by Carl Anctil
How to avoid being a target?
The quick answer is to move all essential, business critical or operational workstations and servers to a less targeted platform. If you’re less of a target, then the likelihood of a compromise significantly decreases. That’s all, folks; simple enough, huh?
Okay, it’s not quite that easy, but let’s compare for the sake of it. We’re going to stipulate that all configurations, settings, installations, etc. on all platforms have been completed following best security practices and that everything is fully patched and secured. So what do we have left to do?
The Windows solution is the most targeted platform for both the home and the business user. In order to successfully deploy the Microsoft Windows operating system for use on critical systems, a considerable amount of maintenance and dedication is required. The fact that this platform is the most popular and the most targeted platform of them all makes the attentiveness for this solution a must in order to prevent a compromise. Failure to do so is asking for trouble. The minimum required maintenance includes the following:
1.Keeping the OS fully patched.
2.Installing antivirus software and keeping it up to date.
3.Installing a software firewall for workstations at minimum.
4.Installing other various malware solutions and keeping them up to date.
5.Ensuring that third party software such as Java, Flash, Acrobat Reader, etc. are also all kept up to date.
These five steps are the bare minimum that is required to deploy an operational, critical system and to keep it safe. Anyone or any organization that is not ready or willing to spend the required amount of time and effort to continuously monitor and stay on top of this maintenance will, sooner or later, become compromised in some way. It’s simply a matter of time.
Or maybe it’s time for a change.
Moving your essential, business critical or operational workstations and servers to an alternate platform such as Linux, Mac or any other UNIX variant could possibly save a considerate amount of time and effort. Think about all the time it takes to continuously loop around the five steps above. Thought about it? This newly saved time could well be used to actually enjoy using a computer for work or play. Maybe this extra time could be better spent improving your business or customer relations. The fact is that a server or workstation that isn’t as much of a target will keep a significant amount of malware away. This is how computing should be – without malware.
Remember, these other platforms also have to be kept updated as necessary. However, they are not the most continuous target. That’s the difference.