Operating System Level Security

operating system security

These days, the operating systems we use are full of more features and are far more reliable than they have ever been and this makes them incredibly useful to the enterprise.

What it also does is increases vulnerability and that can only change when the operating system is monitored and configured properly.

Contrary to what you may believe, this actually doesn’t take a great deal to do. The real key is by centralizing and automating the security of the operating system across the enterprise, rather than trying to it manually for each bit.

You could be forgiven for thinking that it would cost too much to centralize your OS security but, in actual fact, the cost is far lower than if you chose not to do it.

More than 50% of the security break-ins that you hear about are as a result, not of a weakness in the actual OS but of the system itself not being properly configured or not being monitored on a regular basis.

Operating systems are provisioned with default settings out of the box and this makes them extremely vulnerable to attack.

password password

At the time of writing, around 20% of all the passwords and user identifications have never been altered.

In fact, you would be shocked at the amount of organizations that still use ‘password’ as their password. One of the reasons why these settings are not changed is because of the time it takes.

If you are  a 1000 server network, for example, it would take around 20,000 hours to provision and verify it manually and this is how it has to be done in quite a few organizations. That is time and money that few places can afford to spare.

Those that do go ahead with the task of manually changing the configurations then spend an untold amount of time helping users with inquiries about passwords instead of spending the time on more serious issues.

The following three things will enhance your operating system security across the entire network enterprise:

  1. Server provisioning on the network should be carried out in one centralized place. That image can then be deployed across the network using software that can automate the entire process. If you had to do it manually, you would have to write down the key configurations for each server and that vastly increases the risk of theft. Once the provisioning has been done, IT managers will then need to verify compliance with the policy. This is what defines the user rights and makes sure all of the configurations are right. One single agent running remotely or on the network can do all of this on each server on a continual basis and this will not interfere with any normal operations.
  2. Account management should also be centralized. This ensures that all users have the right access to the right resources and controls who can and can’t access the network. All intelligence, rules, and policies should be centralized onto one box, not on each individual one and should be deployed from that one location to the provision users with the right ID and permissions. You can use an ID life cycle manager as a way of automating the entire process.
  3. The operating system itself must be configured to monitor all network activity efficiently and easily. This will show who is making a connection and who isn’t as well as highlighting potential security threats that enter and leave the network. IT admins can use central systems that monitor all of this in real-time, throwing up alerts to any serious issues. As, if not more important is the fact that this system should be set so that IT admins are not snowed under with routine events that don’t do anything to put the network at risk.

Security does not have to be expensive and it does not have to get in the way of normal operations.

More and more enterprises are making the move from manual to automated processes, realizing significant savings. Manually configuring your operating system is not flexible and it is costly.

Not only that, human error plays a part so using centralized automated systems save money and keep the threats out.

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