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(Microsoft’s Channel 9 Podcast – Defrag Tools)
I recently installed the Security Compliance Manager 4.0 using and already installed version of SQL Server 2016 express. This is how you need to install SCM 4.0 on windows 10, since SQL Server 2008 is no longer compatible with Windows 10. If you do not already have SQL Server Express installed, then you need to download and install SQL Server express 2014 or 2016 and install just the engine. Then you can install Security Compliance Manager 4.0 and it will ask for an installed instance of SQL Server and you must choose the name of the instance that you just installed. Then SCM4.0 will install successfully on Windows 10. Although Petri.com has posted a review of Microsoft Security Compliance Manager in 2014, there is now a new version available and this post will discuss Version 4.0. Security Compliance Manager will allow you to download Microsoft recommended Security Baselines for Windows 7,8, and 10, and for Windows Server 2012, 2016, and SQL Server 2012. These baselines contain group policies and settings that are recommended by Microsoft to secure your Active Directory domains.
Also available now is Policy Analyzer.
Photo of Policy Analyzer from Microsoft Security Guidance blog on Microsoft TechNet.
The most interesting of the new baselines is perhaps the Windows 10 1607 Security Baseline, and it is available to download after you install Security Compliance Manager 4.0. This baseline can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet that separates the settings and configurations into different tabs. For some reason I am not able to preview this page anymore as I type it, I think adding Google tag manager has screwed it up. So I’m going to post this and then investigate what happened, and I might have to remove the Google Tag Manager. Hopefully I will continue this post later, if you have any questions about these two security software applications from Microsoft feel free to email me at james at jgnetworksecurity.com.
Microsoft has released a Beta version of its EMET tool. You can download it from here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49166 This was released back in October but I have been running version 5.2 for a long time, so I installed the new Beta version to see whats new. If you are running an older operating system such as Windows Vista or Windows 7, you probably won’t benefit from any new features much but if you are running Windows 10 or Server 2012r2, I would suggest trying it in a lab environment first before deploying it to any production environments.
Changes to the GUI interface include most noticeably a new section that says “Block Untrusted Fonts”. This setting is included to support Windows 10 only. Other new features include better configuration of various mitigations via GPO, however I am still trying to figure out how not to crash the app when clicking on the Group Policy button. There are also EAF/EAF+ pseudo-mitigation performance improvements. More information can be found on the technet blog.
The first bug I found on my Windows 10 system was that there is a new button that says Group Policy in the toolbar on the top left. I clicked the button and a box opened up that said the name of my domain at the top but it also said LOCAL GROUP POLICY and it eventually crashed the emet gui dashboard before anything else happened. I collected a dump and I’m analyzing it as it may be related to my Domain’s group policy settings anyway, so this may not affect you as it did over here. However, this crash happens on more than one computer so I sent it in to Microsoft’s Emet feedback.