It is only a Beta version right now, but if you have machines to lock down, protect, or otherwise make compliant with various regulatory or industry mandates, you should at least take a look at this product.
Security Compliance Manager is a free tool from the Microsoft Solution Accelerators team that enables you to quickly configure and manage your computers using Group Policy and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager.
The Springboard Series Blog recently announced that the Beta of Security Compliance Manager (SCM) is available for download. The blog post explains:
“SCM 2 provides ready-to-deploy policies and DCM configuration packs that are tested and fully supported. Our product baselines are based on Microsoft security guide recommendations and industry best practices, allowing you to manage configuration drift, address compliance requirements, and reduce security threats”
The boilerplate templates are great. But, one of the best features in my opinion is the ability to capture a “gold master” image and use it as the baseline for your security policy configuration. You can invest the time and effort to construct one machine to your exacting specifications, then snapshot that machine to use as the baseline for the rest of your systems.