From the Editor

Joshua Trupin

The premiere issue of TechNet Magazine, published almost two years ago, featured a security theme. Since then, security has been the topic of many of our most popular articles. And with good reason—as the number of potential threats increase, systems have also become more complex with more entry points per system, and the number of users connected in an enterprise is also growing.

These three factors create a multiplicative effect. Fifteen years ago, computer security in the workplace was primarily limited to making sure that people didn’t bring their own copies of software in from outside your company. Even if one machine became infected, the virus could only spread via sneakernet, as people walked floppies to other machines. Sometimes there would be news reports of a major virus, and since the concept was still so new to most end users, you could give the threats minimal attention while playing upon people’s worries at the same time. (Telling everyone to put their disks in individual plastic bags so that they didn’t infect each other was always an entertaining time-killer as you were waiting for your WordStar mail merge to finish up.)

Today, of course, your systems are only as strong as the weakest link. If one machine is not patched properly, it can become infected within moments of being connected to the Internet. If some bozo controls one machine within your walls, it opens up all sorts of unsavory possibilities.

In this issue, we have put together a great package of security articles. Since we regularly cover security, is it overkill to give it another full issue? Absolutely not. Security concerns evolve, not just in scale (as I just touched upon), but also in threat vectors. Jesper Johansson and Steve Riley make this point quite clearly in their article about security myths in this issue. Windows NT 4.0 was designed to combat the threats that were around in 1993, when the Web was brand new and NetBEUI ruled the wire.

No matter what your IT specialty may be, you have security considerations that you probably didn’t have just a few years ago. You should always stay up-to-date on the latest in evolving security thinking. The TechNet program offers a variety of training materials that can provide you with current security information. It’s not limited to this magazine—you can hear more from Microsoft experts through TechNet Webcasts, by attending TechNet Events in your area, and by listening to TechNet Radio. You can read more about the current state of threat modeling and countering through online articles and whitepapers, and you can download tools from the site. You should make it a point to add the TechNet Security Center to your favorites list—heck, make it your homepage for a while!

In our March/April 2006 issue, we gave all readers a wonderful poster, detailing the components of Active Directory in a jigsaw puzzle format. People have been writing to us from all over the world, asking for more copies of the poster, and also asking for more posters in the future. Here’s your chance to have a say in the content we bring you in every issue. What would you like to see in the way of future posters? What does everyone in your datacenter need to figure out right now? What questions force them to thumb through the manuals for answers? What do you have to explain over and over again to interns? What are you teaching about in training classes? Let us know your thoughts, and if we take you up on the idea we’ll give you the credit in the magazine. —J.T.

Thank you to the following Microsoft technical experts: Warren Ashton, Dan Boldo, Thomas Deml, Michael Dennis, Judith Herman, George Holman, Jesper Johansson, Michael Khalili, Megan Kidd, Jon Markarian, Georgi Matev, Ray Mohrman, Michael Murgolo, Jeff Ressler, Steve Riley, Ben Smith, Mike Stephens, and Stephen Toulouse.

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