Server Hardening Model Development: A Methodology-Based Approach to Increased System Security

Server Hardening Model Development: A Methodology-Based Approach to Increased System Security

Doug White (Roger Williams University, USA) and Alan Rea (Western Michigan University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-326-5.ch016
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In this chapter the authors present essential server security components and develop a set of logical steps to build hardened servers. The authors outline techniques to examine servers in both the Linux/ UNIX and the Windows Environment for security flaws from both the internal and external perspectives. Ultimately, the chapter builds a complete model which includes advice on tools, tactics, and techniques that system administrators can use to harden a server against compromise and attack.
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Whether in an international firm with multiple server farms or a non-profit with one or two repurposed desktop workstations as servers, it is a common problem that a server is set up and simply left to run without ensuring security is maintained until new services must be added or a problem occurs.

Server compromise may certainly happen at the inception of the server deployment, but over time additional security flaws are typically uncovered and these revelations are extremely dangerous to established servers that systems administrators have not monitored and audited. On average over 80 attacks happen per day (Moitra & Konda, 2004) with some days (usually during a new virus outbreak) averaging in the thousands, so hardening a server against attacks is critical to protect an organization’s infrastructure and data.

Our discussion focuses on those systems offering external services because they are highly susceptible to compromise, often provide the point of entry for e-commerce transactions, and are typically mission critical systems for an organization. However, servers located on an organization’s intranet or a smaller local network can benefit from these approaches as well.

Throughout the discussion, we stress two general concepts that are important to “hardening” the servers in use: 1) monitoring the servers for security flaws, and 2) isolating the servers by task. Because one may approach this differently depending on the server’s software architecture, each of these tasks will be discussed in different frameworks—the Microsoft Server and the Linux/UNIX server.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Merrill Warkentin
Kenneth J. Knapp
Kenneth J. Knapp
Chapter 1
Jaziar Radianti, Jose J. Gonzalez
This chapter discusses the possible growth of black markets (BMs) for software vulnerabilities and factors affecting their spread. It is difficult... Sample PDF
Dynamic Modeling of the Cyber Security Threat Problem: The Black Market for Vulnerabilities
Chapter 2
Somak Bhattacharya, Samresh Malhotra, S. K. Ghosh
As networks continue to grow in size and complexity, automatic assessment of the security vulnerability becomes increasingly important. The typical... Sample PDF
An Attack Graph Based Approach for Threat Identification of an Enterprise Network
Chapter 3
Robert F. Mills, Gilbert L. Peterson, Michael R. Grimaila
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the insider threat and discuss methods for preventing, detecting, and responding to the threat. Trusted... Sample PDF
Insider Threat Prevention, Detection and Mitigation
Chapter 4
Richard T. Gordon, Allison S. Gehrke
This chapter describes a methodology for assessing security infrastructure effectiveness utilizing formal mathematical models. The goal of this... Sample PDF
An Autocorrelation Methodology for the Assessment of Security Assurance
Chapter 5
Ken Webb
This chapter results from a qualitative research study finding that a heightened risk for management has emerged from a new security environment... Sample PDF
Security Implications for Management from the Onset of Information Terrorism
Chapter 6
Yves Barlette, Vladislav V. Fomin
This chapter introduces major information security management methods and standards, and particularly ISO/IEC 27001 and 27002 standards. A... Sample PDF
The Adoption of Information Security Management Standards: A Literature Review
Chapter 7
Peter R. Marksteiner
Information overload is an increasingly familiar phenomenon, but evolving United States military doctrine provides a new analytical approach and a... Sample PDF
Data Smog, Techno Creep and the Hobbling of the Cognitive Dimension
Chapter 8
John W. Bagby
The public expects that technologies used in electronic commerce and government will enhance security while preserving privacy. These expectations... Sample PDF
Balancing the Public Policy Drivers in the Tension between Privacy and Security
Chapter 9
Indira R. Guzman, Kathryn Stam, Shaveta Hans, Carole Angolano
The goal of our study is to contribute to a better understanding of role conflict, skill expectations, and the value of information technology (IT)... Sample PDF
Human Factors in Security: The Role of Information Security Professionals within Organizations
Chapter 10
Nikolaos Bekatoros HN, Jack L. Koons III, Mark E. Nissen
The US Government is moving apace to develop doctrines and capabilities that will allow the Department of Defense (DoD) to exploit Cyberspace for... Sample PDF
Diagnosing Misfits, Inducing Requirements, and Delineating Transformations within Computer Network Operations Organizations
Chapter 11
Rodger Jamieson, Stephen Smith, Greg Stephens, Donald Winchester
This chapter outlines components of a strategy for government and a conceptual identity fraud enterprise management framework for organizations to... Sample PDF
An Approach to Managing Identity Fraud
Chapter 12
Alanah Davis, Gert-Jan de Vreede, Leah R. Pietron
This chapter presents a repeatable collaboration process as an approach for developing a comprehensive Incident Response Plan for an organization or... Sample PDF
A Repeatable Collaboration Process for Incident Response Planning
Chapter 13
Dean A. Jones, Linda K Nozick, Mark A. Turnquist, William J. Sawaya
A pandemic influenza outbreak could cause serious disruption to operations of several critical infrastructures as a result of worker absenteeism.... Sample PDF
Pandemic Influenza, Worker Absenteeism and Impacts on Critical Infrastructures: Freight Transportation as an Illustration
Chapter 14
Preeti Singh, Pranav Singh, Insu Park, JinKyu Lee
We live in a digital era where the global community relies on Information Systems to conduct all kinds of operations, including averting or... Sample PDF
Information Sharing: A Study of Information Attributes and their Relative Significance During Catastrophic Events
Chapter 15
Gregory B. White, Mark L. Huson
The protection of cyberspace is essential to ensure that the critical infrastructures a nation relies on are not corrupted or disrupted. Government... Sample PDF
An Overview of the Community Cyber Security Maturity Model
Chapter 16
Doug White, Alan Rea
In this chapter the authors present essential server security components and develop a set of logical steps to build hardened servers. The authors... Sample PDF
Server Hardening Model Development: A Methodology-Based Approach to Increased System Security
Chapter 17
Jeff Teo
Computer attacks of all sorts are commonplace in today’s interconnected, globalized society. A computer worm, written and released in one part of... Sample PDF
Trusted Computing: Evolution and Direction
Chapter 18
Miguel Jose Hernandez y Lopez, Carlos Francisco Lerma Resendez
This chapter discusses the basic aspects of Honeypots, how they are implemented in modern computer networks, as well as their practical uses and... Sample PDF
Introduction, Classification and Implementation of Honeypots
About the Contributors