How to Make Sure Your Operating Systems are Secure

operating-system-securityRemember that the operating system is the most important software of a computer. Failure to protect it can result in cyber-attacks, impeding its performance and compromising some of your organization’s most critical data. So, here’s how to make sure your Operating Systems stay secure.

1. OS Authentication

OS authentication is one way to keep your operating system secure. The process involves authenticating an individual user with the credentials supplied by the Operating System for the user’s computer. The credentials can come in the form of an OS password and may also include digital certificates in the user’s computer system.

OS authentication helps keep the operating system secure since it uses a security mechanism that’s certificate based. OS-authenticated logins use an access token instead of the usual username and password. The local operating system will provide the access token once the user logs in. It will assign a Unique Security ID (SID) to the user and will also have the SIDs of any local or domain groups the user is from. The unique SID will be compared to all SIDs in the system, and the login to the SQL server will be granted or denied depending on the result of the comparison.

One thing to consider when using OS authentication is that you won’t be able to connect to the geodatabase as a user that’s different from your current login. When using database authentication, you can log in to the computer using one login but you must provide a different username and password when connecting to the geodatabase.

2. OS Hardening

OS hardening helps to minimize the exposure of the computer to current and future threats by configuring the operating system and removing any unnecessary applications. It involves implementing security measures for operating systems, like Linux, Apple OS, and Windows, to protect sensitive computing systems. Implementing business compliance training for employees will help ensure those working with OS hardening are aware of the importance of these security measures.

Operating System hardening requires adhering to the best practices on security and ensuring a secure OS configuration. It also requires automatically updating the operating system with service packs and patches. The hardening process also includes integrating additional security measures, such as installing endpoint protection systems, firewalls, etc.

Each operating system has unique characteristics, but specific hardening practices can apply to all operating systems. First, the procedure includes service packs, which keep the programs updated, ensuring they have the latest version. The process also covers patch management, which includes testing, planning, timely implementation, and continuous auditing. OS hardening is also a process that cleans all programs installed in the computer by deleting those that are unused and unnecessary. Removing these programs is necessary since they can be a potential entry point for malicious attacks. In addition, it uses features that restrict access to networks, files, and other resources.

3. OS Virtualization

Operating system virtualisation is a process that requires tailoring the operating system, allowing it to run different applications that multiple users handle using a single computer. The operating systems will not interfere with one another even if they are on the same computer.

With OS virtualisation, the operating system will be altered, allowing it to operate like several individual systems. The virtualised environment will accept commands from different users that use varying applications on the same computer. It will handle each of the user’s requests separately. There are many reasons to use OS virtualisation. Desktop users use it to run applications meant for a different OS without having to change computers or reboot to a different system. On the other hand, administrators of servers use virtualisation since it allows them to run several different operating systems. It also offers a way to segment large systems into several smaller parts.

OS virtualisation also allows the migration of critical applications to a different operating system. With virtualisation, updates and patches to operating systems are more timely, with little to no impact on the application services.

4. Keeping Linux Systems Up to Date

Linux is one of the most popular operating systems. One way to ensure that it remains secure is to keep it up to date. Different types of updates can apply to your Linux Operating system. These include security updates and upgrades. Security updates mitigate and fix the system against security vulnerabilities, while upgrades require introducing new functionality to the system. Hiring specialist roles through linux recruiting agencies is also a good way to ensure your system remains up to date.

Linux distributions vary in stringency when it comes to installing new updates. Developers often prefer to install new versions of the software that include new functionality as it helps make the job easier and allows the software to perform better and faster. On the other hand, system administrators prefer a more stable system. However, both agree that fixing security vulnerabilities is necessary. Once security vulnerabilities are detected, they should immediately update the affected software to minimize potential threats.

Most software contains bugs, resulting in vulnerabilities that expose your system to malicious individuals. The most common reason behind malicious intrusions is the failure to update the packages. Implementing a plan for installing security patches in a timely manner is necessary to eliminate vulnerabilities and prevent the Linux operating system from getting exploited.

5. Keeping Windows Systems Up to Date

Windows is another commonly used operating system. Like the other operating systems, it’s essential to ensure that your Windows OS is updated. While applying updates is not something that most system administrators look forward to, they are necessary to keep your Operating Systems secure.

When updating windows software, new features and bug fixes will be installed, which helps to secure the computer system. It’s hard to miss an update since Microsoft will remind users to update as soon as new updates are available. If you ignore this reminder, your operating system will be more vulnerable to malicious attacks.

Microsoft constantly releases operating system updates to ensure your system is updated with top-of-the-line features. They could take time and is a hassle, but they are worth it. These new updates can help to optimize the user experience and improve the system’s performance. Another reason to update is that the old versions of the operating system may not be able to support new applications and processors.