School's Hardening Windows School


Welcome to's Hardening Windows School, where IT professionals will learn the best methods for hardening Windows-platformed machines against unknown security threats. Accompanying the six webcast lessons are three technical checklists -- one beginner, one intermediate and one advanced -- created by our guest instructor, Jonathan Hassell, and several quizzes from

   Course Outline
   Begin Lesson 1: Enabling automatic security updates for Windows
   Begin Lesson 2: Establishing secure passwords and passphrases
   Begin Lesson 3: Creating a custom security template
   Begin Lesson 4: Planning Group Policy implementation with security in mind
   Begin Lesson 5: Mandating SMB signing and understand consequences
   Begin Lesson 6: Applying network access quarantine options
   About the Instructor

Ask Hardening Windows expert Jonathan Hassell a question

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  Hardening Windows School Course Outline

Lesson 1 (Beginner): Enabling automatic security updates for Windows
Patch management is the bane of administrators' existence. Learn deployment procedures and considerations for Microsoft's patch management solution, and get a preview of the next version of Automatic Updates in this lesson.

Lesson 2 (Beginner): Establishing secure passwords and passphrases
Users are tired of remembering long characters of gibberish. Make it easier on them, and require full sentences that are easy to recall but long enough to thwart brute-force password attacks. You'll get several tips for creating strong passwords in this lesson.

Lesson 3 (Intermediate): Creating a custom security template
Creating security templates is a great way to roll out a cohesive set of security settings to multiple Windows machines at one time. Doing so will help you achieve consistency and rapid deployment, which are goals of every network administrator. Find out how to create a custom template in this lesson.

Lesson 4 (Intermediate): Planning Group Policy implementation with security in mind
Group Policy can be a simple way to distribute settings across a Windows domain environment, but it requires forethought and planning. Learn how to best structure a Group Policy implementation with security configurations in mind in this lesson.

Lesson 5 (Intermediate): Mandating Server Message Block (SMB) signing and understand consequences
To prevent man-in-the-middle attacks and other nasty network infections, set up SMB signing. Then, both ends of a transmission can verify who sent the message and make sure that the contents of the message were not altered. Get help mandating SMB signing in this lesson.

Lesson 6 (Advanced): Applying network access quarantine options
Quarantining involves removing or limiting general network access for clients until their integrity has been verified. Learn what it takes to implement quarantining today, and then take a peek into the future of quarantining in Windows Server 2003 R2 and Longhorn client and server in this lesson.

  About the Instructor

Jonathan Hassell is an author, consultant and speaker residing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jonathan's books include RADIUS and Learning Windows Server 2003 for O'Reilly Media and Hardening Windows for Apress. His work is seen regularly in popular periodicals such as Windows IT Pro Magazine, SecurityFocus, PC Pro and Microsoft TechNet Magazine. He speaks around the world on topics including networking, security and Windows administration.

Click to ask Jon a question or purchase his book here.


This was first published in April 2005

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