March 3rd, 2003, 03:32 AM
Basic Security Considerations
This is the check list that i found on the web.
Provide Physical Security for the machine
Most security breaches in corporate environments occur from the inside. Culprits can be well meaning "power users" who configure their co-workers PCs, to disgruntled employees, or they can be full blown corporate spies that are working at your company. It may not be practical to physically secure every workstation in your environment, but your servers need to be in a locked room with monitored access. Consider placing surveillance cameras in your server rooms and keeping the tapes for 30 days. For desktops, install a lock on the CPU case, keep it locked, and store the key safely away from the computer at a secure location. (i.e. a locked cabinet in the server room)
Disable the Guest Account
Windows 2000 finally disables the guest account by default, but if you didn't build the image yourself, always double check to make sure the guest account is not enabled. For additional security assign a complex password to the account anyway, and restrict its logon 24x7.
Limit the number of unnecessary accounts
Eliminate any duplicate user accounts, test accounts, shared accounts, general department accounts, etc., Use group policies to assign permissions as needed, and audit your accounts regularly. These generic accounts are famous for having weak passwords (and lots of access) and are at the top of every hacker's list of accounts to crack first. This can be a big problem at larger companies with understaffed IT departments. An audit at a Fortune 10 company I worked for revealed that 3,000 of their 15,000 active user accounts were assigned to employees who no longer worked for the company. To make matters worse, we were able to crack the passwords on more than half of those inactive accounts.
Create 2 accounts for Administrators
I know this goes against the previous caveat, but this is the exception to the rule. Create one regular user account for your Administrators for reading mail and other common tasks, and a separate account (with a more aggressive password policy) for tasks requiring administrator privileges. Have your Administrators use the "Run As" command available with Windows 2000 to enable the access they need. This prevents malicious code from spreading through your network with admin privileges.
Rename the Administrator Account
Many hackers will argue that this won't stop them, because they will use the SID to find the name of the account and hack that. Our view is, why make it easy for them. Renaming the Administrator account will stop some amateur hackers cold, and will annoy the more determined ones. Remember that hackers won't know what the inherit or group permissions are for an account, so they'll try to hack any local account they find and then try to hack other accounts as they go to improve their access. If you rename the account, try not to use the word 'Admin" in its name. Pick something that won't sound like it has rights to anything.
Consider creating a dummy Administrator account
Another strategy is to create a local account named "Administrator", then giving that account no privileges and impossible to guess +10 digit complex password. This should keep the script kiddies busy for a while. If you create a dummy Administrative account, enabled auditing so you'll know when it is being tampered with.
Replace the "Everyone" Group with "Authenticated Users" on file shares
"Everyone" in the context of Windows 2000 security, means anyone who gains access to your network can access the data. Never assign the "Everyone" Group to have access to a file share on your network, use "Authenticated Users" instead. This is especially important for printers, who have the "Everyone" Group assigned by default.
A good password policy is essential to your network security, but is often overlooked. In large organizations there is a huge temptation for lazy administrators to create all local Administrator accounts (or worse, a common domain level administrator account) that uses a variation of the company name, computer name, or advertising tag line. i.e. %companyname%#1, win2k%companyname%, etc. Even worse are new user accounts with simple passwords such as "welcome", "letmein", "new2you", that aren't required to changed the password after the first logon. Use complex passwords that are changed at least every 60 -90 days. Passwords should contain at least eight characters, and preferably nine (recent security information reports that many cracking programs are using the eight character standard as a starting point). Also, each password must follow the standards set for strong passwords .
Password protect the screensaver
Once again this is a basic security step that is often circumvented by users. Make sure all of your workstations and servers have this feature enabled to prevent an internal threat from taking advantage of an unlocked console. For best results, choose the blank screensaver or logon screensaver. Avoid the OpenGL and graphic intensive program that eat CPU cycles and memory. Make sure the wait setting is appropriate for your business. If you can get your users in the habit of manually locking their workstations when they walk away from their desks, you can probably get away with an idle time of 15 minutes or more. You can keep users from changing this setting via Group Policy.
Use NTFS on all partitions
FAT and FAT32 File systems don't support file level security and give hackers a big wide open door to your system. Make sure all of your system partitions are formatted using NTFS.
Always run Anti-Virus software
Again, this is something that is considered a basic tenant of security, but you would be surprised at how many companies don't run Anti-Virus software, or run it but don't update it. Today's AV software does more than just check for known viruses, many scan for other types of malicious code as well.
Secure your Backup tapes
It's amazing how many organizations implement excellent platform security, and then don't encrypt and/or lock up their backup tapes containing the same data. It's also a good idea to keep your Emergency Repair Disks locked up and stored away from your servers.
There is your basic security check list. Hope this post helped.