Security Guidelines

Carefully select the operating system components and services. Apply the principle of economy of mechanism, which states that anything that is not explicitly needed should not be installed or enabled. Not only will this principle reduce the size of the operating system and the attack surface, but also it will simplify computer administration greatly.

Keep systems up-to-date. Constantly keeping systems patched is a necessity, because attackers can nowadays very easily reverse-engineer published security patches and immediately exploit the vulnerabilities that were corrected by the patches. An additional level of security can be added by requesting digital signatures with the software patches, thus ensuring both the authenticity and the integrity of the files.

Consider using hypervisors. Executing operating systems on top of a well-configured hypervisor can enable you to restrict access to persistent storage and the network depending on the required level of integrity and confidentiality. Hypervisors are sometimes used to create nonpersistent execution environments that are used for performing tests or untrusted operations (e.g., browsing the Web), preventing any security problem by denying access to all trusted features, disallowing persistence of the system state, and preventing the user from saving data on untrusted storage devices.

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The Ultimate Computer Repair Guide

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