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  • Blog Post: What's New in Recommended Security Baseline Settings for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Internet Explorer 11

    The attachment on this post describes what's new in the security baseline recommendations for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Internet Explorer 11, relative to the baselines published for Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and Internet Explorer 10 . It is included as a Word document in the download...
  • 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: Regulatory Compliance Guide update!

    Folks, we need your help! If you're interested in contributing to our efforts to provide the best Solution Accelerators for Compliance, read on. Generally, organizations that need to comply with regulations such as SOX and PCI DSS use a variety of disparate commercial and internally developed practices...
  • 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: Microsoft Forefront Integration Kit for Network Access Protection (Deployed Part 3)

    NAP provides several key benefits to an organization's defense-in-depth model. One of these benefits is showcased in our next customer story about using the Microsoft Forefront Integration Kit for NAP. Alex at Ball State University has been a key NAP partner during the development of the...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Compliance Management

    The Solution Accelerators - Security and Compliance team has released a beta version of its first set of guides in the Compliance Management Series. This effort expands on the work done in the Regulatory Compliance Planning Guide published in 2006. Here is a bit of detail on the new Solution Accelerator...
  • Blog Post: Compliance Best Practices

    In the Solution Accelerators – Security and Compliance (SA-SC) team our intention is to provide customers with the ability to easily adopt Microsoft technologies to create solutions. The idea might sound like a marketing ploy, but the truth is that we DO work hard to make Act Faster, Go Further a meaningful...
  • 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...
  • 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: The Hyper-V Security Guide

    The benefits of virtualization are more evident than ever. Microsoft Hyper-V™ technology allows consolidation of workloads that are currently spread across multiple underutilized servers onto a smaller number of servers. This capability provides you with a way to reduce costs through lower hardware,...
  • Blog Post: Malware Defenses

    Following the success of the Malware Removal Starter Kit, the Solutions Accelerators - Security and Compliance (SA-SC) team has been working to provide a more in depth look at malware. The team would like your input about what you and your peers find beneficial when dealing with malware. Malware...
  • Blog Post: Now Available: Security Baselines for Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8!

    Download the newly updated Security Compliance Management Toolkit Series! We are very pleased to announce the release of new security baselines for Windows® 7 and Windows® Internet Explorer® 8. These new baselines are now included with the Security Compliance Management Toolkit Series...
  • Blog Post: Security Solution Accelerators Top SA's

    As a member of the Solution Accelerators - Security and Compliance (SA-SC) team, I’d like to share an observation and ask for some feedback from our readers. The current top 10 SAs (Solution Accelerators) are: Business Desktop Deployment 2007 Windows Vista Hardware Assessment Windows...
  • Blog Post: Configuration Drift

    In my last blog I introduced a new Solution Accelerator called the Security Compliance Management toolkit. Today I'd like to help you learn more about this new Accelerator, but in a somewhat indirect way—by discussing a problem space known as configuration drift. Probably the simplest way to understand...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Forefront Integration Kit for Network Access Protection (Deployed Part 4 Final)

    Our final Solution Accelerator story is about Napera, a company that provided an interesting twist to the Microsoft Forefront Integration Kit for NAP: a simple-to-use NAP appliance. Napera focuses on organizations with a need for a simple defense-in-depth solution that provides protection against unauthorized...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Forefront Integration Kit for Network Access Protection (Deployed!)

    Windows Server 2008 introduced a new PC protection technology that provides administrators an answer to a complex problem: How do you make sure that computers that use network resources are healthy? Network Access Protection (NAP) was engineered to provide an answer to this problem. For a more detailed...
  • Blog Post: Security Compliance Management Released!

    If you have not heard yet, Solution Accelerators has released a great new toolkit!. Microsoft has created the Security Compliance Management toolkit. The toolkit provides best practices from Microsoft about how to plan, deploy, and monitor a security baseline. In addition, the toolkit provides...
  • Blog Post: New beta setting packs for Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8

    The Solution Accelerators team is happy to announce the most recent additions to the Security Compliance Manager Baseline Beta Review Program: new setting packs for Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8. Join the Security Compliance Manager Baseline Beta Review Program. Members, bookmark this link...
  • Blog Post: Security identification using Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 3.1

    Are your PC's antivirus (AV) and antispyware or anti-malware (AM) programs actually running? If anything should keep you up at night, it's the question of whether your users' desktops and laptops are protected from malware. Previously we talked about how NAP can provide a defense-in-depth...
  • 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: When it comes to malware - what keeps you awake at night?

    It’s a challenge to protect an organization’s valuable assets against malware. And as malware increases in magnitude and sophistication, it seems that IT security is a journey that really doesn’t have a final destination. Do you find yourself looking over your shoulder and wondering about new threat...
  • Blog Post: Which Windows Services Do We Need?

    When you look at Microsoft Windows services, it can be confusing to sort through them and understand which ones you need. In this blog entry I'm going to take a more detailed look at Windows services and see if we can identify any services that might not be needed, or determine whether any are suspicious...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Forefront Integration Kit for Network Access Protection (Deployed Part2)

    The next installment of the Forefront Client Security/NAP integration story is about one of our partners. In today's blog we will look at a partner who has become and advocate for both NAP and Forefront Client Security (FCS). Fatih from Blue Ridge Networks is a Microsoft NAP partner who also...