The Securing Windows track at SANS (SEC505) is a comprehensive set of courses for Windows security architects and administrators. It tackles tough problems like Active Directory forest design, how to use Group Policy to lock down desktops, deploying a Microsoft PKI and smart cards, pushing firewall and IPSec policies out to every computer in the domain, securing public IIS web servers, and PowerShell scripting.
PowerShell is the future of Windows scripting and automation. Easier to learn and more powerful than VBScript, PowerShell is an essential tool for automation and scalable management. And if there's one skill that will most benefit the career of a Windows specialist, it's scripting, because most of your competition lack scripting skills, so it's a great way to make your resume stand out.
The Securing Windows track is fully updated for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista. Most of the content applies to Windows Server 2003 and XP too, but the focus is on 2008/Vista/7.
The track will also prepare you for the GIAC Certified Windows Security Administrator (GCWN) certification exam. In fact, all the questions on the exam come from the manuals used in the course.
You are encouraged to bring a virtual machine running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition, but this is not a requirement for attendance since the instructor will demo everything discussed on-screen. You can get a free evaluation version of Server 2008 from Microsoft's web site (just do a Google search on "site:microsoft.com Server 2008 trial"). You can use VMware, Virtual PC or any other virtual machine software.
This is a fun and fascinating course, a real eye-opener even for Windows administrators with years of experience. Come see why there's a lot more to Windows security than just applying patches and changing passwords, come see why a Windows network needs a security architect.