Microsoft's SME security toolkit is light on tools but heavy on product plugs


Microsoft's SME security toolkit is light on tools but heavy on product plugs

A free Security Toolkit for small- and medium-sized UK businesses has been released by Microsoft, writes Eric Doyle.

Although called a toolkit, the only real tool is an application called Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) which is only applicable to users of Windows 2000 or XP.

The rest of the package contains white papers, case studies, security patches, Web site links and Webcasts.

MBSA first appeared last April and its prime purpose is to scan for missing fixes and service patches for Windows NT4 (SP4 minimum), Windows 2000, Windows XP, Internet Information Server, and SQL Server.

The product creates an XML report for each server scanned and therefore requires Microsoft's XML parser (MSXML version 3.0 SP2) to function properly.

Never one to miss a trick, Microsoft has also bundled in trial versions of Windows XP, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000.

The release of the pack comes at a time when the Trustworthy Computing message, started earlier this year needs a boost.

Although Microsoft has been pushing the message throughout the year, it is seen as self-serving because of the company's poor track record in manufacturing secure systems.

Significantly, of all the "tools" offered, the most useful is probably the option to subscribe to the company's e-mail security bulletin. This provides the latest news on the Microsoft bug-hunt front and carries pointers to the latest fixes for these vulnerabilities.

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This was first published in November 2002


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