and the software update cycle. We provide specific guidance on updating  desktop, mobile, and server computers. We also discuss using the Dell inventory tool to update Dell servers.

TechNet Webcast: Enabling Secure Remote Access to Exchange Server 2003 (Level 200)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 17:00 PM - 18:30 PM GMT

Tom Bartlett, ISA Solution Specialist, Microsoft Corporation

As operations become increasingly decentralized and working practices evolve to better suit market demographics, the need for efficient remote access has become increasingly prevalent. In this webcast, we outline best practices for securing Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 to ensure that network management, policy, and security are not compromised by remote e-mail access. The discussion covers a wide range of topics, such as faster Exchange publishing, more secure remote access, e-mail hygiene considerations, efficient bandwidth management, and enhanced Microsoft Outlook Web Access security. This webcast offers the knowledge you need to provide remote users with efficient, secure, and well-managed access to Exchange.