Chapter 11. Security Best Practices


Security is one of the most important topics today in the world of system administration. In the past, system administrators could get by with not worrying much about security, but with the common occurrence of fast-spreading viruses and worms, everyone has to do their part to make things as secure as possible. The security burden on system administrators is now at an all-time high.

The Windows Server operating systems are famous for their lack of security, but that has largely to do with how Microsoft tried to make Windows easier to use and “on by default” instead of “secure by default.” With Windows Server 2003, the operating system is more secure after installation compared to its predecessors. But that is only part of the story. Computers cannot lie in state and remain secure. It is up to system administrators to constantly monitor and be proactive from a security perspective to truly keep systems secure.

And that is what this chapter is about. I cover several security best practices every system administrator should consider when maintaining Windows servers. This chapter is by no means comprehensive, but it does cover many of the basic security precautions that most system administrators should consider.

One thing Microsoft has done a much better job of recently is to publish decent whitepapers about security and securing the Windows OS. Here are a few good ones you might want to look at (all available from ...

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