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It is common for most computer vendors
To set the default controls to be open, allowing ease of use over
The actual process of determining what is hardened and to what level varies
Based on the risk and exposure of
some common hardening controls include
Authentication and authorization, File system permissions, Access
Regardless of the specific operating system
System hardening should implement the principle of least privilege
Most operating systems have two modes of operations
Kernel mode and user mode
Operating systems allow controlled access to kernel mode operations through
System calls that usually require
Most attacks seek to gain
Privileged or kernel mode access to the system in order to circumvent other
Operating systems have
File systems that manage data files stored within the system and provide access controls
Common file accesses include
Creation, modification, read, write and deletion controls
The access any particular user has to a system is controlled through
A series of mechanisms
A user's credentials define
Who they are and what permissions they have to access resources within the system
Passwords
Are the standard mechanism to authenticate a user to the system and must be managed correctly to
Most operating systems provide controls around passwords such as
Minimum length, lifetime for any
Another key user control is
The privileges assigned to a particular user. These privileges must be carefully
Assignment of privileges should
Follow the principle of least privilege required for a user to do their job.