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How secure is Windows Server 2003 Small Business Edition (Standard)

Posted on 2005-03-12
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I am setting up my first server with Windows Server 2003 Small Business Edition.  How secure is it?  It will be behind a router with basic firewall (NAT, etc) and the box has two NIC's.  Are there any settings in the OS that I need to change to secure the server?  Should I be looking at a 3rd party piece of software to help with this?

Also, if my 5 or so client computers are behind the firewall and the server, do they need to be running a 3rd party software firewall (i.e. ZoneAlarm, Symantec Firewall)?
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Question by:dhollander
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originalhandyandy earned 900 total points
ID: 13526694
You are reasonably secure, not as secure as you would be if you had installed premium with ISA.
There are no special setting you need to make in the OS just make sure to run Email and Internet WIzard from the todo list in the console. It configures RRAS for you and does some other behind the scenes configuration that is needed for SBS to do it's thing.

There are some installation walk throughs on my site at www.SBS-Rocks.com/articles

There are some additional hotfixes  you should install, one of them enables the XP firewall so you don't need a third party one. These are at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/downloads/default.mspx

Good Luck,
HA
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Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 13527178
Most servers are as secure as they are configured to be.  One of the benefits of Windows is that it's user-friendly and easy to learn.  The flip side of this is that this means there are a lot of Windows servers out there that have been configured by people not fully qualified to configure them securely.

BTW - I got a 404 not found error for your site link, HA.
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by:dhollander
ID: 13527690
Do you have any sites that list how I should go about securing the server, once I have it?
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Expert Comment

by:originalhandyandy
ID: 13528366
Sorry about the bad link I forgot the htm
http://www.sbs-rocks.com/articles.htm

To secure the server all you need do is run the Connect to the Internet Wizard, it will open open the ports you specifically check. Other than that just make sure you are running a suitable AV Suite, personally I like Symantec Enterprise Edition with Mail Security, others in the SBS MVP group prefer Trend. Whatever you preference use something and keep it and the OS updated frequently.

If you are interested in deeper info on SBS Security try www.sbslinks.com Susan's site, she is not only an SBS MVP but also a Security MVP.
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Expert Comment

by:originalhandyandy
ID: 13528376
HA oops note: the line above should read it will only open, not it will open open, sorry
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Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 13528555
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Expert Comment

by:originalhandyandy
ID: 13528569
Also Note: If you are experminting with the w2k3 sp1 beta, DO NOT run the SCW (security configuation wizard) on the SBS server, you will break it. We highly recomend waiting for SBS SP1 which will contain the w2k3 sp1.  
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