Linux Security

linux-logoIn our last post we may have introduced some of you to the idea of using Linux as a replacement for your Windows desktop or laptop.  Toward the end we touched on security, and this post will expand on that issue.

There is a fanatical cohort in the Linux realm that will tell you that Linux is secure by design and so security software is not necessary. And nobody is writing malware for Linux anyway.  And if there were malware, as a user you would have to agree to install and run it, and you wouldn’t do that, now would you?  (Would you?)  These people are similar to the Apple snobs out there that are promoting the same snake oil.

Well, let’s think about this for a minute.  The vast majority of web servers on the Internet are running some variety of Linux, and these are the same servers that the cyber-criminals are successfully exploiting to scoop up personal and financial information, and use for distributing malware and storing pornography.  This vulnerability sort of proves the point of this article. Sorry to say, in today’s world, you need to have your security up and running, whatever platform or operating system you are using.

So here is what you need to do with a Linux system:

  • Use anti-malware software.  As we mentioned in  our last post, it a good idea to install one of the available security programs from Kaspersky, Sophos, F Secure, or OPSWAT.  Many of these programs are free as well.
  • Use the iptables firewall that is built into Linux.
  • Keep Linux up-to-date.  Running updates in Linux is just as important as it is in Windows.
  • Use the latest version of your favorite web browser.  Linux will run Firefox, Chrome, or Opera.  Using the latest version keeps your security higher.
  • There are browser extensions that will improve your security as well.  Here are some to check out
  •  Use full disk encryption.  This is easily accomplished at the time of installation.  This way all your data, and even leaky things like temporary files and things you might overlook if you just used file encryption.

So if you are giving Linux some consideration, there is your recipe for security.

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity guru to business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area. Computer security and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. In 2013 I completed a course of study and certification exam to become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). In 2016 I was certified as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of computer security, network security, and web site security. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. The views expressed on this Web site are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.

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