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Mac® Security Bible by Joe Kissell

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25.2. Mac OS X Server Security Fundamentals

As I said earlier in this chapter, virtually everything that's true of the regular version of Mac OS X is also true of Mac OS X Server. The underlying operating system is the same, so everything you've already learned about physical security, the Keychain, file encryption, network security, and all the rest is equally applicable here. Especially if you happen to be using a Mac running Mac OS X Server as a normal workstation (in addition to functioning as a server), be sure to review the rest of this book for important security tips.

Apart from the fact that all services are off unless you explicitly turn them on (whether during installation or later), Mac OS X Server has default settings for most services that are fairly permissive in terms of security. Although the operating system has the capability to be quite secure, it's up to you, as the administrator, to know which settings must be configured in which way and to take the appropriate steps to make your setup secure. Activating a bunch of services without first thinking through your security needs and carefully examining each setting is extremely unwise and can lead to an insecure server and network.

A good place to start in familiarizing yourself with the security issues of Mac OS X Server is Apple's Security Configuration Guide. You can download this free PDF for whichever version of Mac OS X Server you're using from www.apple.com/support/security/guides. The Leopard version, ...

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