Microsoft Details New Security Innovations at RSA Conference 2003

Today at RSA Conference 2003, Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the Security Business Unit at Microsoft, detailed a series of new products and programs designed to help customers enhance the security of their computers and networks. Among other topics, Nash discussed the release of Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) for Windows Server 2003, progress on patch management and new innovations such as the Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB).

Nash said:”Security is our highest priority and a core pillar of our Trustworthy Computing efforts. To help address our customers’ security challenges, we are increasing our focus on software quality, addressing patch management complexities, and continuing to innovate with new products and “safety technologies.”

Specifically, Nash announced availability of Windows RMS, information protection technology that works with RMS-enabled applications to help safeguard digital information from unauthorized use. RMS allows users to distribute information within organizations and define exactly how and under what circumstances it can be opened, modified, printed, forwarded and copied. Microsoft is working with a number of industry partners to develop RMS-enabled applications and solutions based on the technology, which is built on the Microsoft® .NET Framework. During the keynote address, Nash demonstrated a solution from Omniva Policy Systems that extends RMS by providing advanced policy management and automated policy application for e-mail and attachments.

Nash also described improvements to help reduce the complexity of security patch management. Microsoft has now adopted a monthly patch release process to reduce the burden on IT administrators by adding a level of predictability and manageability. Microsoft is also extending security patch support through June 2004 for Windows NT Workstation 4 Service pack 6a and Windows 2000 Service Pack 2. In addition, the company will release Software Update Services 2.0 in the first half of 2004, providing a seamless patch, scanning and installation experience for Windows, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Office System and Exchange Server.

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