Hacks #21-30

This chapter shows you some ways to keep your Windows system up-to-date and secure, thereby making your network a safer place to work (and have fun). Although many may scoff at the mention of Windows and security in the same sentence, you actually can make a Windows system fairly secure without too much effort.

One of the main reasons that Windows gets a bad rap is the poorly administered state in which Windows machines seem to be kept. The recent deluge of worm and virus attacks that have brought down many a network shows this to hold true. A lot of this can be traced back to the "ease" of administration that Windows seems to provide by effectively keeping the Windows administrator out of the loop about the inner workings of her environment?effectively wresting control from the system administrator's hands.

This chapter seeks to remedy that to some degree by showing you ways to see exactly what your server is really doing. While this may seem old hat to a Unix sysadmin, getting details on open ports and running services is often a new concept to the average Windows administrator. In addition, this chapter shows you how to disable some Windows "features," such as sharing out all your files automatically and truncating log files. You'll also learn how to enable some of the auditing and logging features of Windows, to give you early warning of possible security incidents (rather than waiting for the angry phone call from someone at the wrong end of a denial-of-service attack originating from your network).