Provide (2) 150 words response with a minimum of 1 APA references for RESPONSES 1 AND 2 below. Response provided should further discuss the subject or provide more insight. To further understand the response, below is the discussion post that's discusses the responses. 100% original work and not plagiarized. Must meet deadline.
This week we are discussing hardening techniques for user workstations. First, what is hardening? Hardening is the reduction of threat to a server, infrastructure, workstation or the like. The purpose of hardening is the same concept as securing just about anything. An administrator will look through the entire systems taking applications, servers, networks, and the likes into account. Checking each for vulnerabilities and closing the small cracks that can be exploited in a malicious attack. Techniques that are used to harden a work station with a windows operating system are as follows:
Secure installations – it all starts from the install of the operating system. If you begin with a device that has malicious software on it than your security measures have already failed.
Remove unwanted programs – Basically, clean up. The more programs that you have, the more avenues are available for attack and the more areas you have to secure.
Use encryption – this seems like a no brainer. All vital information should be encrypted.
Keep up to date with patches and updates – As we spoke about in a previous forum, you have to be careful with your updates and patches, but falling to far behind can leave you vulnerable to attack.
Enable the guards – Windows has built in hardening tools such as, device guard, credential guard, application guard, and exploit guard. These should be utilized as an extra measure. The more layers an attack has to get through, the less likely they are to continue attacking.
Utilize Windows Defender – although this should be turned on by default it is good to check and make sure your hardening layers are in place.
Use multi-factor authentications – these are heavily utilized today, they can be pins, biometric (fingerprints), passwords, or even device verification.
Gets ransomware protection software – Another semi-obvious one, most systems should have ransomware protection is they are to be thought of as secure.
When it comes to hardening workstations, I remember at my last organization hearing about Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs) for the very first time. I knew that patching on routine bases was necessary, and also to ensure our Anti-virus and its components were always at the DoD mandated versions but, I had never heard of STIGs. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) publishes Windows 10 STIGs in wich DoD Information Systems implement on their networks to harden their systems. The STIGS aren’t just for the computer systems themselves; they also cover settings for “browsers, Antivirus, and other desktop applications.” For DoD systems, certain STIGS are mandatory and must be in place to meet DISA and other accreditation standards.
The Windows 10 STIG website lists findings that are listed by severity, and they are CAT I (High), CAT II (MED), and CAT III (Low). The site will provide the finding ID along with a description of the finding. The ID is hyperlinked to a page that includes additional information, provides the fix action. If you like to see an example, here are the links to the STIG viewer, followed by a STIG Finding. The CAT I findings are the most critical to fix, as they are vulnerabilities on your system. One way to check to see what STIGS are still outstanding is by using the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) Tool. This tool can be installed on a system and will check for the system’s compliance. This tool came in handy for my team, as when we were introduced to STIGS, they came in a big fat ugly binder. There was no easy way to parse through that much paperwork. Utilizing the SCAP tool, we were able to capture the current state of our systems and come up with a game plan on which STIGS to attack first.