The securization of computer systems focuses on the updates, adjustments and changes needed to maintain a high level of security in the systems. Module 3 of C1b3RWall Academy presents several lectures related to the “Securization of personal and work environments”.

Among the lectures in this module is that of Manuel López Pérez, a computer engineer from the University of Salamanca and security analyst at the BISITE Research Group. The aim of his talk is to teach us what hardening is based on, why it is important, its types and what steps to follow.

What is hardening?

It is a process of securing a server or computer system by minimizing its attack surface or vulnerability, as well as its potential attack vectors. It is a form of protection against cyber-attacks that involves closing the breaches in the system that are often exploited to gain access to sensitive data.

Part of the process of eliminating system hardening involves removing or disabling unnecessary applications, permissions, ports, user accounts and other system features so that attackers have less opportunity to access sensitive information on a mission-critical or infrastructure-critical computer system.

Types of system hardening

System hardening involves securing not only a computer’s software applications, and operating system, but also its firmware, databases, networks, and other critical elements of a given computer system that an attacker could exploit. There are five main types:

1. Server hardening.

2. Software application hardening.

3. Operating system hardening.

4. Database hardening.

5. Network hardening.

Although the principles of system hardening are universal, the specific tools and techniques vary depending on the type of hardening being performed.

How do I harden my system?

How you harden your system depends on your server configuration, operating system, software applications and hardware, amongst other variables. If you would like to know all the actions to take, you can view the hardening checklist in the complete article on News 365.

You can learn more about this and other topics by taking our Master in Cybersecurity at the University of Salamanca.

Posted by Juan M. Corchado

Juan Manuel Corchado (15 de Mayo de 1971, Salamanca, España) Catedrático en la Universidad de Salamanca. Ha sido Vicerrector de Investigación desde el 2013 hasta el 2017 y Director del Parque Científico de la Universidad de Salamanca. Elegido dos veces como Decano de la Facultad de Ciencias, es Doctor en Ciencias de la Computación por la Universidad de Salamanca y, además, es Doctor en Inteligencia Artificial por la University of the West of Scotland. Dirige el Grupo de Investigación Reconocido BISITE (Bioinformática, Sistemas Inteligentes y Tecnología Educativa), creado en el año 2000. Director del IOT Digital Innovation Hub y presidente del AIR Institute, J. M. Corchado también es Profesor Visitante en el Instituto Tecnológico de Osaka desde enero de 2015, Profesor visitante en la Universiti Malaysia Kelantan y Miembro del Advisory Group on Online Terrorist Propaganda of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (EUROPOL). J. M. Corchado ha sido presidente de la asociación IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics, y coordinador académico del Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Arte y Tecnología de la Animación de la Universidad de Salamanca e investigador en las Universidades de Paisley (UK), Vigo (Spain) y en el Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK). En la actualidad compagina toda su actividad con la dirección de los programas de Máster en Seguridad, Animación Digital, Telefonía Movil, Dirección de Sistemas de Información, Internet de las Cosas, Social Media, Diseño e Impresión 3D, Blockchain, Z System, Industria 4.0, Gestión de Proyectos Ágiles y Smart Cities & Intelligent Buildings​, en la Universidad de Salamanca y su trabajo como editor jefe de las revistas ADCAIJ (Advances in Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence Journal), OJCST (Oriental Journal of Computer Science and Technology) o Electronics MDPI (Computer Science & Engineering section). J. M. Corchado desarrolla principalmente trabajos en proyectos relacionados con Inteligencia Artificial, Machine Learning, Blockchain, IoT, Fog Computing, Edge Computing, Smart Cities, Smart Grids y Análisis de sentimiento.