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1. In Focus: IE 7.0 and Attractive Alternatives
2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- Oracle Database Vault and Secure Backup Lock Down Access to Data
- AttachmateWRQ To Acquire NetIQ
- Name That Computer!
3. Security Toolkit
- Security Matters Blog
- Instant Poll
- Share Your Security Tips
4. New and Improved
- Put Endpoints to the Security Test
==== Sponsor: Thawte ===
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==== 1. In Focus: IE 7.0 and Attractive Alternatives === by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net
Microsoft recently released Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0 Beta 2 for
public download (first URL below). Even with the security and other
improvements in IE 7.0, some people still think IE is substandard or
that using IE is the equivalent of painting a target on your forehead.
Still others have more scathing comments about IE: Industry luminary
John Dvorak recently called IE a "dead albatross" in a column published
on PC Magazine's Web site (second URL below).
Dvorak thinks that trying to integrate the browser tightly with the OS
was one of Microsoft's worst moves ever. That argument makes some sense
given the number of security vulnerabilities that continue to be
discovered in the browser. Dvorak thinks Microsoft should ditch IE and
instead invest in Opera Software and make a large donation to Mozilla
Foundation to help boost development of their respective browsers.
Such a move by Microsoft isn't likely. In fact, Microsoft is driving
forward with IE tool proliferation. If you have a copy of IE 7.0, head
over to Microsoft's "Add-Ons for Internet Explorer Web site at the URL
below, where you'll find at least 63 third-party security-related tools
arranged in four categories: Online Protection tools help guard against
spyware and malware; Pop-Up Blockers are probably self-explanatory;
Privacy tools help protect against exposure of your private information
and guard against spyware and malware; and Parental Controls control
online activity and help protect your children against a range of
risks. Although the site claims to be for IE add-ons, you'll find many
standalone tools, such as Microsoft Windows Defender and Lavasoft's Ad-
If IE 7.0 won't run on your particular platforms, then undoubtedly you
know about Firefox ( http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=28F17:4FB69 ) and Opera
( http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=28F1C:4FB69 ), and might opt to use those browsers instead.
But do you know about Maxthon Browser, Tablane, and Avant Browser?
Maxthon Browser, by Maxthon International, is designed on top of the IE
engine and introduces a ton of new functionality not available in
Microsoft's versions of IE. For example, Maxthon offers tabbed
browsing, enhanced pop-up blocking, a quick way to delete private
information that might be stored by the browser, enhanced drag-and-drop
features, support for extensions and plug-ins, support for skins,
support for many languages, and a whole lot more. In short, Maxthon (at
the URL below) is what IE should have been years ago.
Two other browsers, which are also based on the IE engine and which,
you might look into further are Tablane by Tablane Technology (at the
first URL below) and Avant Browser, by Avant Force (at the second URL
below). Tablane has some nice features, such as "lanes," which are a
way of displaying multiple Web pages in a single view. Other features
include support for Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds and a unique
function that lets you use multiple search engines at once.
Avant Browser claims to be "the fastest browser on Earth" and has many
interesting features, some of which are similar to those found in
Maxthon, such as enhanced pop-up blocking and privacy controls.
However, Avant doesn't use the common tabbed interface--instead it
displays many resizable windows inside the browser's single window
interface. Look at the screen capture on the browser's home page to see
what I mean. Avant Force also says that Avant has "no security holes,"
which is an extraordinary claim. I'm sure security researchers will
eventually put that claim to many tests.
So even if you can't use the new IE 7.0 for some reason, several
alternatives can enhance the functionality and security of your current
installation of IE. Do some research and testing to see if any of the
alternatives might fit your needs.
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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
Oracle Database Vault and Secure Backup Lock Down Access to Data
Oracle's new Database Vault provides more granular control over
access privileges in Oracle Database. Oracle also announced the
availability of its new Secure Backup, which encrypts data written to
tape and works with Oracle Database and various file systems on various
AttachmateWRQ To Acquire NetIQ
AttachmateWRQ announced that it will acquire security solutions
provider NetIQ for approximately $495 million in cash, which equates to
about $12.20 per share of stock. NetIQ, founded in 1995, will no longer
be publicly traded. Instead the company will become a business unit of
AttachmateWRQ. The transaction is expected to close within 90 days.
Name That Computer!
Jeff Fellinge takes a look at how naming conventions and IP
standards can help you quickly identify systems and compares the
approaches that two everyday Windows tools take to resolve IP addresses
==== Resources and Events ===
Learn the essentials about how consolidation and selected technology
updates build an infrastructure that can handle change effectively.
Use virtual server technology to consolidate your production
environment using only a fraction of the server hardware in the data
center. Live Event: Thursday, May 18
Design effective policies to protect your company's assets and data.
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Learn to differentiate alternative solutions to disaster recovery for
your Windows-based applications to determine what works for you and
ensure seamless recovery of your key systems--whether a disaster
strikes just one server or the whole site. Live event: Thursday, May 11
Increase administration efficiency, build flexible yet inexpensive
file-server environments, and maximize potential through consolidation
of your SQL Server environment. Make the most of your resources today!
==== Featured White Paper ===
Learn how to address challenges such as making email truly available
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data, and more.
==== Hot Spot: IronPort ===
Learn the best ways to manage your email security (and fight spam)
using a variety of solutions and tips.
==== 3. Security Toolkit ====
Security Matters Blog: Use the Command Line, Luke
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=28F12:4FB69
If Luke Skywalker were a security administrator, his most powerful
tools might be command-line tools. If you think you can figure out how
to terminate a bunch of processes, some of which spawn new processes
when they're terminated, you might want to take the hacking challenge
"Star Hacks, Episode V: The Empire Hacks Back" described in this blog
by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=28F10:4FB69
Q: How can I verify whether a domain controller (DC) is in a certain
Find the answer at http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=28F0F:4FB69
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get $100. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length.
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==== 4. New and Improved === by Renee Munshi, email@example.com
Put Endpoints to the Security Test
Senforce Technologies launched Senforce intelligent Network Access
Control. iNAC compares the security state of an endpoint device that's
attempting to connect to a network to a policy that defines security
conditions that must be met to allow network access. IT administrators
can create access policies that define which applications and services
are permitted and that specify actions to take when endpoints don't
comply. Pricing starts at $65 per user and quantity discounts are
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