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Uncover the Truth: Demystifying Cybersecurity

By Tom Seest

Is Your Operating System Secure?

At BestCybersecurityNews, we help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, young learners, and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.

The operating system (OS) is responsible for managing computer hardware and software resources, creating a user interface, and running applications.
The OS must also guarantee data protection from unauthorized users, resolve resource access conflicts during concurrent use, and detect and address errors promptly.
Cybersecurity professionals typically rely on either Mac, Windows or Linux as their primary operating system. While each has its own set of security features, they all share several common characteristics.

Is Your Operating System Secure?

Is Your Operating System Secure?

Is Your Authentication Method Secure Enough?

Authentication is the process of verifying a user’s identity before granting them access to information on a network. This could be done using security keys, username-password combinations or biometric signatures. Authentication often takes place behind the scenes in order to guarantee that the person logging in remains who they say they are.
Authenticating systems protect the confidentiality of data by blocking users from viewing information that they are not authorized to see. Authentication also helps maintain the integrity of information by shielding it from being altered by malicious hackers.
Most operating systems employ authentication controls, which ensure that only authorized users can access programs or data on the system. Common security tokens (like keys or smart cards) and biometric signatures like fingerprint scanning provide these protections.
When an OS-authenticated user submits a credential, such as a password, the system verifies it by checking it against credentials already stored in its database. This process is known as identity authentication and it’s considered an essential security best practice across all systems.
It’s essential to remember that even if a user’s identity has been authenticated, that doesn’t give them access to all data on the system. Instead, an effective security strategy should be established that limits the data a user can view in the first place.
One way to ensure this is by restricting the number of accounts a user can have. For instance, while sales employees might have access to specific applications and databases for their job function, their employer would likely prohibit them from having access to backend servers and software used by IT personnel for managing the organization’s information infrastructure.
Another way to restrict access is to use the least privileged access. This enables IT departments to grant employees only those information and systems necessary for their jobs, reducing the opportunity for cybercriminals to exploit confidential company data.
Additionally, two-factor authentication should be implemented as an extra layer of protection during login. This involves sending a verification code to either a preregistered mobile number or email address. Companies can utilize this to reduce the number of phishing attacks that take place online and guarantee that legitimate users’ credentials aren’t compromised.

Is Your Authentication Method Secure Enough?

Is Your Authentication Method Secure Enough?

What Is Access Control in Cybersecurity?

An operating system (OS) is a type of software that runs on computers. They’re employed in a wide range of devices, from small embedded processors to powerful servers supporting tens of thousands of users.
An operating system (OS) controls the memory and processes of a computer, enabling it to execute programs and functions. Furthermore, OSs provide protection for the device by blocking unauthorized access to its system files.
Modern operating systems (OS), such as those created by Microsoft, Apple and Linux, all share an OS. But each OS has distinct features and security requirements that make it essential for cybersecurity professionals to understand the distinctions between each type of OS.
For instance, Windows OSes often have a boot partition and core OS files stored in different places than Linux OSes do. That is why it is essential for cybersecurity specialists to become familiar with the file systems of each operating system they come across.
Another essential aspect of OS security is privilege escalation. Most modern operating systems enable processes to elevate user identifiers so they can gain privileged access to other resources. For instance, if a process needs to alter a file in another folder, it can do so using the setuid attribute on that file – meaning the program will run with the effective user identifier of its owner rather than simply using its current ID.
Privilege escalation can be an effective tool for network attacks, giving attackers control of a computer and altering its data. Threat actors use this type of access to steal confidential information like credit card numbers or passwords, or spread malicious software and viruses.
There are multiple methods for maintaining the integrity of an operating system (OS), as well as other aspects of computer systems, including firewalls, antivirus/antimalware software and data encryption. A robust OS security policy is the best way to guarantee your device remains protected.
Your IT team should implement an appropriate authorization schema to grant access to all critical and sensitive objects within the operating system. These may include essential OS files, boot partitions, user account details and passwords.

What Is Access Control in Cybersecurity?

What Is Access Control in Cybersecurity?

Can Firewalls Protect Your Operating System from Cyber Attacks?

Firewalls are cybersecurity tools that monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic, allowing or disallowing data packets based on predefined security rules. They are an essential element of any effective cyber defense strategy.
They can be employed to protect a network against external attacks and malicious traffic within the organization, or to segregate organizational networks based on access requirements and protections. Furthermore, these devices help safeguard sensitive data from being accessed by untrusted devices.
Today, there are various types of firewalls in use, such as hardware firewalls and software firewalls. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks.
Hardware firewalls are standalone devices that filter the Internet as data enters a computer. They operate by inspecting data packet content for security purposes and can be highly effective at blocking malware and other types of cyberattacks.
These types of firewalls are usually simple, inexpensive, and low-impact on network performance. Unfortunately, they lack the capacity to inspect data packets at the application layer – which is where most malware and other attacks originate.
The most basic type of firewall is a packet-filtering firewall, which checks data packets against a list of rules to decide whether they should be allowed or dropped. Unfortunately, they do not keep track of established connections or previous data packets, leaving them unable to stop more advanced attacks and threats.
Another type of firewall is a stateful inspection firewall, which verifies and keeps track of established connections. With this type of security measure, each data packet can be checked against a table with source IP, destination IP, source port, and destination port once a connection has been established.
Circuit-level gateways take a step beyond, employing predefined rules to inspect data packets that attempt to establish connections with an external device. They create dynamic rules to allow expected incoming traffic while filtering out unnecessary ones. This type of firewall takes one step ahead of its counterparts by automatically dropping unconfirmed active connections.
In addition to protecting your organization against attacks, firewalls also help meet regulatory compliance standards and cyber insurance underwriting criteria. Regular documented firewall reviews and examinations are essential for keeping a network secure.

Can Firewalls Protect Your Operating System from Cyber Attacks?

Can Firewalls Protect Your Operating System from Cyber Attacks?

Are Your Backups Secure Enough for Cybersecurity?

Backups are essential in cybersecurity as they enable organizations to restore compromised data back to a known good state after malicious cyber activity has taken place. This simplifies the incident response process and guarantees systems can be remediated quickly without needing hours spent identifying and eliminating all potential malware files.
Backing up your data is the most reliable way to safeguard it against damage or theft, enabling you to easily and quickly restore data in case of a disaster.
There are numerous backup solutions available to meet different risks and storage demands. When selecting which type of backup best suits your organization’s requirements, there are several factors to consider.
Incremental Backup – An incremental backup operation only copies data that has changed since the last backup of any type. This allows organizations to run backups as often as desired and still have only the most up-to-date changes stored.
Full – Much like filling up an extra tire at the service station, a full backup operation copies all data stored on a production system. These copies may take hours or even days to complete depending on how large the system is.
Differential Backups – Differential backups copy data that has changed since the last full backup. Unlike incremental backups, which can be run as often as needed, differential backups can only be run after a full backup has been performed.
No matter which backup method an organization chooses, it is essential to establish a schedule for this activity. This will depend on the size of the business, how critical data security is and how often changes occur.
The most commonly employed backup strategy combines offline and online methods. An offline approach involves storing a copy of the backup in an offsite location, such as a physical warehouse or cloud-based storage center. This enables you to access it when needed – such as in case of fire or flood – which helps keep your business running smoothly.
An online backup is a cloud-based solution that stores the backup in an external storage medium that’s continuously connected to the device being backed up. This method requires no human intervention and is more efficient and affordable than other options available.

Are Your Backups Secure Enough for Cybersecurity?

Are Your Backups Secure Enough for Cybersecurity?

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