22. Security

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Despite Hollywood’s best efforts, the maintenance of a secure computing environment remains unglamorous and largely unappreciated. It is a system administration discipline born of necessity; if UNIX and Linux systems are going to house sensitive data and control critical processes, we must protect them.

Such protection requires resources, both in terms of sysadmin time and in the hard currency of security-related equipment. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t make the appropriate investments in this area until an incident has already occurred.

In November 1988, we experienced our first real taste of the security threat posed by ...

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