Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) is an easy-to-use tool that helps determine the security state of your computer based on Microsoft security recommendations. After the tool completes the scan on your computer, you receive specific remediation suggestions. Use MBSA to improve your security management process by detecting common security misconfigurations and missing security updates on your computer systems.
ITS recommends an MBSA scan on all incoming computers to reduce and eliminate possible threats caused by security misconfigurations and missing security updates. A secure computer is one of the most important tools you will use as a student at the university.
Preventing Problems Before they Start
For the best results, download and run this scan before coming to campus. If you have any questions, feel free to call the ITS Help Desk. An active network connection is needed to successfully use this tool.
- Download the installer, MBSA 2.1, from the Microsoft Web site to your desktop.
- The installer is a file called mbsasetup.msi. Double-click this file.
- Once the Installer window opens, click Next.
- Agree to the License Agreement and click Next.
- You can leave the default installation destination as is. Click Next.
- Click Install. The installation should take about 15 seconds to a minute depending on your system.
- Click OK to exit the installer.
- Double click the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.1 icon to launch MBSA.
NOTE: In order to perform the scan you must have ADMINISTRATOR privileges. If you are the only user of the machine, then you most likely will have admin privileges.
- Click Scan a Computer.
- You may leave all options set to the default. In the lower right hand corner of the screen, click Start Scan. The scan will take a maximum of about 5 minutes, depending on the speed of your machine.
Reading the Results
Once the scan is complete, the Scan Results page will be displayed. It will look similar to this:
On the left you will see a column labeled “Score.” Scan this list and look for any Red Xs. Anything that is marked as a red x must be fixed.
The Security report is organized into a several sections. Each section may require different actions taken to remediate any problems which are detected.
- Security Update Scan Results – Compares the current Microsoft updates with what is installed on your computer. See below for instructions.
- Windows Scan Results – Looks at your current Windows system configurations. See below for instructions.
- Internet Information Services (IIS) Scan Results – Call the ITS Help Desk.
- SQL Server Scan Results – Call the ITS Help Desk.
- Desktop Application Scan Results – Looks at desktop applications and analyzes vulnerabilities that can be remedied. See below for instructions.
This section will show you if the current security updates offered my Microsoft match the state of your computer. If it has been a while since you last updated your computer, this will most likely be marked with a red X. Running updates on your computer will fix these problems. Running updates in Windows is called Windows Update. You must use Internet Explorer in to run updates. Running updates might require restarting your computer.
- Open Internet Explorer.
- Go to Windows Update.
- Follow all instructions to install critical updates.
- Click the Start button.
- Click All Programs.
- Click Windows Update.
These sections will show you if your current configuration makes your machine vulnerable to easy attack. These things include weak passwords, Automatic Updates not turned on, Firewall not turned on, or applications that are in need of update. If any of these items are marked with a red X, there will be a link in the Result Detail called How to correct this. Clicking this link will open an instruction page on how to fix this problem. Follow the instructions. This might require restarting your computer.
After the Scan
Once you have addressed the vulnerabilities revealed in the scan, you may close it. However, this does not mean you never have to scan your computer again. The more often you run the scan the less often you will be asked to fix something.