Posted by: kurtsh | June 28, 2011

BETA: Microsoft Security Compliance Manager version 2

imageMicrosoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM) 2 enables organizations to take better advantage of their existing knowledge and investments, and customize security and compliance settings with ease. Customers can harden their machines to industry standards, monitor for configuration drift and address the configuration requirements of hundreds of regulations like SOX, PCI and HIPAA. Learn more.

New SCM 2 features include:

  • GPO import: SCM 2 can now import Group Policy Object (GPO) Backup files to allow organizations to import and compare their existing knowledge against Microsoft baseline recommendations. This long-awaited feature effectively helps you to customize and manage your organization’s existing knowledge stored in Active Directory.
  • Baseline setting customization: Modifying baselines just got easier. Adding, extending, or deleting settings from a baseline is an effortless process in this new version of the tool.
  • Local GPO functionality: Apply security baselines directly to client and server computers using the LocalGPO command-line tool, which enables you to secure stand-alone computers and test different baselines without using Active Directory to deploy them. Use this tool to create local policy snapshots that you can import into SCM 2 using the new GPO import capabilities, which you can then compare, customize, and export as needed.
  • Additional features: These include a new and enhanced UI that provides simpler navigation in the tool, and improved installation with SQL Server 2005 and later releases of SQL Server.

Version 2 of the SCM tool will release with a full complement of Microsoft product baselines, including these new and/or updated baselines:

  • Windows Internet Explorer 9
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows Server 2008 SP2
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2

In more detail
Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM) 2 provides security and compliance configuration recommendations from Microsoft, centralized baseline management features, a baseline portfolio, customization capabilities, and security and compliance baseline export flexibility to accelerate your organization’s ability to efficiently manage the security and compliance process for the most widely used Microsoft products and technologies. The formerly stand-alone product-specific security guides are now included in the SCM tool.

Version 2 of the SCM tool releases with a full complement of Microsoft security and compliance baselines, including a new Windows Internet Explorer 9 Security Baseline, and updated baseline versions for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2008 SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP2.

These new beta baselines provide:

  • Setting severity ratings, allowing you to quickly sort, prioritize, and apply Microsoft security and compliance recommendations.
  • Consolidated product baselines that eliminate EC and SSLF baseline components, and make viewing, customizing, and implementing your security baselines easier than ever!
  • New compliance-based settings groups allow quicker and easier compliance reporting and audit preparation, when used with the  GRC management solution within System Center.

Additional product baselines are currently in development, including baselines for: Windows 7 SP1, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2010, SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 (multiple roles), Office 2010, Windows Vista SP2, Windows XP SP3, and Windows Internet Explorer 8.

Call to Action

  • Join the Security Compliance Manager Beta Review Program:  Join the beta, and influence the development of this latest version of the tool.
  • Tell us what you think! Test drive the beta release, and send us your constructive feedback. We value your input; this is the perfect opportunity to be heard.

The beta will be available for download on Microsoft Connect through early August.

Note: New and existing users can access the beta version of Microsoft Security Compliance Manager 2 through Microsoft Connect. For existing users, simply download the beta and use the installation wizard to walk you through the upgrade process, and automatically transfer your existing baselines and settings.

Tell your peers and customers about Security Solution Accelerators! Please forward this to anyone who wants to learn more about security and Microsoft Solution Accelerators.

Already using Security Solution Accelerators? We’d like to hear about your experiences. Please send comments and suggestions to  secwish@microsoft.com.


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