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Operating System Hardening

In this article, you will learn about the operating system hardening with its tips.

What is operating system hardening?

It is a type of system hardening. It involves patching and applying advanced system security procedures to secure the server's OS. Automatically installing updates, patches, and service packs are some of the most effective methods to harden the OS.

An OS hardening is similar to application hardening in that the OS is a type of software. Operating system hardening provides basic software that grants those applications access to specific activities on your server.

Operating system developers frequently perform a good job of issuing OS updates and encouraging users to install them on Microsoft, Linux, and iOS. These frequent updates can help to keep your system secure and resilient to cyber-attacks.

Hardening an operating system usually includes:

  1. Following security practices and making sure your configuration is secure.
  2. Additional security measures are implemented, including endpoint protection systems, firewalls, and OS security extensions like AppArmor for Linux.
  3. Patches and service packs are automatically applied to the operating system.
  4. It removes the unnecessary drivers.
  5. It limits and authenticates system access permissions.
  6. It encrypts the SSD or HDD that stores and hosts the OS.

Operating System Hardening Tips

There are various operating system hardening tips. Some tips for the operating system hardening are as follows:

1. Pitch Management

It includes planning, testing, timely installation, and ongoing auditing to guarantee that client computer' operating systems and particular programs are always patched with the most recent versions.

2. Service Packs

Service packs keep updated applications and install the most recent version. There is no single activity that can protect against all types of attacks, including zero-day assaults; however, applying service packs minimizes these risks.

3. Endpoint Protection

Windows Defender is a powerful endpoint protection solution included with the OS. Endpoint protection platforms (EPP) provide numerous levels of protection for OS, including email and social engineering protection, malware prevention, detection of malicious processes, and automated OS isolation in the case of an infection.

4. Access Control

Use features to limit access to networks, files, and some other resources. Its management features for individuals and groups are available in all major OS, such as Linux, Windows, and OS X. As the default settings are typically less stringent than required, you must configure access to use the principle of least privilege.

5. Security Templates

Use templates to handle and enforce security configurations in a good manner. Templates may be used to keep track of group policies and guarantee consistency.

6. Establish Group policies

Sometimes, user error may lead to a successful cyber attack. One method to avoid this is to define the groups to whom access is granted clearly and to stick to those guidelines. Update user policies and ensure that everyone is aware of and attaches to them. Enforce wise behaviors like using strong passwords.

7. Clean Programs

Any apps which are no longer in use should be removed. This method may assist you in identifying and repairing security flaws and reducing risk. Any app installed on the system should be checked on a regular basis because it could be a gateway for malicious attackers. It should not be permitted to use software that the company has not approved or reviewed.

8. Data and workload isolation

Data and workload isolation ensure that critical databases and applications run on separate virtual machines, isolating them from unrelated workloads and lowering the attack surface. You may also isolate programs by limiting network access between distinct workloads. As a result, if an attacker gains control of one workload, they may not gain access to another.

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