Hardeningscheck and hack testing for new servers

For a client I work for, it is normal procedure to do a security check before servers go into production. This is not obvious for most organisations though.

In the years I spent at various organisations I have never found a situation before where it was policy to do a hardeningscheck and/or a hack test for every single new server that is to be placed in production.

The hardening check consists of checking if various services or daemons are switched off, IPSec is used, no default login accounts are used, a host-based firewall is used, all patches are applied, etc. This is a check on the "inside" of a system.

The hacktest will check the outside. What TCP/UDP ports are open, is the system vulnerable to SQL-injection or cross-site scripting, etc.

These tests should not done by system administrators, but by security professionals (preferably from an external company). The results should be documented in a report with non-compliances and tips. Systems are only allowed in production after these checks are done. This is done for every single system.

If changes are made to the systems, the tests must be repeated.

A risk analysis should be part of the process.

I think more companies should implement this strategy. It takes time, slows down implementations, and costs money. I know. But systems usually will be in production for many years. Making sure the system has a secure start is the least one can do.

This entry was posted on Friday 11 April 2008

Earlier articles

The cloud is as insecure as its configuration

Infrastructure as code

My Book

DevOps for infrastructure

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

(Hyper) Converged Infrastructure

Object storage

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Software Defined Storage (SDS)

What's the point of using Docker containers?

Identity and Access Management

Using user profiles to determine infrastructure load

Public wireless networks

Supercomputer architecture

Desktop virtualization

Stakeholder management

x86 platform architecture

Midrange systems architecture

Mainframe Architecture

Software Defined Data Center - SDDC

The Virtualization Model

What are concurrent users?

Performance and availability monitoring in levels

UX/UI has no business rules

Technical debt: a time related issue

Solution shaping workshops

Architecture life cycle

Project managers and architects

Using ArchiMate for describing infrastructures

Kruchten’s 4+1 views for solution architecture

The SEI stack of solution architecture frameworks

TOGAF and infrastructure architecture

The Zachman framework

An introduction to architecture frameworks

How to handle a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack

Architecture Principles

Views and viewpoints explained

Stakeholders and their concerns

Skills of a solution architect architect

Solution architects versus enterprise architects

Definition of IT Architecture

What is Big Data?

How to make your IT "Greener"

What is Cloud computing and IaaS?

Purchasing of IT infrastructure technologies and services

IDS/IPS systems

IP Protocol (IPv4) classes and subnets

Infrastructure Architecture - Course materials

Introduction to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

IT Infrastructure Architecture model

Fire prevention in the datacenter

Where to build your datacenter

Availability - Fall-back, hot site, warm site

Reliabilty of infrastructure components

Human factors in availability of systems

Business Continuity Management (BCM) and Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

Performance - Design for use

Performance concepts - Load balancing

Performance concepts - Scaling

Performance concept - Caching

Perceived performance

Ethical hacking

The first computers

Open group ITAC /Open CA Certification

Sjaak Laan

Recommended links

Ruth Malan
Gaudi site
Esther Barthel's site on virtualization
Eltjo Poort's site on architecture


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