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Configuring Windows 2000 Server Security
by Thomas W. Shinder, Stace Cunningham, D. Lynn White, and Syngress Media
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The team of Microsoft-certified experts who collaborated on this book have done great work. Configuring Windows 2000 Server Security takes on a single, vital feature of Windows 2000 Server operations and does a fantastic job of explaining its many aspects, both conceptually and practically.
The prose style of this book frequently strays from the elegant, but it expertly documents processes and explains complicated architectures through experience and research. Where it's appropriate to do so, the authors include directions on how to use security services, including Kerberos and the Encrypting File System (EFS).
Most of the coverage examines behind-the-interface operations, relying on flow diagrams and uncluttered conceptual drawings to illustrate processes like smart-card authentication and the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Question-and-answer sections at the end of each chapter are particularly strong. The questions are well chosen (a typical one asks about using 128-bit encryption across an international network) with clear, carefully supported answers.
The book's index fails miserably, largely because it seems to exclude topics covered in the Q&A sections. You'll find yourself marking useful pages for later reference. But that's a petty complaint. For administrators who aren't willing to take Windows' word on matters of security and can't get adequate answers from Microsoft's documentation, this book is a fine selection. --David Wall
Topics covered: Information security features of Windows 2000 Server and their relationships to corresponding features in Windows NT 4. Coverage includes Users, Groups, Kerberos, keeping Active Directory secure, use of the Security Configuration Tool Set, the Encrypting File System (EFS), secure Internet connectivity, the IPSec protocols, smart cards, and the Windows 2000 implementation of the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
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