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  • Blog Post: SCM Baselines for Windows 8.1, IE 11 and Server 2012 R2 are now live!

    Hello, The baselines for Windows 8.1, IE 11 and Server 2012 are now available for download. You can download these via 2 methods. The simplest is to open the SCM tool and select the option to "Download Microsoft baselines automatically" The other option is to download the CAB...
  • Blog Post: Blocking Remote Use of Local Accounts

    The use of local accounts for remote access in Active Directory environments is problematic for a number of reasons. By far, the biggest problem is that when an administrative local account has the same user name and password on multiple machines, an attacker with administrative rights on one machine...
  • Blog Post: Changes in the Security Guidance for Windows 8.1, Server 2012 R2 and IE11 since the beta

    We have made a small number of changes in the baseline security guidance for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Internet Explorer 11 since we released the beta version of our guidance last April. This blog post discusses those changes and the reasons for them. Account Lockout Threshold: we’re...
  • Blog Post: Configuring Account Lockout

    We can recommend an ideal configuration for most of the settings in our security guidance. For example, the “Debug programs” privilege should be granted to Administrators and to no one else. For account lockout, however, there is no “one size fits all” setting, but there’s...
  • Blog Post: Security baselines for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Internet Explorer 11 - FINAL

    Microsoft is pleased to announce the final release of security baseline settings for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Internet Explorer 11. Some of the highlights of the new security baselines (many of which we intend to backport to older versions of Windows and IE): Use of new and existing...
  • Blog Post: SCM baselines for Office 2013 have now shipped!

    Hello, The Office 2013 SCM baselines are now live and ready for download. There are 2 ways you can download the CAB files. The simplest will be to open the SCM tool and it will automatically discover that there are new baselines available to download and import and then simply follow the wizard...
  • Blog Post: SCM Office 2013 Beta is now live!

    Hello, We have released the SCM beta for Office 2013 on the Connect site. This is a public beta that anyone can participate in, but it will require you to join the program before you can get access to the files. To join the program, you will need a LiveID. To sign up please visit https...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2012 Baselines are now live!

    Baselines for SQL Server 2012 are now live and can be downloaded from the following locaitons: download.microsoft.com/.../SQL-2012-Security-Compliance-Baseline.cab download.microsoft.com/.../SQL-2012-Security-Compliance-Baseline_Attachments.cab You can also download and import these into the...
  • Blog Post: Whoops, sorry about the baseline troubles!

    If you haven’t heard, Seattle was hit hard by snow and ice yesterday. It took some people up to 10 hours to get home last night . Holy cow! I was lucky – my boss advised I go home yesterday at about 12 noon and I was sitting in my apartment in downtown Seattle with hot spiced cider as I watched...
  • Blog Post: Security Compliance Manager (SCM) version 2.5 now available

    You’ve been asking for Exchange Server baselines. You’ve been waiting for the Windows 7 SP1 baseline update. They are all available now in SCM v2.5! SCM 2.5 includes a number of new and updated baselines, empowering you to manage configuration drift, address compliance requirements, and...
  • Blog Post: The future of security baseline management has arrived: Download the Security Compliance Manager!

    The Security Compliance Manager is now available for download! Windows 7 security just got easier. The tool includes support for this and other Microsoft operating systems and applications. Many thanks to those of you who participated in the beta review program, and thanks to those who helped us spread...
  • Blog Post: Post-Thanksgiving food coma ends - baselines restored

    If you experienced trouble downloading baselines last week , we are very sorry about the trouble! We realized the problem on Tuesday November 23 rd and had a bit of a “snow delay” getting the baselines restored. I am happy to report all is now well (and all the snow/ice in Seattle has melted...
  • Blog Post: SCM v2 (CTP) Available to Download

    UPDATE : The SCM v2 CTP has been removed from MS Connect, please download the SCM v2 Beta . Thanks for the patience! -jeff [Jun 27th, 2011] Hello everyone! You’ve all been very patient with the SCM team and I wanted to thank you for that. I’ve received (literally) hundreds of emails...
  • Blog Post: Wow, great SCM demo video on TechNet Edge

    Hello SCM people! Yes, I'm way behind on email. Sorry if I owe you a reply! We are DAYS away from releasing the SCM v2 CTP featuring GPO Import. Let me wrap this baby up and you will see it shortly on MS Connect. Thanks for the patience! Check out this awesome SCM video. It's great as an intro as...
  • Blog Post: Happy Holidays from the SCM team!

