Operating Systems Security - Ensure Your OS Integrity
Did you know that the Internet is one of the most dangerous places for our society? Potential viruses, hackers, stalkers, and other menaces could harm the entire operating system’s security.
Despite this, people still are a bit ignorant about OS security. For example, a poll made by studyfinds.org determined that “only 39 percent know that suspicious sites can spread malware and viruses on their computer.”
This is an alarming metric for 2022’s civilization.
So, how can you improve your overall cybersecurity and prevent the operating system’s processes from being hurt by viruses and malware?
This article will cover all that and more, including the best software you can use to store important information.
Table of Contents:
Is Your Operating System In Danger?
You are in danger when you don’t have the tools necessary to prevent threats from lurking on your system files. That’s exactly what operating system security prevents.
OS security refers to the internal and external measures you take to protect your operating system from digital and physical attacks that could harm the integrity of your digital environment.
1. Secure your system and make it more stable.
2. Improve system performance.
3. Prevent security holes made by malicious software.
4. Protect the entire network – if applicable – of your computers connected in a LAN connection.
5. Restrict access from external sources.
The idea of having OS security is that you can control all of your digital assets without worrying about potential threats.
Take a business server as an example. It would take both internal and external practices that control and prevent dangers to protect this vital part of your business. Here are stored:
- Customer databases.
- Financial information.
- Business plans.
- Marketing plans.
- Portfolios with previous jobs.
- Employment records.
- Other important system files.
With all these security policies, the business can run smoothly while protecting the hardware device where they store all the important information.
Types Of Operating System Security Measures
When trying to protect your operating system, there are both physical and digital measures you can take. Some of these practices are:
Restricting access to the main server.
Regular OS patch updates.
Ban external drives connected to the server.
One-time password system.
A physical key generator to access the server.
The antivirus and other program threat detector.
Physical user credential cards to authenticate users.
User accounts with restricted privileges.
When you start taking action, you can protect your entire system in both internal and external environments. This way, you can ensure the system’s integrity, confidentiality, and availability.
Threats To Your Computer System Resources
Now that we discussed security measures, let’s talk about potential threats.
They can be separated into program and system threats. Below we’re exploring the difference between them.
Program Directed Threats
The program threats are the ones that are directed to provoke specific tasks to hurt an operating system. They are programmed to send information or to exploit the computer's hardware and software for the developer’s benefit.
These menaces are installed on your computer when you click strange .exe files or open the wrong emails.
Here’s an example of what they could do. Let’s say you open an email with a strange attachment. This file contains a virus that will spread throughout your computer’s system and will look for important information to steal – all based on its program.
Some of the most common program threats are
- Trap Doors: A trap door is a security weakness door created by hackers to process illegal actions into your computer, such as data mining, keyloggers, spying on you, and others. They are installed when an executable program has a flaw in its code.
- Logic Bomb: A Logic Bomb is software that runs smoothly until something specific happens. This “something” is attached to its code and prepares the app to fail.
- Viruses: Compared to the rest of the menaces listed here, a virus is erratic and dangerous. They can replicate through your system, and once they find important information, they can change it or delete it. This behavior will make your computer crash.
- Trojans: About the Trojan Horse, this malicious software enters your computer with you knowing it and steals your information. Then, it sends user login credentials to the developer to access the computer or any platform you have saved on your PC.
Now, among other threats, system threats are developed by a malicious user to cause a malfunction in the software. They can be spread throughout entire network connections; if you don’t stop them, they can even reach a web server.
Some of them are:
- DoS Attack: The Denial of Service attacks prevent a legitimate user from entering a system. It’s one of the worst threats for some businesses, such as online games. For example, if World of Warcraft had a DoS attack, it could make the entire community go nuts. This would also make Blizzard lose millions of dollars from in-game purchases in a single day.
- Worms: Worms are excellent menaces to choke your entire system. They can replicate and use your hardware’s resources until your computer is too slow to function properly.
- Port Scanning: This is more of a method to discover vulnerabilities instead and prepare them for attacks. The malicious user will launch “zombie systems” through TCP/IP ports to check for vulnerable spots.
