Book Image

Mastering Windows Security and Hardening

By : Mark Dunkerley, Matt Tumbarello
Book Image

Mastering Windows Security and Hardening

By: Mark Dunkerley, Matt Tumbarello

Overview of this book

Are you looking for effective ways to protect Windows-based systems from being compromised by unauthorized users? Mastering Windows Security and Hardening is a detailed guide that helps you gain expertise when implementing efficient security measures and creating robust defense solutions. We will begin with an introduction to Windows security fundamentals, baselining, and the importance of building a baseline for an organization. As you advance, you will learn how to effectively secure and harden your Windows-based system, protect identities, and even manage access. In the concluding chapters, the book will take you through testing, monitoring, and security operations. In addition to this, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to ensure compliance and continuous monitoring through security operations. By the end of this book, you’ll have developed a full understanding of the processes and tools involved in securing and hardening your Windows environment.
Table of Contents (19 chapters)
Section 1: Getting Started
Section 2: Applying Security and Hardening
Section 3: Protecting, Detecting, and Responding for Windows Environments

Chapter 1: Fundamentals of Windows Security

Nowadays, the conversation of cybersecurity has become a hot topic throughout the world. And even more so with leadership teams and board members of many major organizations asking the question, are we secure? The short answer is no: no one is secure in today's digital world, and there has never been a more critical time to ensure that you are doing everything within your power to protect your organization and its users.

As we continue to receive daily news of breaches throughout the world, it is clear how severe the issue of cybercrime has become. To put it bluntly, we simply need to do a better job of protecting the data that we collect and manage within our organizations today. This isn't an easy task, especially with the advancement of organized cyber and state-sponsored groups with budgets, most likely, far exceeding that of most organizations. As security professionals, we need to do our due diligence and ensure we identify all risks within the organization. Once identified, they will need to be addressed or accepted as a risk by leadership.

As a consumer, it is most likely that your data has already been breached, and there's a chance your account information and passwords are sitting on the dark web somewhere. We need to work with the assumption that our personal data has already been breached and build better barriers around our data and account information. For example, in the U.S., purchasing identity protection as a service to monitor your identity can serve as an insurance policy if you incur any damages. In addition to this, the ability to place your credit reports on hold to prevent bad actors from opening accounts under your name is another example of a defensive approach that you can take to protect your personal identity.

As the cybersecurity workforce continues to evolve and strengthen with more and more talented individuals, we want to help contribute to the importance of securing our data, and we hope this book provides you with the necessary knowledge to do the right thing for your organization. As you read this book, you will not only learn the technical aspects of securing Windows, but you will also learn what else is necessary to ensure the protection of Windows and the users that use it. Protecting Windows has become a lot more than making a few simple configuration changes and installing an antivirus (AV) tool. There is an entire ecosystem of controls, tools, and technology to help protect your Windows systems and users.

As you read through this chapter, you will learn about the broader fundamentals of security and the principles behind the foundation that is needed to protect your Windows environment. Specifically, you will learn about the following:

  • An overview of the security transformation within the industry
  • A look at security trends as they relate to today's digital world
  • A review of the current threat landscape and common vulnerabilities
  • An overview of some recent publicly known breaches
  • An overview of the current security challenges faced today
  • What Zero Trust security is, and why we need to adopt this approach moving forward