Microsoft Office 2003 comes with a lot of security enhancements. To lower the security threats through office applications one should know what security features are available in office 2003 & how they work.
Office 2003 security technologies are divided in three groups:
a. Digital certificates and signatures
Macro Security Settings
b. Data protection and recovery
File Access Controls
Digital Signatures & Encryption
Personal Information Removal
Data Recovery with Auto Recovery
Anti Virus API
Information Rights Management (with RMS)
c. Application-specific features
With these security features, you can control access to confidential documents and lower security threats. Implementation of Office 2003 security requires better understanding of Office 2003 application, Windows platform security & other security services / products available from Microsoft like RMS, Certificate Services, GPO etc.
At the end don’t forget to update your Office applications with latest service packs & patches. That is a separate discussion (Patch Management) but you can use Office Update button on the home of Microsoft Office site to check & update your office applications with latest patches.
For more on Office 2003 Security check these.
Microsoft Office 2003 Editions Security Whitepaper