O'Reilly logo

Web Security, Privacy & Commerce, 2nd Edition by Gene Spafford, Simson Garfinkel

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 15. Host Security for Servers

Host security is the security of the computer on which your web server is running. Traditionally, host security has been a computer security topic unto itself. Whole books (including a couple of our own) have been written on it.

Host security was in its heyday in the 1980s and early 1990s, when dozens or even hundreds of people shared the same computer. Many of these systems were at universities, where one of the goals of the system operators was to prevent students from seeing each other’s coursework. Other systems were at government installations, where the systems needed to store and segregate “Secret” from “Top Secret” information. As a result, host security was traditionally concerned with questions of protecting the operating system from users, protecting users from each other, and performing auditing measures.

The 1990s saw a dramatic shift in the emphasis and importance of host security. It seems that many organizations place less emphasis on host security when each person had exclusive use of a computer. This perspective is misguided because, as we have seen, distributed systems can be as vulnerable (if not more so) to the security problems that can affect large time-sharing systems. One explanation for the decreased attention to host security is that assuring host security in a distributed environment is significantly more complicated and more expensive, and in fact has proven to be beyond the capabilities of many organizations. Another ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required