Threats To Operating Systems You Should Worry About
There are a few common menaces on the internet that you should be worried about if you ever face them. These are:
- Malware and Viruses: This category belongs to worms, viruses, trojans, ransomware, and other malicious software. They are short-coded and hidden inside other larger files such as video games or productivity software. They can delete, encrypt, publish or even destroy your entire data and computer. That’s why they are so dangerous.
- Masqueraders: These are also known as network intruders. It refers to a person that shouldn’t enter the system and still gains access to it using reliable user accounts. They can steal, delete, and use the resources of your computer/server.
- Buffer Overflow: This is an attack that is considered highly dangerous. It happens when the system is overflown by information and processes beyond the computer’s capacity. It can make the server crash and erase the entire information.
Security Violations To An Operating System
Now, all these threats follow one out of two – sometimes both – violations of a particular program OS system.
- Threat: There’s a chance that a program downloaded has malicious code that could harm the data stored in the computer. They search for a security hole to provoke unauthorized destruction.
- Attack: It’s when a malicious attack is developed by viruses and other threats. Various threats gain access – specially trojan horses – to a computer’s system when you install .exe files.
These threats could also be accidental or malicious.
The first is easier to protect from, while the second is meant to be destructive. Sometimes even physical security isn’t enough to stop them.
Possible Security Breaches To Your System Resources
When a virus, malware, etc., breaches your system, it can leave trap doors and other gates so that malicious software can keep entering your computer without legitimate processes.
That said, you can find different sorts of breaches in your computer after malware of any kind has vulnerated your computer.
- Integrity breach: It presents when information was modified without consent. It can happen because of a lack of physical security or malware.
- Service theft: This is usually a worm process. It happens when there’s unauthorized use of resources that slows your computer.
- Confidentiality breach: This happens when a virus or malware starts reading data considered confidential information. This is an unauthorized process made by malicious content.
- Availability breach: This happens when specific data is destroyed, which might be caused by Trojans and ransomware.
- Service denial: It’s when you can access any file system to use your software. After a successful DoS attack, not even legitimate users or legitimate processes – like admin accounts or the “system” process – can make the OS work again.
How To Prevent System Vulnerabilities
To prevent systems from suffering from a buffer overflow attack or similar, there are methods you can use to reduce your vulnerability. Here are the most important – yet they are the ones that people use the least.
Authorized Users Methods
Reliable systems must identify every user that has access to them. And if you’re starting your computer, you should also add an extra layer of security to your system before you access your desktop.
These are some ways you can have a good user management system to authenticate users.
- Username Password Combinations: You must give users different passwords and usernames so they can access your system.
- Biometric Verification: You can add digital biometric information as user credentials. This increases your layer of security for your business.
- User Card Key: Users can use cards as a way to authenticate their identity when entering the system.
The one-time passwords help you filter the people that have access to your system. If a specialist needs to do some change, you can give him one and cut him up when he’s done with the work.
There are different types of user passwords:
- Secret Keys: The secret key is an ID that you can produce. Each time you try to enter the system, you need to create a secret ID.
- Random Numbers: You’ll be given a random set of numbers as your matching password.
- Network Passwords: A network password is registered to a mobile phone or email. You’ll receive it each time you connect. This is a standard authentication process.
Your system server needs far more than a unique password. That’s why your server should be located according to a vulnerability assessment you receive from a specialist.
Since your system’s hardware is never actually safe, you will need to build a rack with a physical characteristic to withstand the efforts of people trying to modify it.
A common example could be Google’s servers; they keep them locked under strict security. Only people with legitimate use of a special credential can access it – which is a minimum number of employees in the organization.
Once you have implemented similar measures, you can be sure that you safeguard your information from any attacker.
The firewall is one of the techniques that you’d use to keep your computer/server protected from attackers. This mechanism provides you with local security, filters incoming and outgoing traffic, prevents malware from entering your network, and more.
In the case of Windows, it’s automatically installed when you run this OS.
Best Operating System Software With High-Security Measure
Once you know the best ways to keep your computer safe from potential threats, it’s time to understand which software is best for your server or working computer.
