Friday, December 16, 2011

Securing PCs and Macs - The NSA Way

Most NGO security practitioners I know tend not to be techies and leave computer security to the IT folks. That's a shame, because information security is becoming a necessary concern just about everywhere you go. In my opinion, anyone involved with humanitarian security should have at least a basic awareness of computer-related vulnerabilities and threats. However, this doesn't mean you need to be a techie. A little knowledge and common-sense go a long way in recognizing common vulnerabilities and having intelligent conversations with IT staff.

In the past I've blogged about some of the resources the National Security Agency (NSA) provides the public through its Information Assurance program. Today I want to steer you toward a collection of guides devoted to best practices in securing operating systems. You'll find how-to information for hardening various versions of Mac OS X and Windows. Check out what the NSA has to say about the type of operating system your organization uses. Even if it all doesn't make sense, I bet you'll learn something in the process. At the very least, pass the link on to someone in your IT department. It's a good lead-in to getting together for coffee to start coming up to speed on computer security basics.



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