Microsoft’s Windows XP SP3 (Service Pack 3) is finally here, offering several subtle security goodies alongside thousands of bug fixes.
The biggest security feature in this service pack is the inclusion of NAP (Network Access Protection) to help organizations that use Windows XP to take advantage
of new features in the Windows Server 2008 operating system.
Using NAP, businesses running Windows XP SP3 users can create policies to validate computer health before allowing access or communication, and automatically update computers or quarantine noncompliant computers restricted networks.
Additional security tidbits in Windows XP include:
WPA2: This provides support for Wi-Fi Protected Access 2, the latest standards-based wireless security solution derived from the IEEE 802.11i standard.
“Black Hole” router detection: Windows XP SP3 includes improvements to black hole router detection (detecting routers that are silently discarding packets), turning it on by default.
Descriptive security options UI: The Security Options control panel in Windows XP SP3 now has more descriptive text to explain settings and prevent incorrect settings configuration.
Enhanced security for Administrator and Service policy entries: In System Center Essentials for Windows XP SP3, Administrator and Service entries will be present by default on any new instance of policy. Additionally, the user interface for the Impersonate Client After Authentication user will not be able to remove these settings.
Microsoft’s isn’t back-porting any Windows Vista security features to Windows XP. In fact, Windows XP SP3 does not include the Internet Explorer 7 browser.
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