Upgrade to Microsoft's free security assessment tool readied

The Microsoft Security Assessment Tool is now ready to download. The freebie helps IT shops figure out where network defenses may be lacking.

Microsoft this week released an updated version of a free assessment tool that helps small and medium-sized IT shops figure out where there may be weak spots in security on the corporate network.

The Microsoft Security Assessment Tool 3.0 can be downloaded at the company's Web site.

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The tool asks IT managers to fill out an assessment of their environment. They then receive a report of the results. The findings can be uploaded to a secure server anonymously so IT managers can compare their results with those from other shops across the industry. Microsoft said the results are kept confidential.

The tool requires Windows 2000 Professional Edition, Windows Vista or Windows XP Professional Edition. Also needed are .NET 2.0 and Internet Explorer 6.0.

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