Windows Desktop Search
Microsoft® Windows® Malicious Software Removal Tool
Extended Security Update Inventory Tool The Extended Security Update Inventory Tool is used to detect security bulletins not covered by MBSA.
SQL Server Management Pack for MOM 2005 This management pack monitors SQL Server 2000 and 2005 for critical conditions indicating potential operational problems.
Exchange Server Management Pack for MOM 2005 The Exchange Server Management Pack monitors Exchange Server 2000 and 2003.
Microsoft Windows DHCP Service Management Pack for MOM 2005 This management pack monitors the health, availability, and performance of the Windows DHCP service, including scopes and superscopes.
October 10, 2006 Enterprise Update Scan Tool (Standalone Version) This tool is used for detecting needed security updates for October 10, 2006 as described in MS06-056.
Systems Management Tools
Windows Server 2003 Performance Advisor Management Pack for MOM 2005 This management pack is designed to help you collect distributed data and consolidate Windows Server 2003 Performance Advisor 2.0 reports for centralized review.
SQL Server Management Pack for MOM 2005 This management pack monitors SQL Server 2000 and 2005 for critical conditions indicating potential operational problems. Exchange Server Management Pack for MOM 2005 The Exchange Server Management Pack monitors Exchange Server 2000 and 2003.
Get the latest security bulletin for October HERE.
Check out Microsoft's best practices recommendations for applying security updates HERE.
Sign up for monthly security bulletin notification HERE.
.....Here's something I blogged about last month but I think it might be of interest to you within the context of the above!
How to Assess Microsoft Security PatchesNotes from the Field: How to Assess Microsoft Security Patches
By John Ennis, Microsoft Ireland Technical Account Manager.
As a Microsoft Technical Account Manager, I work with many Irish customers to help them operate and secure their IT Operations, and of course questions around Security Patch Management is always high on the agenda.
Unfortunately, patches are a necessary evil for system administrators. All systems require security updates to some extent and managing them is a necessity. It is important that customers fully assess security vulnerabilities and the risk to their assets, and then apply a consistent framework for the application of the patches based on the company’s Information Security policy. The focus should be on reducing the overall security risk and not on how quickly a customer can apply a security patch.
To help you do this, I would like to share some simple Patch Management Processes that look at Risk Management, Patch Management SLA and how to assess Microsoft Security Bulletins.
Security Risk Management Guidelines
The Microsoft security risk management process defines risk management as the overall effort to manage risk to an acceptable level across the business. Risk assessment is defined as the process to identify and prioritise risks to the business.
In quantitative risk assessments, the goal is to try to calculate objective numeric values for each of the components gathered during the risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis. For example, you estimate the true value of each business asset in terms of what it would cost to replace it, what it would cost in terms of lost productivity, what it would cost in terms of brand reputation, and other direct and indirect business values.
Impact x Probability = Risk
Risk is the probability of a vulnerability being exploited in the current environment, leading to a degree of loss of confidentiality, integrity or availability of an asset.
To help communicate the extent of impact and the degree of probability in the risk statement, the Microsoft security risk management process begins prioritising risk by using relative terms such as high, moderate and low.
Ranking identified risks in a consistent and repeatable process.
The Microsoft security risk management process defines the following three qualitative asset classes: high business impact (HBI), moderate business impact (MBI) and low business impact (LBI)
High Business ImpactImpact on the confidentiality, integrity or availability of these assets causes severe or catastrophic loss to the organisation. Impact may be expressed in raw financial terms or may reflect indirect loss or theft of financial instruments, organisation productivity, damage to reputation, or significant legal and regulatory liability.
Highly sensitive business material - Such as financial data and intellectual property Assets subjected to specific regulatory requirementsModerate Business ImpactImpact on the confidentiality, integrity or availability of these assets causes moderate loss to the organisation. Moderate loss does not constitute a severe or catastrophic impact but does disrupt normal organisational functions to the degree that proactive controls are necessary to minimise impact within this asset class.
Internal business information - Employee directory, purchase order data, network infrastructure designs, information on internal websites and data on internal file shares for internal business use onlyLow Business ImpactAssets not falling into either the HBI or MBI are classified as LBI and have no formal protection requirements or additional controls beyond standard best practices for securing infrastructure.
Defining Threats and VulnerabilitiesInformation on threats and vulnerabilities provides the technical evidence used to prioritise risks across an enterprise.
Estimating Asset ExposureAfter the Risk Assessment Facilitator leads the discussion through asset, threat and vulnerability identification, the next task is to gather stakeholder estimates on the extent of the potential damage to the asset, regardless of the asset class definition. The extent of potential damage is defined as asset exposure.
For each category, assist stakeholders in placing estimates within the following three groups:
High exposure — Severe or complete loss of the asset Moderate exposure — Limited or moderate loss Low exposure — Minor or no loss
For the Rest of this blog click here.
Covering all aspects of the 2007 Office Systems including SharePoint Server 2007, Exchange Server 2007, Live Communications Server, Office Communicator 2007…
This event looks at how you can Optimise your Business Productivity Infrastructure focusing on how to give your employees pervasive communication and collaboration capabilities - through a familiar set of capabilities built on a scaleable, security-enhanced, and easily managed platform. This event is on in The Morrison Hotel Dublin on the 2nd November – click here to register now.
The aim of this session is to show how Microsoft's Unified Communications products deliver rich, intuitive and seamless communication capabilities that enhance productivity and collaboration by streamlining how people communicate. We will take a look at how they form a complete software solution that enables effective communications across e-mail, instant messaging (IM), voice, data, video, and web conferencing, with enterprise-grade security and reliability.
