Here are free guides from Microsoft to get your IT security staff ramped up.The Security Monitoring and Attack Detection Planning Guide describes how to plan a security monitoring system on Windows-based networks that can detect attacks that originate from internal and external sources.
Smart cards provide particularly effective security control in two scenarios: to secure administrator accounts and to secure remote access. We use them here at Microsoft. The Secure Access Using Smart Cards Planning Guide details these two scenarios as the priority areas in which to implement smart cards.
The Administrator Accounts Security Planning Guide provides prescriptive guidance on steps you can take to secure your local and domain-based administrator-level accounts and groups.
Once you have the admin account locked down you will want to read the Services and Service Accounts Security Planning Guide. This guide addresses the common problem of Windows services that are set to run with highest possible privileges, which an attacker could compromise to gain full and unrestricted access to the computer or domain, or even to the entire forest.
You should read the Implementing Quarantine Services with Microsoft Virtual Private Network Planning Guide. This guide describes the challenges in and benefits of planning and implementing quarantine services with VPN through the new features available in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1).
The Microsoft Identity and Access Management Series is available from the Microsoft Download Center. It is also available on TechNet
The Overview and Planning materials (chapters 1 through 4) are meant to aid architects and IT professionals in understanding the variety of threats posed by not proactively managing passwords or enforcing strong password policies. They then examine the options available to increase security and improve manageability. Finally, these materials examine the problems a fictitious company faces and apply these design principles to architect a solution that will mitigate these threats.
The Implementation material provides a concise set of detailed instructions for managing both internal user account passwords and extranet user identities and passwords, and for utilizing Group Policy to enforce "strong" password policy. The Test and Operations content illustrates how to validate the proper installation and configuration of these systems, perform ongoing maintenance tasks, and troubleshoot common issues should they arise.