    I’ve been heads-down with the SCM Engineering Team the last couple of weeks planning the next release of Security Compliance Manager (SCM) , version 2.0. I’m pretty excited about this release – it is going to take the application / solution to the next level. As I’ve mentioned...
  • Blog Post: Integrate AccessChk.exe with DCM Scripts

    The DCM feature supports a powerful way for data discovery by using scripting. By invoking AccessChk.exe from DCM scripts, the output of user rights assignment data from AccessChk.exe can be collected by the DCM scripting data discovery provider. The following procedure enables you to use Microsoft Visual...
  • Blog Post: Security Compliance Manager 3.0 now available for download!

    Secure your environment with SCM 3.0! The Security Compliance Manager (SCM) is a free tool from the Microsoft Solution Accelerators team that enables you to quickly configure and manage the computers in your environment and your private cloud using Group Policy and Microsoft ® System Center Configuration...
  • Blog Post: How to Use AccessChk.exe for Security Compliance Management

    In this article we invite Michael Tan, one of our senior program mangers, to introduce a new feature in the recently updated Sysinternals tool called AccessChk. His two part article looks at how the new AccessChk feature works and the benefits of using this Sysinternals tool. The second part takes a...
  • Blog Post: SCM v2 Beta: What happened to the EC + SSLF?

    I can feel this becoming a FAQ, so I wanted to blog on this early in the Beta . :) I forgot to mention in my Beta announcement anything about the new 'severity' you see on settings, whoops. The text below is a copy and paste from the IE9 Security Guide which hopefully clarifies our reasoning. [ UPDATE...
  • Blog Post: Version 2 of the Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM 2) is now available for download!

    SCM makes configuration management for both computers and your private cloud a snap! Security Compliance Manager 2 is a free tool from the Microsoft Solution Accelerators team that enables you to quickly configure and manage your computers, traditional datacenter, and private cloud using Group Policy...
  • Blog Post: SCM wiki wiki, wiki wiki

    Whenever I hear the word wiki I always hear a sound like a DJ scratching a record - wiki wiki. :) I'm happy to announce the SCM team has started an SCM Wiki on TechNet . This is the part of the blog post where I invite you to contribute to it - because that's the real value of a wiki (wiki...
  • Blog Post: SCM v2 Beta: LocalGPO Rocks!

    This is a guest blog post by Alan Burchill who is an IT Consultant for over 10 years and a Group Policy MVP. He is also the author of the Group Policy Center web site and you can also follow him on twitter at @alanburchill . Along with the recent release of the Security Compliance Manager v2 Beta...
  • Blog Post: HIPAA or PCI or FISMA Baseline? (FAQ)

    A teammate of mine posted a FAQ this week about the GRC space and how it intersects with Microsoft Baselines. Check it out! http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/grc-baselines-made-easy.aspx -jeff PS - for those of you wanting the SCM v2 Beta, I've got great news. Just...
  • Blog Post: SCM v2 (BETA) + New Baselines Available to Download

    [ UPDATE: September 6th, 2011 ] The Beta review period for SCM2 ended August 31st, 2011 (and the download is no longer available). We've been working on stabilizing the build and meeting release requirements. Look for the RTW of SCM2 on September 15th, 2011. Hello world! I know a lot of you have...
  • Blog Post: Now available: System Center Configuration Manager Extensions for SCAP Beta

    If your organization is affected by the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) mandate, and the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP), then this new Beta program will be of interest to you. The FDCC mandate from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires federal agencies and organizations...