Federal agencies racing to lock down security of their Windows XP and Windows Vista PCs

Federal agencies required to ensure security of their Windows XP and Windows Vista PCs by the end of February are about to get a much anticipated list of validated assessment tools.The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) first list of tools based on the Security Content Automated Protocol (SCAP) will enable federal agencies to […]

Federal agencies required to ensure security of their Windows XP and Windows Vista PCs by the end of February are about to get a much anticipated list of validated assessment tools.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) first list of tools based on the Security Content Automated Protocol (SCAP) will enable federal agencies to configure, assess, monitor and report that their Microsoft XP and Vista desktop systems adhere to the "Federal Desktop Core Configuration" standard. The FDCC requires agencies running the Microsoft software to configure desktop settings according to specific security guidelines, limiting users' abilities to change their desktops.

Vendors with secure-configuration management products had already been moving to support the SCAP standard, but the federal government last year decided to require validated SCAP tools by having NIST establish a testing regimen. This set off a race against the clock to get a product-testing program in place.

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 Federal, Agencies, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Security, Microsoft, Security Update