Now that Windows 7 is available, are you looking for some security baseline recommendations from the experts? Then here’s another timely release from the Microsoft Solution Accelerators team! Today, new security baselines for Windows® 7 and Windows® Internet Explorer® 8 are available for download.
Over the past few months, the Solution Accelerators team collaborated with Microsoft security experts, multiple government agencies worldwide, and a large community of IT security professionals to develop and test these new security baselines.All of these baselines are free for you to use.
In case you are not familiar with all of the security baselines available for Microsoft products, they ship as part of the Security Compliance Management Toolkit (SCMT) Series
. The SCMT helps you to plan, deploy, and monitor security baselines for Windows® operating systems, Internet Explorer, and 2007 Microsoft® Office applications. It contains background information about compliance, and planning advice about how to automate security compliance. It also refers you to other tools and guidance that you can use to establish and deploy a security baseline, and then monitor and maintain compliance with your established configuration. Where do you start?
At a high level, security compliance consists of four basic steps:
- Plan how to meet security baseline requirements.
- Deploy security baseline configurations.
- Monitor security baseline configurations.
- Remediate security baseline configurations.
The tools, guidance, and recommendations in the SCMT help you through each step of this process and give you the support to make key decisions about security baseline settings for your specific environment. Here’s what you get:
What should you do next?
- Security guide – The toolkits include new and updated security guides for Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Microsoft Office 2007 SP1, and Internet Explorer 8. The guidance provides you with best practices and automated tools to help you plan and deploy your security baselines.
- Attack Surface Reference workbook – A resource that lists the changes introduced as server roles are installed on computers running Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.
- Security Baseline Settings workbook – A resource that lists all of the prescribed settings for each of the preconfigured security baselines that the guides recommend.
- Security Baseline XML – XML files that allow you to consume the data defined in the security baseline settings workbooks.
- GPOAccelerator tool – A tool that you can use to create all of the Group Policy objects (GPOs) you need to deploy your chosen security configuration. This release also supports creating security configurations on computers not joined to a domain.
- Baseline Compliance Management Overview – The overview discusses best practices on how to monitor security baselines for Windows operating systems, Office applications, and Internet Explorer 8.
- DCM Configuration Pack User Guide – A step-by-step prescriptive user guide about how to use Configurations Packs with the DCM feature in Configuration Manager 2007 R2.
- DCM Configuration Packs – Configuration Packs that provide prescriptive security information, which you can use to check the compliance of systems in your environment.