Hardening is the process of protecting a system against unknown threats. System administrators harden against that which they think could be a threat. Administrators know the Internet is a hostile environment. Although they can't tell, for example, that a hacker will attempt to gain access to the SQL server next Tuesday, they can bet money there'll be an attempt soon and should "batten down the hatches" in anticipation.
Hardening Windows, Second Edition is the definitive "counterintelligence" guide to performing preventative security measures for the Windows OS. This second edition covers the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2 and its new security features, including the Windows Firewall and the Security Center. It also covers Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, Windows Server R2's new Security Configuration Wizard, Windows NT, Windows 2000, branch-office security features, and new setup options. A new chapter has been added on Windows Software Update Services. All chapters have been updated to reflect reader feedback from the first edition. Topics covered include system and group policies, Network Access Quarantine Control, auditing and event logs, IIS, and Exchange.
Before I begin, let me offer my sincere thanks for purchasing this book! I’m glad you’ve made the decision to spend some time securing and hardening your systems. Not only are you helping yourself, but you’re also protecting the Internet community as a whole.
This book is quick and simple, so it’s best to understand what’s inside before you even begin reading it. For one, the chapters themselves stand alone. You can read them in any order, and the material isn’t cumulative. Of course, you’re welcome to read them all, and cross-references are clearly identified when information in a chapter is discussed in more detail earlier in the book. However, if you choose to begin with Chapter 7, you won’t be missing anything. You also won’t be getting long, theoretical discussions about operating system design, kernel locking, OSI layers, and the like. Instead, you’re getting quick, practical, checklist-style suggestions with a minimum of fluff. This book is meant to be carried under your arm to client workstations, placed on the top of the server rack, or snugly kept right beside your monitor for easy reference. It certainly isn’t a 1,600-page Windows bible.About the Author
Jonathan Hassell is an author, consultant, and speaker on a variety of IT topics. His published works include RADIUS, Hardening Windows, Using Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003
, and Learning Windows Server 2003
. His work appears regularly in such periodicals as Windows IT Pro, PC Pro
, and TechNet Magazine
. Jonathan also speaks worldwide on topics ranging from networking and security to Windows administration. He is currently an editor for Apress, which specializes in books for programmers and IT professionals.