Windows 11 comes with incredible security features. It naturally adds an extra layer of protection to your whole computer – including the hard drive – thanks to integrated antivirus software. It’s not called Windows Defender anymore, but Windows Security.
You can also:
- Create users' passwords.
- Block folders and other files.
- Choose to disable programs and other processes.
- Running the Smart App Control prevents you from running untrusted or unbranded programs.
- Use the default kernel protector to avoid kernel manipulation.
- Use Local Security Authority to load only trusted credentials.
- Prevent any critical installation.
- Detect dangerous viruses before they can steal your information.
- Receive constant updates to improve Windows 11 protection capabilities.
- Monitor threats behavior with the Quarantine function.
Windows 10 is also a good choice for you and your system. The main difference with Windows 11 is that you have Windows Defender installed, which works as an antivirus. You have to consider that this software will stop receiving updates and support in 2025.
Besides that, you can expect from this software:
- Regular antivirus and threat protection.
- Trustable account management.
- Firewall setup and constant monitoring.
- Protection against unknown programs.
Whatever operating system you choose, it would be a great asset for your business.
Using antivirus software is another way to protect your computer from external and internal attacks. With these programs, you can carry on real-time scans to determine if your computer is compromised. It also uses various ways to secure your devices, such as:
- Real-time web browsing scan.
- External drives scans.
- Account protection.
- Cloud-delivered protection.
This way, you are protected in both offline and online environments.
When an antivirus detects a threat, it will put it under quarantine immediately. Then, you can either decide what to do with the file or let the antivirus delete it at once.
When you’re installing antivirus to a Windows computer, ensure you don’t have any other similar software activated. This can cause disruptions in their security systems, which may lead to malfunctions.
Even though Windows software is the most used for servers, Mac OS also has important security features that could make your data far more secure than with any other OS. Since it’s a closed-source operating system, it doesn’t have a lot of system vulnerabilities.
That said, you can:
- Keep your software updated.
- Use a higher level of encryption and security.
- Use Execute disable, ASLR, and System Integrated Protection to improve your security.
- Encrypt your whole drive with FileVault 2 technology.
Of the three of them, Windows is more effective for servers, it has more compatibility with other devices, and computer hardware is easier to change.
It’s also more accessible for those businesses that are starting new and don’t have the resources to purchase a $1,000 Mac.
Where To Get The Best Operating System For Your Server
So, since there are two Windows operating systems that could work for you, how can you get one?
You can either go to the Microsoft store and get them at full price or enter a third-party vendor like RoyalCDKeys. This website provides you with legitimate Microsoft Windows CD Keys at a discounted price.
These are original serial codes that you can use to activate your Windows during or after the installation process.
6 Tips You Should Follow To Keep Your OS Secure
Whether you have a business, work in the IT department, or you are an entrepreneur with valuable information in your computer, you need to know how to keep your data safe.
As such, if you want to ensure you’re doing a good job, you should follow these tips and techniques to keep your configuration files and other valid information from being stolen.
- Install and update antivirus software. It can be a free one or a paid version.
- Keep your software updated and patched. This includes BIOS.
- If you have a business, set up management policies for user accounts and privileges based on job positions.
- Set up a firewall, and don’t give exceptions to the software you don’t know.
- Make sure the entire operation of your business is backed up in the cloud or any other local storage.
- If you have local storage, keep your server’s access with only a few administrators.
Ensure Operating System Security - Summary
Preventing operating systems vulnerabilities have never been so important as today. As society drives into a more digital environment, our information will be stored in system services that could be vulnerable to remote hacker intrusions and other digital threats.
Once you access system resources, you’ll get to see important data – from personal, and commercial to financial information – that could be used to harm people and organizations.
That’s the main reason why using prevention tools like antivirus or a network traffic detector is necessary to have a safe and healthy experience while using the internet.
Threats could be hiding in plain sight as a harmless .exe that you download, a phishing email that you open by mistake, or even zombie systems.
Using intrusion detection software and additional security will be crucial if you want to avoid unauthorized modification to your computer. That’s why Windows 11 and Windows 10 are two great operating systems that have features that improve your security and confidentiality.