Windows Hardening

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CredulousDane

Active member
Sep 26, 2020
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PHolder

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2020
764
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Ontario, Canada
Windows is vulnerable to the same three things that most OSes are:
1. an attacker who can put hands on the hardware
2. a user who is ignorant of good security/safety practices
3. an attacker using the network

So my recommendations are:
1. don't let strangers near your hardware
2. get educated on good security and safer computing
3. use a good router/firewall device and keep it up to date

If you do these things, I don't think anyone would consider you not making a best effort. There are always going to be zero days and other things that you can't prepare for.... so the absolute best advice is to make sure you follow a good backup strategy for the data you care most about.
 

CredulousDane

Active member
Sep 26, 2020
27
3
I think I'm doing alright with those recommendations, I'm just always curious to learning more and hardening is new to me. But is your recommendation then that hardening is more for the hardcore and not so much the mainstream? ;)
 

Lob

What could possibly go wrong?
Nov 7, 2020
98
20
Microsoft has some white papers for hardening.

Standard rules apply; go through every component and every service and understand what it exists for. Disable or remove everything you can. Limit the accounts and rename administrator (plus change the password and put the only copy of that password in a safe). Think about limiting your daemons into their own accounts without system-wide access, especially to the filesystem.

I assume this is Internet-facing; I'd only allow the necessary ports/protocols to it, isolate it from other devices in at least a VLAN and patch early.
 
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CredulousDane

Active member
Sep 26, 2020
27
3
Microsoft has some white papers for hardening.

Standard rules apply; go through every component and every service and understand what it exists for. Disable or remove everything you can. Limit the accounts and rename administrator (plus change the password and put the only copy of that password in a safe). Think about limiting your daemons into their own accounts without system-wide access, especially to the filesystem.

I assume this is Internet-facing; I'd only allow the necessary ports/protocols to it, isolate it from other devices in at least a VLAN and patch early.

I'll go throught it carefully and will start with the Simple solution for now :)
 

PHolder

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2020
764
2
359
Ontario, Canada
is your recommendation then that hardening is more for the hardcore
I wouldn't quite go that far, there are simple things you can do, but even the simple things come with the tradeoffs of making your PC less friendly. Let's say you disable file sharing between PCs (as one measure you could take to slow down the spread of a crypto-malware, for example.) Some time later you want to do something unrelated, and it fails, and now you're in this icky situation of not understanding why shit's broke. (Say printing breaks (yes I know it's already broke right now, LOL) and you really need to print something... are you going to guess that turning sharing back on is the fix? Maybe, but not right away.)
 
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CredulousDane

Active member
Sep 26, 2020
27
3
Yeah, I see. It could be those changes that are forgotten and some day I need what has been disabled not consciously knowing what's wrong ;)

Will look into hardening but probably not change a lot.

Thanks for your feedback :)