The beta 2 version of the Windows® Server 2008 R2 Security Baseline is now available for you to download... and it now includes a setting pack!

What is a setting pack?
Since the release of the Security Compliance Manager (SCM) tool, one of the most frequent requests has been to add all of the available Group Policy settings to the Microsoft security baselines so that you can access them in the SCM tool. While our baselines include hundreds of settings, there are hundreds of additional settings available in Group Policy. In response to this request, the team created setting packs. The setting packs include the basic information required by the SCM tool to define custom baselines that you can use to create GPO backups, DCM configuration packs, and SCAP content. You can learn more about setting packs on the program description page. Use the links provided in this message to join the program or go directly to the program description page.
Meet your business-critical needs and elevate the security of Windows Server 2008 R2 with this updated beta 2 security baseline and the new setting pack. It combines best-practice guidance with the Security Compliance Manager (SCM) tool to help you plan, deploy, and monitor the security of your Windows Server 2008 R2 servers. Preview this new security baseline, and get the knowledge to effectively deploy and monitor your security baseline for Windows Server 2008 R2 faster and easier.
This beta 2 security baseline for Windows Server 2008 R2 is formatted for easy import using SCM. You must first join the program (https://connect.microsoft.com/InvitationUse.aspx? ProgramID=5758&InvitationID=SOLC-2WBV-24MY&SiteID=715) and then use the Download link found in the upper left hand corner of the Connect page. You will find detailed instructions about how to import the download file into SCM on the program description page (https://connect.microsoft.com/content/content.aspx?ContentID=17624&SiteID=715).


Join us for one of our upcoming Live Meeting sessions
Join us and learn more about SCM and the new setting packs. There will be 2 Live Meeting sessions on Thursday, August 19, 2010... one at 8:00 AM Pacific Time and another at 3:00 PM Pacific Time. Details about the meetings and how to participate are posted on the program description page. Choose the session time that fits your schedule and come join us.


What other baselines are we working on?
The following are new baselines and setting packs we will ship soon after the Windows Server 2008 R2 baseline:
- Exchange 2007
- Office 2010 with a setting pack
- SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2
- Setting packs for Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8


Specific beta and final release dates for each of these baselines are available on the program description page. Links are provided below for you to either join the beta program or go directly to the program description page if you joined previously. We will send out announcements when these baselines are released for beta review and when the final releases are available for you to download from within the SCM tool.
If you are not already a member of the Security Baselines Beta Review Program, click here to join.

For members, click here to go to the program description page.
Learn more about the Security Compliance Manager.
Download the Security Compliance Manager.