Microsoft Aligns Company Resources to Ensure Secure Customer Networks

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 3, 2001 — Internet security and the increased threat from computer viruses are serious and growing issues that impact businesses around the globe, regardless of platform. In response, Microsoft Corp. today announced a new initiative, the Strategic Technology Protection Program, to help customers get secure and stay secure. Part of the company’s ongoing security commitment, this program marks an unprecedented mobilization of Microsoft’s people and resources to proactively assist customers of any size to secure their computing environments.

“As an industry leader, Microsoft recognizes it has a special obligation to help ensure the security of the Internet and our customers’ data,”
said Brian Valentine, senior vice president of the Windows Division at Microsoft.
“This is a problem that affects the entire industry, but we recognize that there is more work to do. Effective immediately, we are stepping up our efforts with the singular focus of ensuring the security of our customers’ networks and businesses. We will not rest until all our customers have what they need to get secure and stay secure.”

“Worms and viruses present a continued threat to all systems and all software,”
said Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA).
“User education, understanding best security practices, improvements in software development, rigorous enforcement of federal laws, and prosecution of offenders are key elements in a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to protect our computer systems and networks. It is gratifying to see Microsoft step up and offer serious outreach programs to address this national and global challenge.”

The first phase of Microsoft’s Strategic Technology Protection Program, Get Secure , will include free virus-related product support, a new online Security Tool Kit that includes an easy-to-use lockdown tool for Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Server’s Internet Information Services (IIS) and extensive customer outreach via Microsoft’s worldwide organization of account managers and field representatives. A second, longer-term phase of the program,
Stay Secure , will provide customers with the tools, technologies and resources they need to stay secure. As part of the Stay Secure phase, Microsoft will deliver the next version of IIS locked down by default, providing customers with an automated tool to customize and secure IIS to meet their individual business computing needs.

Get Secure

Under the Get Secure phase of the Strategic Technology Protection Program, Microsoft announced the following immediate steps to help customers get secure today:

  • Mobilization of account managers and field representatives. Microsoft’s worldwide organization of technical account managers and field support representatives has been mobilized to work with customers — large and small — to ensure their networks are operating securely.

  • Free customer support. Virus-related product support is now available free of charge to customers of all sizes from the Microsoft product support organization via a toll-free hotline, 1 (866) PC-SAFETY (727-2338).

  • New Security Tool Kit. Effective today, the extensive Security Tool Kit is available online at the Microsoft Security Web site http://www.microsoft.com/security/ . The Security Tool Kit includes service packs and security hot fixes for the Windows NT® 4.0 and Windows 2000 operating systems that are needed to address critical security exposures along with security tools (including the IIS Lockdown tool) to help customers more effectively and simply secure their networks today. Customers can also preorder a free CD version of this kit which will include a one-button security update capability for small and medium-sized businesses that will be publicly available on Oct. 15.

“Viruses pose security threats to all customers and all platforms. While we cannot prevent hackers from writing and distributing malicious code over the Internet, we do want to equip our customers with the tools, technology and support they need to protect their systems,”
Valentine said.
“The Strategic Technology Protection Program initiative is the first step to meet the present needs of our customers and ensure greater security of the Internet.”

Stay Secure

Moving beyond addressing the immediate need to help customers get secure, Microsoft also outlined the second phase of the program, Stay Secure, which will include the following efforts to help customers keep their networks secure:

  • Comprehensive security roll-up packages. Within the next 60 days, Microsoft plans to begin providing customers with comprehensive security roll-up packages via Windows Update. Each package will require one step to deploy and only one system reboot.

  • Windows Update Auto Update security hot fixes for businesses. Microsoft plans to make available an automated service for providing business customers with the comprehensive security roll-up packages updates in a way that meets the needs of enterprise level customers by the end of this year.

  • Expanded scope of the Secure Windows Initiative (SWI). Announced at the RSA Conference in April, SWI focuses solely on continually improving Microsoft’s own development processes to deliver more secure and reliable products and technologies to our customers. Microsoft will apply the tools and processes of SWI to the development of Windows 2000 SP3 to provide improved security for customers who are using current Microsoft products. Microsoft has also taken aggressive steps to eliminate buffer overruns from the next version of IIS. Microsoft will deliver that server software locked down by default and include an automatic, wizard-like tool to help customers customize and secure IIS to meet their individual business computing needs.

In addition, under the Stay Secure effort, Microsoft today announced that it would continue to work with key industry and government groups to meet head on the challenges faced by its customers and to ensure greater security for the Internet.

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