Operating System Security

Operating System security solutions allow an enterprise to control, audit and secure their operating systems with a greater level of ease and flexibility than what is normally achievable through the operating system’s own tools.

EB2BCOM’s solutions cater for the hardening of operating systems and ensuring that they remain in compliance with the organisation’s applicable governing standard/guidelines. Additionally, solutions can be provided to control and secure privileged user access and accounts.

Operation system hardening

Operating system (OS) security is a priority for system administrators, but most agree that it is not an easy process. It can be time consuming and difficult, and the process can vary from OS to OS. Quite often operating systems are not secured as well as they should be and/or the level to which they are secured is not easily reportable or auditable.

Operating system hardening software allows system administrators to harden many of the operating systems across their heterogeneous environment with ease and ongoing monitoring, remediation and reporting.

Privileged operating system access

Because large organisations have thousands of privileged accounts in use throughout the IT infrastructure, it can be virtually impossible to manually track and update them all. In the absence of automated processes, IT staff often set privileged credentials to the same common, unchanging password or may update the credentials through ad-hoc scripts and group policy changes.

An organisation that does not maintain frequently-changed, unique passwords for all of its privileged accounts faces the threat of unauthorised users and malicious programs compromising just one password and gaining unrestricted access to resources throughout the network. Former employees familiar with the privileged passwords at their previous organisations and malware that exploits common privileged account passwords pose a particular threat.

Manual processes to change privileged account passwords also pose risks, since improperly implemented and incomplete password updates can result in account lockouts, cascading system failures, and extended IT service disruptions.

The lack of adequate policies and practices to manage privileged accounts can make an organisation unable to:

  • Address its security risks by locating all potential privileged account vulnerabilities
  • Protect its access by verifying that sensitive data is only accessible to authorised users
  • Verify security by providing an audit trail of individuals who are granted access to sensitive data
  • Reduce the potential for extended damage after a security breach exposes privileged credentials that can be re-used across independent IT assets
  • Eliminate undesired system changes and service disruptions when privileged accounts are used for tasks that don’t require them

Privileged identities are widespread in the IT infrastructure, since they can be found on server and desktop operating systems, on hardware devices like routers or switches, and on applications and services like databases, backup programs, scheduled tasks, and more. Unauthorised access to the privileged account passwords on any of these resources can lead to a compromise of sensitive corporate data and disruptions to IT services.

Without proper controls, access to an organisation’s privileged accounts spreads over time, often in unplanned ways. This happens as organisations:

  • Fail to change the pre-configured logins and service accounts that are introduced as they deploy new hardware and applications
  • Delegate administrative duties across overlapping groups, change the roles of IT administrators, or contract IT jobs to outside personnel
  • Fail to revoke all privileged accounts accessed by an employee after his or her job changes or employment ends
  • breached by social engineering, dictionary attacks, or other means

Despite the serious security risks and the potential for IT compliance audit failure, many organisations are unaware of their own vulnerabilities when it comes to privileged accounts.

Related product: Lieberman Software

Additional information