19 August, 2008

Is your Windows environment secure enough?

I found a new tool from Microsoft that will evaluate the security of your PC, and give instructions on how to correct potential vulnerabilities.
Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) is an easy-to-use tool designed for the IT professional that helps small- and medium-sized businesses determine their security state in accordance with Microsoft security recommendations and offers specific remediation guidance.


You don't need to be an IT professional to use MBSA, as instructions for correcting potential vulnerabilities are easy to follow. MBSA examines the following areas on your Windows computer:
  • Security Updates
  • Windows Administrative Vulnerabilities and System Issues, e.g. is Windows Firewall enabled, is the Guest Account disabled, and if are unnecessary Services turned off
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) Administrative Vulnerabilities and System Issues, e.g. are the sample applications removed and has the IIS Lockdown patch been applied
    Note, many folks do not realize that they have IIS unnecessarily running on their computer
  • Desktop Application Administrative Vulnerabilities
Of course this does not cover all of your security needs, but it is important all the same. For additional information to see if your computing environment is secure, read my posts "Is Your Windows XP Computer Internet Safe?" and "Is your home network secure?"

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