Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

This is a cool analyzing tool from Microsoft. With this diagnostics program you can run a security check on your system and see where you might be lacking. The tool was made primarily for people in the IT industry who wanted to check their networks for holes, but it works on standalone systems like a champ. Sorry 9x’ers (i.e.95/98/ME) this one’s all XP and 2000 in addition to having Internet Explorer 5.01 or above.

When you run the MBSA the program springs to life and displays a progress meter to give you a general idea of what it’s doing. When the MBSA is finished it brings up a nice sheet of results from the scan. Some things that the analyzer checks for are:
* Office Updates
* Windows Security Updates
* MDAC (Microsoft Data Access Components) Security Updates
* MSXML Updates
* Automatic Updates
* # of Administrator Accounts
* Firewall Status
* Account Password Test
* File System
* Guest Account
* Restrict Anonymous
* Internet Explorer Zones (security settings)
* and more…

After you’re done viewing your initial scan the system saves the data in an XML document in the folder
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\SecurityScans

You don’t need to worry about that however because the MBSA can view these XML documents and switch between any scans you may have previously saved. This allows you to compare your data and see if your system settings fit your ideal security model. What if after your scan you notice there are some areas of your PC that are maybe out of date or need to be modified differently? Do you know how to change your administrator accounts or configure your firewall properly (you probably do because you’re reading our newsletter.)? Well if you don’t, fear not, MBSA has a link at the end of any line of data that links you out to Microsoft’s site for all the information you could need on the subject.

MBSA is a mere1.56MB download, and 12MB installed. There are all sorts of FAQ’s and help links at the download page I suggest you take some time and poke around if you’re unsure or want to learn more about the MBSA. Hope you find it useful.

Here’s the link…

Stay safe out there,

~ Chad

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