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Security Center

Security Center provides a central location for changing security settings, learning more about security, and ensuring that the user's computer is in compliance with the essential security settings that are recommended by Microsoft. Security Center is both a service and an associated user interface. The user interface component of the Security Center is implemented as a new category view in the Windows XP Control Panel.


Wscsvc: This runs as a background process and checks the state of the following components on the user's computer:

  • Firewall: The Security Center checks the status of Windows Firewall, whether it is on or off, and also checks for the presence of other software firewalls. Third-party firewall detection is accomplished by using queries for specific Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) providers that are made available by participating vendors.
  • Virus protection: By using queries for specific WMI providers made available by participating vendors, the Security Center checks for the presence of antivirus software. If the information is available, the Security Center service also determines if the software is up-to-date and whether real-time scanning is turned on.
  • Automatic Updates: The Security Center checks to make sure that the Automatic Updates setting is at the recommended setting. The correct setting is to download and install critical updates to the user's computer automatically. If Automatic Updates is turned off or not set up to best protect your computer, the Security Center provides recommendations for fixing this.

Wscui.cpl: The Security Center shows you the security status of your computer. It also displays any tasks that you need to perform to help enhance the security of your computer.

Wscntfy.exe: If a component is found to be missing or out of compliance, the Security Center places a red icon in the notification area of the user's taskbar and also provides an Alert balloon when the user logs on. This balloon contains links to open the Security Center user interface. This displays messages about the problem and recommendations for fixing it.

Associated Components

The Security Center component reports status from the Windows Firewall API, Automatic Updates API, and the WMI repository.


There are no configurable settings for this component.

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