This white paper provides information about the communication that flows between components in Windows XP Professional with either Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 1a (both referred to as “SP1” in this white paper) and sites on the Internet, and describes steps to take to limit, control, or prevent that communication in an organization with many users.
The Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional operating system includes a variety of technologies that communicate with the Internet to provide increased ease of use and functionality. Browser and e-mail technologies are obvious examples, but there are also technologies such as Automatic Updates that help users obtain the latest software and product information, including bug fixes and security patches. These technologies provide many benefits, but they also involve communication with Internet sites, which administrators might want to control.
Control of this communication can be achieved through a variety of options built into individual components, into the operating system as a whole, and into server components designed for managing configurations across your organization. For example, as an administrator, you can use Group Policy to control the way some components communicate. For some components, you can direct all communication to the organization’s own internal Web site instead of to an external site on the Internet.
This white paper provides information about the communication that flows between components in Windows XP Professional with either Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 1a (both referred to as “SP1” in this white paper) and sites on the Internet, and describes steps to take to limit, control, or prevent that communication in an organization with many users. The white paper is designed to assist you, the administrator, in planning strategies for deploying and maintaining Windows XP Professional with SP1 in a way that helps to provide an appropriate level of security and privacy for your organization’s networked assets.
The introduction describes the topic areas covered by the white paper and the topic areas that fall outside the scope of the white paper. The introduction also provides a brief description of some basic security practices that are not covered in detail in the white paper.
Sections describing specific components in Windows XP with Service Pack 1
These sections each describe an operating system component that communicates with one or more sites on the Internet. The components are listed in alphabetical order, and consist of three general types. One type of component sends information to or receives information from one or more sites on the Internet as part of normal operation. An example of this type is Automatic Updates. A second type of component sometimes displays buttons or links that make it easy for a user to initiate communication with one or more sites on the Internet. An example of this type is Event Viewer. A third type of component (described briefly, with related links provided) is specifically designed to communicate with the Internet. An example of this type is Internet Explorer.
The appendices provide additional resources for learning about management topics such as automated installation, deployment, and the use of Group Policy. The appendices also describe additional wizards and components that should be considered in situations where an administrator is maintaining a level of control over communication with the Internet.
The links that appear in individual sections of the document are also listed at the end of the document, grouped into categories for easy reference.