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Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer: Needed Or Not?

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Security Help, System Tune-Up Help
 
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Tim from Louisville, OH writes:

Microsoft Baseline Security Scanner, MBSA; what does it do? Is it worthwhile for an individual to have and use? I already have a virus scanner, Malwarebytes, Spybot, CCleaner, etc; is it worthwhile to have MBSA in addition? Thanks.

Answer:

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) is a security tool designed for computer professionals to scan and analyze a computer.  It can detect any known security holes, missing updates, password policy recommendations, service mis-configurations and other problems. The tool uses Microsoft’s recommended security guidelines to make its recommendations. 

This tool is not designed for the general public. Some of the recommendations may be confusing to users who do not fully understand the information being presented. For example, you may receive a warning that a user account has no password expiration. Rarely does a home user have group policies for expiration of passwords, though it is common in corporate security policies.

This tool is particularly useful for IT administrators in small and medium-size businesses to scan and determine if computers on a local network have any suggested fixes. You can scan all computers on a domain or workgroup, scan by computer name or scan by IP address. You can see a screenshot below of the kinds of information the tool will produce:

As a home user I would avoid the tool, but if you manage a business and want to see if the computers on your local network are meeting Microsoft’s security recommendations, it is handy tool to download. You can download MBSA by clicking here.

-Tim

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