Case Study

Protect Your Clients With These OS Hardening Tips

Managed Service Providers must strengthen the client’s defence mechanism against the outside attack. When trying to damage a device or network, malicious factors will look for the possible vulnerabilities. Many SMEs are still unaware of the operating system vulnerabilities, which make it easy to access private information. In order to give customers peace of mind, protect their sensitive information and differentiate your security services from competitors, here are six ways to strengthen the customer’s operating system: 

What is OS hardening or strengthening?

Hardening of OS is all about ensuring a secure configuration of the OS. It is inclusive of updating, creation of rules and policies. All of these are done to help maintain a secure system which removes the unnecessary applications and services. This is done to ensure that the threat of OS exposure is minimized of the computer.

What are the OS Hardening Tips that can be helpful?

Although different operating systems have their own complexities, it is recommended to adopt generally applicable hardening practices. This list is not comprehensive, and you can implement other system hardening best practices as applicable. However, in order to minimize the risk of customers suffering from Cyberattacks, please follow the following protocol:

  1. Programs clean-up – Remove unnecessary programs. Each program is another potential entry point for hackers. Clearing this content helps you limit the number of access methods. If the program has not been reviewed by the company and “locked”, it should not be allowed. Attackers look for backdoors and security vulnerabilities when trying to disrupt the network. Minimize their chances of passing. 
  2. Use Service Packs – Keep up-to-date and make sure you install the latest versions. It’s another factor to ensure utmost protection, but it is very critical to ensure that you offer the best service.  
  3. Patch Management – Testing, planning, as well as implantation and auditing of the software that offers patch management is a must. Make sure that the OS is well aligned and a proper security regime is abided. 
  4. Group Policies – Be sure to understand that groups have rules that you must state clearly. At times it can be just a matter of minor error that leads to a successful cyberattack. Understand that it is ideal to establish all the policies and comply to the procedure. Strong passwords are a must. You don’t want to take any chances with credentials. 
  5. Configuration baselines – Benchmark is the process of measuring changes in network, hardware, software, etc. To create a baseline, choose what you want to measure and keep it consistent over a period of time. Establish benchmarks and measure according to established standards to maintain safety and meet customer needs.

There are indeed many things you can do to protect your customer’s environment, but this checklist should help you get started. Sometimes a small change can bring the biggest change. Educate your customers about the importance of operating system hardening tools and the value of keeping their systems up to date. Ultimately, they will rely on you to educate them and understand best safety practices.

Single Point of Contact is one of the largest comprehensive White Label Managed Security Service Providers in North America. Our White Label Platform is a scalable and flexible solution which allows IT service firms to deliver managed IT services without all the overhead it takes to build and manage an internal team. We’re qualified to assist with all phases of IT management, security/compliance monitoring, cloud solutions, procurement services and complex projects. To learn more about how our services can benefit your organization, don’t hesitate to contact us any time.

Subscribe to our Podcast