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VM, VPS, and User Training

VM, VPS, and User Training
VM, VPS, and User Training

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1. In Focus: VM, VPS, and User Training 

2. Security News and Features
   - Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   - Microsoft To Hold Five Security Summits
   - Oracle Slip-Up Results in Leaked Exploit Information
   - Geek Squad Gets Slapped with Restraining Order

3. Security Toolkit
   - Security Matters Blog
   - FAQ
   - Instant Poll
   - Share Your Security Tips

4. New and Improved
   - Remove Malware Remotely

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==== 1. In Focus: VM, VPS, and User Training ===   by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

Last week, I discussed how virtual machines (VMs) might become standard 
on computers. As a brief recap, virtualization technology could provide 
an effective way to ensure the integrity of desktop computers, 
particularly because it makes restoring a compromised system quick and 
easy: Simply shut down the VM and relaunch it. 

If you consider implementing this type of solution, you should also 
consider running different OSs on the under- and overlying systems. 
Doing so will probably improve overall security more than if you, say, 
run a Windows-based VM (typically called the guest OS) on top of 
another Windows-based OS (typically called the host OS). Exploiting the 
vulnerabilities of two OSs and their related applications is more 
difficult than compromising one.

You could, for example, run some variety of Linux or BSD or possibly 
Mac OS X or Solaris as the host OS and run Windows as a VM. This way, 
if an intruder is able to compromise Windows, you can quickly clean up 
that problem; in order to compromise the entire system, the intruder 
would need to know which OS runs as the host underneath Windows and be 
able to exploit that OS too. Of course, the downside of this approach 
is that you'd have two OSs to maintain, plus the expense of licensing 
the host OS if you don't use an open source OS. 

Last week, I mentioned Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, VMware, and 
Parallels Workstation as virtualization solutions. Serenity Virtual 
Station (SVISTA) from Serenity System International allows both Linux 
and FreeBSD as host OSs and can run Windows, Linux, and Serenity's 
eComStation as guest OSs. 

Finally, another virtualization solution that I didn't mention last 
week is called virtual private servers (VPSs). Don't mistake VPSs for 
VMs--there are important differences. In short, VPS technology doesn't 
let you mix different host and guest OSs. True VMs work at the hardware 
level, whereas VPS technology works at the software level to create an 
isolated environment that uses the OS. So for example, if you use VPS 
technology on a Windows XP system, each VPS you create on that system 
will be based on that single installed copy of XP. 

If you think you might be interested in VPS technology, have a look at 
Virtuozzo from SWsoft (first URL below), which runs on Windows and 
Linux. If you use Solaris, you might know that it has VPS support built 
in. Other VPS solutions are also available for Linux via the Linux-
Vserver Web site (at the second URL below) and BSD via BSD jails (which 
you can learn about at the third URL below). 

Virtualization technology goes a long way towards building better 
security and can help protect users from themselves. Another way to 
help end users improve company security is to train them.  

Last week, CompTIA said that based on a recent survey of 574 companies, 
human error was responsible for 60 percent of information security 
breaches experienced over the last year. Yet only 36 percent of the 
surveyed companies offer end-user training!

It is glaringly apparent that end users need training to help raise 
their security awareness. I seriously doubt that any combination of 
technologies could reasonably replace thorough education. Chances are 
great that if more end users received security-related training, 
security breaches could be significantly reduced. This of course saves 
time and money and helps protect your business at all levels, including 
its important public image. 

Although some aspects of end-user training need to be tailored to fit 
your particular business, many aspects can be generalized to fit nearly 
any business that uses Microsoft products. I'll see if I can dig up 
some useful training resources that might help you review or augment 
your existing training or develop new training if you don't have any in 
place. Look for this information in an upcoming edition of this 

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==== 2. Security News and Features ===
Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security 
Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security 
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these 
discoveries at 

Microsoft To Hold Five Security Summits
   Microsoft announced that it's hosting a series of one-day security 
events in five US cities tailored for IT pros and developers. The 
series, Security Matters--Microsoft Security Summits 2006, are intended 
to teach people about key trends as well as how to prepare for those 
trends and to offer an opportunity to discuss security issues with 
experts from the company. 

Oracle Slip-Up Results in Leaked Exploit Information
   Vendors typically frown upon the premature publication of 
vulnerability and exploit information, and usually the discoverer is 
the source of the leak. But recently Oracle was the source of a leak 
about a vulnerability, including a working exploit, in its popular 
Oracle Database server product. 

Geek Squad Gets Slapped with Restraining Order
   You'd think that a megacorporation would know better than to use 
unlicensed software. But if employee reports are true, then Best Buy's 
Geek Squad committed a major faux pas that has landed the company in 
some very hot water. 

==== Resources and Events ===
Gain control of your messaging data with step-by-step instructions for 
complying with the law, ensuring your systems are working properly, and 
ultimately making your job easier. 

Industry guru Randy Franklin Smith helps you identify what you should 
do to leverage your mobile and wireless infrastructure, how to pick 
devices that are right for you, and more! 

Learn about the advantages of each alternative to traditional file 
servers and tape storage solutions, and make the best choice for your 
enterprise needs. 

Learn to gather evidence of compliance across multiple systems and link 
the data to regulatory and framework control objectives. 

Learn how application packaging can cut your OS migration time while 
maintaining error-free deployment. 

==== Featured White Paper ===
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you'll learn about the various applications of SSL certificates and how 
to deploy them appropriately, along with details of how to test SSL on 
your Web server. 

==== Hot Spot ===
New Activeworx v3 - Affordable SIM from CrossTec
   Activeworx Security Center v3 is a high-quality, low-cost, security 
information and event management (SIM) software solution that collects, 
normalizes and analyzes data from virtually any security device from 
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alerts, built-in compliance reports and deep forensics. Free Eval. 

==== 3. Security Toolkit ==== 

Security Matters Blog: A Deeper Look at Microsoft's InfoCard Identity 
by Mark Joseph Edwards, 

Microsoft Passport is essentially a flop. However, Microsoft's new 
identity system, InfoCard, might actually take off. Find out more about 
it by following the links in this blog article. 

by John Savill, 

Q: Can you use the Microsoft File Server Migration Toolkit (FSMT) to 
migrate shares between servers in different forests?

Find the answer at 

New Instant Poll

How do your remote employees access your file servers?
   - VPN (IPsec, PPTP, L2TP, or SSL)
   - Web-based file-access application
   - Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) server

See the article "WebDAV for Remote Access" at 

Submit your vote at 

Share Your Security Tips and Get $100
   Share your security-related tips, comments, or problems and 
solutions in the Windows IT Security print newsletter's 
Reader to Reader column. Email your contributions to If we print your submission, you'll 
get $100. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length.

==== Announcements ===   (from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

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==== 4. New and Improved === by Renee Munshi, 

Remove Malware Remotely
   IS Decisions has released SweepDeployer, free software which lets 
you remotely execute on an entire network (or a selection of systems) 
one of the following malware removal solutions: Microsoft Malicious 
Software Removal Tool, McAfee AVERT Stinger, or Trend Micro Damage 
Cleanup Engine. The targeted systems need no agents or manual 
intervention. You can also schedule SweepDeployer to automatically run 
the selected tool at regular intervals. SweepDeployer is based on IS 
Decisions RemoteExec technology. For more information, go to 

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!
   Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving 
you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and 
we'll send you a T-shirt if we write about the product in a future 
Windows IT Pro What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with 
information about how the product has helped you to 

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