- Planning for Exchange Server 2010
- Understanding AD Design Concepts for Exchange Server 2010
- Determining Exchange Server 2010 Placement
- Configuring Exchange Server 2010 for Maximum Performance and Reliability
- Securing and Maintaining an Exchange Server 2010 Implementation
- Best Practices
Securing and Maintaining an Exchange Server 2010 Implementation
One of the greatest advantages of Exchange Server 2010 is its emphasis on security. Along with Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 was developed during and after the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing initiative, which effectively put a greater emphasis on security over new features in the products. In Exchange Server 2010, this means that the OS and the application were designed with services "Secure by Default."
With Secure by Default, all nonessential functionality in Exchange Server must be turned on if needed. This is a complete change from the previous Microsoft model, which had all services, add-ons, and options turned on and running at all times, presenting much larger security vulnerabilities than was necessary. Designing security effectively becomes much easier in Exchange Server 2010 because it now becomes necessary only to identify components to turn on, as opposed to identifying everything that needs to be turned off.
In addition to being secure by default, Exchange Server 2010 server roles are built in to templates used by the Security Configuration Wizard (SCW), which was introduced in Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003. Using the SCW against Exchange Server helps to reduce the surface attack area of a server.
Patching the Operating System Using Windows Server Update Services
Although Windows Server 2008 presents a much smaller target for hackers, viruses, and exploits by virtue of the Secure by Default concept, it is still important to keep the OS up to date against critical security patches and updates. Currently, two approaches can be used to automate the installation of server patches. The first method involves configuring the Windows Server 2008 Automatic Updates client to download patches from Microsoft and install them on a schedule. The second option is to set up an internal server to coordinate patch distribution and management. The solution that Microsoft supplies for this functionality is known as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).
WSUS enables a centralized server to hold copies of OS patches for distribution to clients on a preset schedule. WSUS can be used to automate the distribution of patches to Exchange Server 2010 servers, so that the OS components will remain secure between service packs. WSUS might not be necessary in smaller environments, but can be considered in medium-sized to large organizations that want greater control over their patch management strategy.