Features added to Windows security checker

Margie Semilof, Senior News Writer

Microsoft last week released a new version of its free Windows vulnerability detection tool, which will help some IT managers more easily identify common security misconfigurations.

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.0 scans for missing security updates, update rollups and service packs published to Microsoft Update. The new version has a graphical and command line interface that lets IT administrators more easily perform local or remote scans of Windows systems. The tool was made easier to use and has added some new support features, one analyst observed.

It runs on Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 and Windows XP systems and can scan for problems on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Internet Information Server 5.0

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and 6.0, SQL Server 7.0 and 2000, Internet Explorer 5.01 and later, as well as Office 2000, 2002 and 2003.

Laura Koetzle, a security analyst at Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Mass., said the fact that the tool works only on Windows systems lessens its value for multi-platform enterprises. "For SMBs, however, this is a good place to start," she said. "MBSA 2.0 is just a basic tool, but it is useful and a whole lot better than nothing."

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