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Operating System Security Essay

Operating System Security

Security is the most important part of an operating system when it comes to keeping the system and its information safe. There are various aspects to the security piece in an operating system; which are protocols, kernel and encryption. The UNIX/LINIX, Apple and Windows Server 2008 all have protocol, kernel and encryption features. These features need to be enabled to the highest level in order to have the most security for each of these operating systems. Even though some of these features are already enabled to some level by default, the security level still can be raised for more protection. Starting with the UNIX/LINUX versus Apple operating systems, the most secured versions of these operating systems will be used to demonstrate which is more secured.

There are two aspects of these operating systems, desktop and server, however we will stay with the desktop versions of these operating systems. This will allow a more forward approach, so that it will be more understandable for the end user. The LINUX Red Hat Enterprise edition offers the most security of any of the other editions of UNIX/LINUX desktop versions. The protocols of this operating system offer some level of security but there are no new approved security measures built into the security stack. This allows hackers/attacker to be able to gain access easier than newer security measures. One of the newest measures of security in LINUX is SELinux this includes enhancements to the kernel in the LINUX operating system. It provides a security measures that enables access control security policies. This level of security also includes MAC (mandatory access controls) which is a government style level of security measure.

This kernel security measure is the highest level of security that this operating system has to offer. When looking into the Apple operating system, OS X offers the most protection of any version of Apple operating system. One of the main security features in the Apple OS (operating system) is XProtect, this feature is used to add the highest level of security to browsers. However, the older versions of Safari and Mail will no longer be able to run once this security update is applied to the OS. And this makes this OS have less functionality than it would normally in a browser aspect.

The OS X version 1.6 code name snow leopard is the Apple OS security that we will be discussing. The highest level of security that this Apple OS has to offer is the hidden malware protection that it provides. This Apple OS has a built in system that detects malicious software and attempts to protect the system from the user to prevent him/her from damaging their system(s). However, since the malware are quarantined and not deleted/removed, it poses another security issue. Unfortunately, Apple has been slow when it comes to security threats and so we will have to see if there will be any additional security measures in the future.

The Windows Server 2008 is the most secured Windows operating system available and also has the most security features available than any other OS developed by Microsoft. The Windows Server 2008 has an improved firewall and advanced security features. Incoming and outgoing filters can be customized and configured to the level and flexibility needed by the user. NAP (network access protection is an advanced security feature of Windows Server 2008. This feature helps keep unsecured computers from accessing the network of a business and also a single computer or home based network as well. This OS does allow external access from remote computers by mitigating possible security breaches. The NAP security feature is an enhancement of the NPS (network policy server) feature from Windows Server 2003. And so it is a proven security feature with proven results and is the highest advanced security feature available in Windows Server 2008.

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