Windows Tip Sheet
If nothing else, Win2003 SP1's new Security Configuration Wizard is a great diagnostic tool.
While the new Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) in Win2003 SP1 has received
mixed reviews (personally, I like it), it’s valuable as a diagnostic tool,
even if you never use it to reconfigure your servers.
For example, while running through the SCW, you’ll be treated to a list
of every service running on your computer, along with decent descriptions of
what each does. You’ll get a list of open pots, along with information
about the process or application that’s keeping them open.
You can also use the SCW to see what various "roles" require -- again,
even if you don’t plan to make any changes using the SCW. It makes it
easier to see what’s required for a file server to be a file server,
or what ports a DNS server needs to have open. Running the SCW is completely
safe, because it doesn’t make any changes until the very end, when you’re
specifically asked if you want to actually apply any changes you’ve made.
If not, SCW is content to save your changes into a template (an XML file), which
you can load later and examine or apply.
If you haven’t taken a run-through the SCW yet, do so soon. Even if you
never plan to use it to make configuration changes (believe me, I know the fear
involved there -- one wrong move and your environment is toast), it’s
great to see what it would do.
Service Pack 1 (if you somehow don’t have it yet).
- Read my initial
take on SP1.
- WindowsSecurity.com’s take
on the SCW is.
- Bill Boswell’s thoughts
on the SCW.
- And Microsoft’s official
word on SCW
- And on a completely unrelated note, if you enjoy Windows administrative
scripting (VBScript), check out my new podcast on Windows administrative scripting
news, interviews and more. It’s available through Apple iTunes or here.
Don Jones is a multiple-year recipient of Microsoft’s MVP Award, and is an Author/Evangelist for video training company Pluralsight. Don is also a co-founder and President of PowerShell.org, a community dedicated to Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell technology. Don has more than two decades of experience in the IT industry, and specializes in the Microsoft business technology platform. He’s the author of more than 50 technology books, an accomplished IT journalist, and a sought-after speaker and instructor at conferences worldwide. Reach Don on Twitter at @concentratedDon, or on Facebook at Facebook.com/ConcentratedDon.