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Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

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The Bottom Line

MBSA is not perfect- but for the money you can't beat it! Because it looks for registry keys and not actual vulnerabilities it may miss some things, but its great for a quick and free tool.

Pros

  • It's free!
  • Creates a report viewable in web browser
  • Links to detailed information to fix weaknesses

Cons

  • May conflict with Windows Update Info
  • May not detect some workarounds

Description

  • A free tool from Microsoft to analyze your security configuration
  • The report will supply a checklist of problems found.
  • The report contains instructions for repairing the problem with links to the relevant information.

Guide Review - Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

In response to the avalanche of criticism Microsoft has received regarding the security of their products, Microsoft created a free tool to analyze your security configuration. Now in its second release, the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) can be used to detect security configuration errors on the local computer or remotely across a network.

The tool does not work flawlessly. Some Microsoft Security Bulletins contain workarounds or manual fixes rather than patches to install. For these items MBSA will report yellow X’s to signify that it can not tell whether or not you have applied the patch. There are also discrepancies at times between what MBSA finds and what Windows Update detects.

The report will supply a checklist of problems found- whether configuration errors or missing patches and updates. More importantly, the report contains instructions for how to repair the problem complete with links to the relevant information and downloads.

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