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Application Security on Windows and Linux

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By AgnarrTyr
Words 890
Pages 4
This document will briefly discuss the need and methods of patch management, the importance and considerations of a written business security policy and cross-platform security.
Table of Contents
1 Abstract
2 Contents
2.1 Table of Contents
2.2 Table of Figures
2.3 List of Tables
3 Patch Management
3.1 Patch Management Defined
3.2 Patch Management Applications
3.3 Patch Management Scripting
4 The Written Business Security Policies
4.1 Importance of the Written Business Security Policy
4.2 Considerations of Creating the Written Business Security Policy
5 Cross-Platform Security Configurations
6 Conclusion 

Table of Figures
Figure 1: Windows to Linux Authentication 

List of Tables
Table 1: Patch Management Applications 

Patch Management
Patch Management Defined
Over the years common security practices have evolved. With these practices the view on patch management has evolved as well. Just a few years ago the common mentality regarding patches was to install and forget. Many systems were deployed and left to their own, few were ever updated. With the rise of worms and malicious code such mentality is no longer accepted. With the new threat levels comes a new focus on patch management. In today’s network environment different methods of deploying and managing patches exist. Networks are unique, like fingerprints, most often no two are identical, and for this reason patch management has to be just as unique. Two of the most common methods of patch management are application based and script based.

Patch Management Applications
Table 1: Patch Management Applications
Windows Software Update Services
WSUS allows administrators to manage and distribute updates on servers running Microsoft Server 2003, Microsoft Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2 and Windows 2000 SP4
Apt-get is the command-line tool for handling packages, and may be considered the user's "back-end" to other tools using the APT library. Several "front-end" interfaces exist
Debian Linux
Yum is designed to use over network/internet. It is a command-line tool for handling packages.
Red-Hat Linux

Patch Management Scripting
Many network administrators rely on scripting to deploy and manage patches. Using Batch scripting, VB scripts or python scripting in Linux platforms, allows the easy installation and tracking of patches. The scripts are designed for each individual network and can be mostly found in smaller network environments.

The Written Business Security Policies
Importance of the Written Business Security Policy
Written security policies have become a necessary evil in today’s network environments. Having written rules defining the accepted use of the company’s network and related applications and information allow the organization to maintain security from computer based and political based attacks. The written security policy clearly outlines what is expected and accepted from end users. The policy will also give consequences if the regulations are broken. This negates the organization from legal attacks should an employee be terminated for violating the policy as well as educate users on what is expected of them when dealing with the network.
Considerations of Creating the Written Business Security Policy
When creating a written business security policy there is several factors that need to be considered. The document must be understandable, people reading the security policy should be able to comprehend it easily making it just as easy to comply to it. The Written security policy must be realistic as well. Having outlandish rules and regulations that no one can live up to simply creates a hostile work environment and will ensure that management will not back the policy when it is presented. Consistency is also a major factor in the written business security policy. You cannot deny internet access for several weeks, allow it for a few months and then deny it again. This causes a sense of distrust among the users and once again leads to a hostile environment where security could be compromised from within. Along with these considerations proper documentation, flexibility and annual reviews of the policy need to be in place.
Cross-Platform Security Configurations
Platform integration aims to consolidate user accounts on a centralized identity management platform. Several products are on the market that will install on a Linux system and convert it into an Active Directory client. In the reverse there are programs such as Samba that will allow windows clients to connect to a Linux machine and share files and resources. Configuring security for this cross-platform network is not a new concept. The standard network security concepts are a foundation for networks regardless of platform. Disable accounts such as guest, rename administrator accounts, and disable root access from remote commands. These ideas are what allow a cross-platform network to remain secure. Often times security is labeled as an application, in essence true network security starts at the foundations, while applications make the deployment of security much easier it is unwise to become soley dependant on these applications for security. The image below demonstrates the authentication methods of a multi-platform network. By applying the previously mentioned security fundamentals it is possible to operate this type of network in a secure manner with the upmost efficiency.

Figure 1: Windows to Linux Authentication
This document has briefly discussed the need and methods of patch management, the importance and considerations of a written business security policy and cross-platform security.

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