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

Recognizing breaches

If you follow the news, you are probably aware that there is no shortage of breaches today. They are happening so frequently that it is not uncommon for several breaches to occur weekly or even daily. What is an even scarier thought is these are just the ones that we hear about. To give you an idea of how serious the issue has become, the following list has some of the more notable breaches that are documented on Wikipedia's List of data breaches page. There are many sources on the internet of top breaches, but Wikipedia has the most comprehensive I have found with references to each of the listings:

Figure 1.7 – Wikipedia List of data breaches

Figure 1.7 – Wikipedia List of data breaches

You can find the source for the preceding screenshot here:

As you review the breaches and understand how they occurred, you will see a common trend where, for the most part, the breach occurred from hacking or poor security practices. You might also notice that other common methods of breaches include lost or stolen equipment. These statistics are alarming, and they indicate how critical it is to secure and harden our systems as best as possible.

To give you an idea of the importance of securing and hardening your environment, the article referenced next shows that the cost of a user record from a data breach is $242 per record. A quick calculation of this multiplied by 100,000 customers calculates a potential loss estimated at $24.2 million. When you look at the number of breached records shown in the table, you will understand how this could be extremely damaging to a business's value and reputation.

View the table at What's the Real Cost of a Data Breach? here:


An interesting site for reference is Have I Been Pwned. This site will show you whether your email has ever been breached and, if so, where it was breached: You can also sign up for notifications for any breaches related to a specific domain.

There are many sources available where you can view security news and follow the latest trends and best practices. The following are some of the resources used to keep up to date with what is happening in the security world today:

  • DarkReading:
  • Cyware: (recommended phone app)
  • Business Insider:
  • ZDNet:
  • Newsfusion Cyber Security News: (recommended phone app)
  • BBC:
  • The Hacker News: