Do you harden your devices?

in #stem3 years ago (edited)


I can imagine that some of you think "Harden?!" what the peep is that :)
Well let me try to explain.

Hardening is the proces where unused or not necesarry functions in Computer Operatingsystems are turned off or even removed. To minimize a attack surface for a hacker by closing as much doors as possible the machine or server is safer and is a risk to be comprimised lower.

A form of hardening for instance is closing all ports on a firewall which you do not need or change all the default passwords on your devices.

Some more examples of hardening on systems and devices.

  • The removal of software components which aren't used
  • the removal or deactivation of user accounts which are not used (anymore)
  • The use of serviceaccounts for specific server processses in stead of the (local) administrator account.
  • The use of strong passwords only
  • Change of default passwords in a system
  • The use of a host based firewall
  • Installation of Anti Virus software
  • Deactivation of all services and ports on a machine or firewall which are not used
  • The implementation of mandantory accesscontrol
  • Only permit the use of excrypted data connections
  • Only use (automatic) patched software.

For instance Microsoft Internet Information Server installs a lot of modules by default which aren't necessary for the default functionality. Hackers know that and try, when they find a webserver online, to test those default modules to gain access, therefore it is of most importance to deinstall thos modules.

Of course hardening isn't the holey grale by itself, you have to take more measurements to make and keep your environment safe.

You can also implement hardening on your mobile devices, for instance a lot of Google services on android are installed by default, but you'll never use them so why let them operate, just deactivate them.....

Stay safe,

Peter


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I do my best, but there are always things that slip through the cracks for sure. I have a lot of people ask me all the time what antivirus software they should buy and my usual reply is none. I don't know as though I would ever pay for AV software again. The fact is, the built in software with Windows does a fairly decent job and yeah we hear about hacks and ransomware and stuff like that, but when is the last time you really heard about a system crippling virus like Nimda or Sircam. It has literally been like twenty years. I think all of the things you mentioned here are things we should all be striving to achieve in our networks and systems though.

There will be indeed always things that will slip trough. The important thing is to minimize the risk and accept the rest-risk. And you are right, the big virus outbreaks are a long time ago..

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