Awards for Microsoft security efforts

Software giant gets a break from its critics.

Microsoft has received a rare pat on the back for its security efforts. SANS, a US research group for systems administrators and security managers, gave Microsoft awards for demonstrating leadership in three security categories at the Fifth National Information Assurance Leadership Conference in San Diego.

The company won awards for leadership in providing automated security updates; providing security training for software developers; and providing testing software for security vulnerabilities.

Microsoft's award in the automated updates category - which it shared with Linux supplier Red Hat - was in recognition of the automated patching service for Windows XP and Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 and above. Microsoft's security training program for software developers earned the company its second award, while its extensive automation of its software testing process snagged the third one.

The awards were based on criteria and feedback from security administrators at 15 large institutions that SANS works with on a daily basis, said Alan Paller, the group's director of research at SANS. Many of those who participated in the decision process were administrators working in organisations with more than 10,000 systems.

Read more on IT risk management