Communication & Collaboration
In this session we will cover the journey from basic email, file shares and mostly email communication to seamless collaboration across the firewall. Areas which focus will be given includes:
Collaborative Workspaces & Portals
Messaging, including mobile working - Outlook Web Access and Mobile 5
Audience: IT Directors/Chief Information Officers, IT Managers, Chief Technical Officers, Infrastructure Specialist and Line of Business Specialists
Please forward this invite on to the relevant members of your team and or colleagues of yours whom you think would be interested in the event.
Dublin: 2nd November (Morning), The Morrison Hotel - Click here to register for this event
As of October 1, the new Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition and Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition licenses will include unlimited virtualisation rights, meaning that customers will have rights to run an unlimited number of Windows Servers in virtual machines without purchasing additional licenses. Customers may run Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter, Enterprise and Standard Editions in the virtual instances, as well as, previous versions, without having to acquire additional licenses. This will make the licensing of Windows Server for virtualizations much easier as well as help companies save money through server consolidation.
For example, a customer could consolidate its datacenter Web farm onto a single physical server running Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition, hosting virtualized images of the Web servers. The Web farm’s footprint will shrink from a room to a single server - and the customer will only need to license the processors on the server that is running Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition.
You can click here for more detail on Microsoft's virtualisation solutions
Just found these (they're designed for a "Midsize Business" - but that's a good description of pretty much every business in Ireland).
How to Support Smart Card Logon for Remote Access VPN Connections
Protecting a Network from Unmanaged Clients
Security Monitoring and Attack Detection
Secure Wireless Access Point Configuration
Securing Critical and Service Accounts
These really are good content, so enjoy..
It's great to see the rapid progress being made with Windows Vista. I'm sure it has been all hands on deck in CORP (internal speak for MS Corportate HQ) to get this one out the door. But I'm delighted to say that Windows Vista RC2 (build 5744) is now available to Technical Beta Testers, TAP Testers, and MSDN/TechNet subscribers. Go for it try it out! I can't wait to upgrade myself when I'm back in the office next week.
NOTE: This build (5744) has a number of improvements and updates from previous builds, and has been through daily testing processes to refine quality and performance. We are making this release available for a limited time only (and only by download) in order to get broad distribution and testing in a variety of PC configurations.
You can download it here.
Keep up-to-date with local happenings with the Irish TechNet newsletter by signing up here.
Get the latest security bulletin for September here.
Check out Microsoft's best practices recommendations for applying security updates here.
Sign up for monthly security bulletin notification here!
IT@Galway in conjunction with Microsoft is hosting an ICT conference in Galway on Thursday 12 October 2006, 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. There will be parallel tracks running on the day including a Developer Track, an IT Pro track and a CEO Forum and an Architect Forum. For full conference details you can click here.
I particularly wanted highlight the the content in the IT Professional Track. It will provide IT Pros with a first look at Vista, Office 2007, Exchange 2007 from a technical perspective so should be very interesting.
If you would like to register or get more information check out the website here.
Seminar 1 9.30 - 11.00Getting ready for Exchange 2007? Come and find out how Exchange 2007 will ensure that your e-mail system stays up and running and is protected from security, technology and business threats. See how it will satisfy the needs of your users who are demanding access to their information from anywhere and from any device. Find out how it will make your lives easier with its simplified management console and the ability to script every management function.
What will be covered:
Break 11.00 - 11.15Seminar 2 11.15 - 12.30Business Intelligence in the 2007 Microsoft Office systemYou already know how SQL Server 2005's Integration Services and Reporting Services make the task of manipulating your data into useful information easy. Now find out how to surface your Key Performance Indicators and Line Of Business data using the 2007 Microsoft Office system without a single line of code.
How Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 can be a BI platform by leveraging the new Excel Services, SQL Server 2005 KPI's (via Analysis Services) and the new Business Data Catalog of MOSS 2007. Lunch 12.30 - 13.30
Seminar 3 13.15 - 15.15How Windows Vista will Improve the Manageability of your IT Infrastructure?Want more insight into how to drive down operational costs? This session will provide an overview of how Windows Vista is easier to deploy, and less expensive to maintain, than any other version of Windows. How it will simplify system administration and significantly reduce the cost of monitoring and troubleshooting desktops in your organization?.
Launch 16.00 - 17.00Pre-Launch Vista and Office 2007 - A FIRST look at the futureDemo of how Microsoft Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and Exchange 2007.
Reduce security risks and deployment costs. Reduce security risks and simplify both desktop and server deployment and management, reducing cost and complexity.
Champagne Reception & Dinner 17.00 - 18.00
Thanks again to Bob Duffy and Gary Melvin who presented at our SQL Server 2005 events last week in Dublin and Belfast. All the presentations are available to download here:
Advanced SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services
Advanced SQL Server 2005 Integration Services
SQL 2005 Upgrade and Migration processes
To manage expectations as per the technical level of the events that I host for IT Professionals around Ireland I use the Microsoft's standard level definitions. To ensure that there is no confusion out there I wanted to clarify what each level means ... So here goes:
Level 100 Description:
Introductory and overview material. Assumes little or no expertise with topic and covers topic concepts, functions, features, and benefits.
Level 200 Description:
Intermediate material. Assumes 100-level knowledge and provides specific details about the topic.
Level 300 Description:
Advanced material. Assumes 200-level knowledge, in-depth understanding of features in a real-world environment, and strong coding skills. Provides a detailed technical overview of a subset of product/technology features, covering architecture, performance, migration, deployment, and development.
Level 400 Description:
Expert material. Assumes a deep level of technical knowledge and experience and a detailed, thorough understanding of topic. Provides expert-to-expert interaction and coverage of specialized topics.