Updated Microsoft Security Assessment Tool

Greetings. In case you haven’t already read about it, we recently updated the Microsoft Security Assessment Tool (MSAT). Version 4.0 hit the web on 31 October. It’s been four years since the initial release, and two years since the prior version. Between then and now your security world has evolved a lot, and the tool now reflects that.

Read more: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/cc185712.aspx

Download now: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=CD057D9D-86B9-4E35-9733-7ACB0B2A3CA1&displaylang=en

Take a few moments and give yourself a security checkup. If you have any comments or feedback on the tool, feel free to leave them here on my blog—I’ll make sure the right people see it.

Update: got an email from someone with two questions:

  • When you install the tool, the UAC dialog shows “Microsoft Corporation (Internal Use Only).” This is the CA that signed the tool, and it’s an internal CA—thus the “internal use only” bit.
  • The tool fails to run on Vista x64. This is a known issue, we’re working to fix it.


From the download page:

The MSAT employs a holistic approach to measuring your security posture by covering topics across people, process, and technology. Findings are coupled with prescriptive guidance and recommended mitigation efforts, including links to more information for additional industry guidance. These resources may assist you in keeping you aware of specific tools and methods that can help change the security posture of your IT environment.

There are two assessments that define the Microsoft Security Assessment Tool:

  • Business Risk Profile Assessment
  • Defense in Depth Assessment (UPDATED)

The questions identified in the survey portion of the tool and the associated answers are derived from commonly accepted best practices around security, both general and specific. The questions and the recommendations that the tool offers are based on standards such as ISO 17799 and NIST-800.x, as well as recommendations and prescriptive guidance from Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group and additional security resources valued in the industry.

After completing an Assessment, you will gain access to a detailed report of your results. You may also compare your results with those of your peers (by industry and company size), provided that you upload your results anonymously to the secure MSAT Web server. When you upload your data the application will simultaneously retrieve the most recent data available. To be able to provide this comparative data, we need customers such as you to upload their information. All information is kept strictly confidential and no personally identifiable information whatsoever will be sent.