Test your Firewall and System Security Configurations

Security is always a concern, whether you're running a clustered Windows 2000 Datacenter Server or a standalone Win2K Professional workstation, especially when you connect a system to the Internet. You can do several things to make your system less susceptible to malicious Internet users (click here for some tools and ideas), but most people leave system security up to their Internet firewall.

To determine how well your personal firewall is performing, and whether you've configured your local system for optimal Internet security, browse over to Gibson Research and look at its free Leaktest and Shields Up applications. These easy-to-use tools tell you whether explicit holes exist in your firewall and system security configurations. Although many of the configuration tips presume that you can get away with disabling file sharing over TCP/IP, the site still provides a lot of useful information.

If your system is on a corporate network, I suggest that you not run tools that probe your firewall without alerting your IT department first. IT types get a little nervous when port scanners start hitting their firewalls.

Many readers have pointed out that the URL given along with the multiprocessor upgrade tip in the January 18 edition of this newsletter was incorrect. Go here to find instructions for using uptomp.exe with Windows NT 4.0. I suggest you search the Knowledge Base for article Q156358 because the search will return many related documents that outline problems you might encounter when upgrading to SMP and how to fix them.

This week's tip:
Win2K lets you install Plug and Play (PnP) devices even if you aren't logged in as an Administrator. If the PnP device has a matching digitally signed driver, any user can install the device. If the device doesn't meet the criteria needed for this install, you can still install it using the runas command. The following syntax

Runas /u:<computername>\administrator devmgmt.msc

launches the Device Manager applet after prompting you for an Administrator password.

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