Secure SMS and Secure Your Passwords

Microsoft released a new document that helps secure Systems Management Server (SMS) environments. The document details security fundamentals, how to secure SMS, and how to maintain SMS security. For example, Microsoft recommends that administrators not allow SMS sites to span Active Directory forests and to install SMS on a member server and not domain controllers. You can download a copy (508KB) of the self-extracting executable file at the company's Web site.

Microsoft also published a new article, "Mind Those Passwords!," written by Keith Brown. In the article Brown addresses the problems many users face when having to manage numerous passwords for various uses. As you know, sometimes it's difficult to remember numerous account names and passwords so users sometimes resort to either writing them down, using the same account names and passwords across multiple sites, or possibly even using overly simplified specific account names and passwords. For example, a online reader of the Windows & .NET Magazine might use a login password of "winnetmag", which obviously isn't very secure.

Brown explains the problems he faced with managing his own passwords and how he solved the problem by creating a custom application that helps him generate complex passwords, keep them securely stored, and retrieve them for use when necessary.

Readers of the article will also find an included link to download a copy of Brown's custom Password Minder software, which requires .NET Framework 1.1. For those who do not have the framework installed, Brown recommends using Password Safe, which was originally developed by Bruce Schneier and uses Blowfish encryption.

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