Reminder – Security is important, even on Linux systems


Aug 11, 2013 GMT
Bruce Byfield

Plenty of systems are less secure than they should be — often because users ignore security because of its minor inconveniences. Taking the time to check and tighten security is never a bad idea, and, in this case, a few basic measures by system administrators might help to reassure average users. I am not talking, of course, about security theater — measures like the ones at American airports that look impressive but do little — but concrete, well-established measures.

If you don’t know the improvements you can make, spend some time looking at AppArmor or SE Linux to increase your knowledge of system security. One quick and educational fix is Bastille, which for more than a decade has been securing small systems with a wizard that can dramatically improve system security in a matter of an hour or two.

Check up, too, on the users who know just enough to mess with the security precautions you have set. You probably know who they are.

Another thing you can do is learn just how Linux is put together, so you assess future alarmist stories more accurately. My late colleague Joe Barr wrote a primer in 2007 that remains valid today.

So far, the most recent story can be summarized as leaving the basic security situation unchanged. You probably can stand to tweak a few settings, and to educate users who see security measures as annoying restrictions

Just remember, against user stupidity, the system admins themselves contend in vain — but, then, we’ve always known that.

Excerpt from Off-the-Beat-Bruce-Byfield-s-Blog

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