The Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM) version 2 (BETA) is available for download. Some of the new SCM 2 features include:

  • GPO import: SCM 2 can now import Group Policy Object (GPO) Backup files to allow organizations to import and compare their existing knowledge against Microsoft baseline recommendations. This long-awaited feature effectively helps you to customize and manage your organization’s existing knowledge stored in Active Directory.
  • Baseline setting customization: Modifying baselines just got easier. Adding, extending, or deleting settings from a baseline is an effortless process in this new version of the tool.
  • Local GPO functionality: Apply security baselines directly to client and server computers using the LocalGPO command-line tool, which enables you to secure stand-alone computers and test different baselines without using Active Directory to deploy them. Use this tool to create local policy snapshots that you can import into SCM 2 using the new GPO import capabilities, which you can then compare, customize, and export as needed.
  • Additional features: These include a new and enhanced UI that provides simpler navigation in the tool, and improved installation with SQL Server 2005 and later releases of SQL Server.

For information on how to join the beta program please see the following blog post: SCM v2 (BETA) + New Baselines Available to Download.

Ross Carter, CISSP (Office 2010 Security Resource Center on TechNet)