TechEd 2005 Day 4

Some very good sessions today. The three I attended were “SEC350 Tips and Tricks to Running Windows with Least Privilege”, “SVR315 Introduction to Data Protection Server (DPS)”, and “SVR300R Security Configuration Wizard in Windows Server 2003 SP1”.

SEC350 was a great presentation on ways you can run Windows as a non-admin and still get the access you need when you need it. This is an issue that has been simmering for a while back at the office, and I think this session is going to get me to move forward on this and start locking things back down again. Users aren’t going to like it, but in the threat environment we’re in today, you just can’t expect your luck to continue for much longer. The idea of a zero day exploit is a scary one.

SVR315 gave me some more detailed info on what Data Protection Server, now called Data Protection Manager, can do for me. I haven’t had time to look into it much before TechEd, so this session was a good overview into the product as it is shaping up to be released later this year. Plus there was a clear explanation of what it can do now and what they’re planning for v2. I like the idea of shipping the data off to a separate server and have the snaps and restores take place there rather than on the protected servers. Any time I can manage a process from one location instead of on the individual servers, I’ll take it.

SVR300R was a last minute change. I was going to go to the IPSEC session, but I figured knowing more about SCW would be more beneficial when I get back to work. I looked at SCW after I upgraded a few of our servers to SP1, but backed off since I didn’t feel I knew enough about what the tool was doing. Well, Jesper Johansson presented SCW in a way that was both entertaining (he is a really funny guy) and informative. I really feel like I can go back and start using SCW to help secure our environment and make effective use of the tool.

On the transportation front, I discovered that if I get off the bus at the first hotel on our route, I can walk to my hotel and easily beat the bus before it gets to the Crowne Plaza. I still need to figure out what I’m doing on Fridays to get back to the airport though. Shuttles don’t run until noon and I have an 11:20 flight. Hate to take a cab because of the cost, but maybe I can find someone who wants to share.

Went to the Influencer Party at Matrix & Metropolis. Food was good and the evening was fun, but I’m pretty burned out on going to Pointe Orlando. A little more variety in venues and events would have been nice. I’m looking forward to the Attendee Party and Universal Studios, just to go some place different. It is a shame the party wasn’t at Islands of Adventure, but they can save that for a future TechEd.