Hardening Microsoft Office 2013

Download ACSC Protect Hardening Microsoft Office 2013 (330K PDF), updated December 2017
First published 2015; updated 2016 and December 2017

Introduction

Workstations are often targeted by adversaries using malicious webpages, malicious email attachments and removable media with malicious content in an attempt to extract sensitive information. Hardening applications on workstations is an important part of reducing this risk.

This document provides guidance on hardening Microsoft Office 2013 – specifically Microsoft Excel 2013, Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 and Microsoft Word 2013. Before implementing the recommendations in this document, testing should be undertaken to ensure the potential for unintended negative impacts on business processes is reduced as much as possible.

This document is intended for information technology and information security professionals within organisations looking to undertake risk assessments or vulnerability assessments as well as those wishing to develop a hardened standard operating environment for workstations.

The Group Policy Administrative Templates for Microsoft Office 2013 referenced in this document can be obtained from Microsoft's TechNet. Once downloaded, the ADMX and association ADML files can be placed in C:\Windows\SYSVOL\domain\Policies\PolicyDefinitions on the Domain Controller and they will automatically be loaded in the Group Policy Management Editor. As Group Policy Administrative Templates for Microsoft Office are periodically updated by Microsoft, care should be taken to ensure the latest version is always used.

Table of contents

Contact

Australian government customers with questions regarding this advice can contact ASD Advice and Assistance.

Australian businesses and other private sector organisations seeking further information should contact CERT Australia.