Concept of Windows Security Policies


Whether at home or at work, computer security is something everyone must consider. In your role as a computer support technician, it is your professional responsibility to implement security appropriately. Whether you support a small office, a large corporation, or private clients, you will need to have the security knowledge and skills to install the proper measures so that systems are protected, while still allowing users access to the resources they need.

Windows Security Policies:

Definition: Windows security policies are Windows configuration settings that control the overall security behavior of the system. The security policy consists of hierarchical groupings of related policy nodes, which contain individual policy entries you can enable, config- ure, or disable. The Local Security Policy is a subset of the comprehensive local policy object used to configure the general behavior of each Windows system.



Figure: Windows security policies.

Local Policy Settings and Group Policy Settings

In Windows workgroups, all policies, including security policies, are set in the local policy object on each individual system. To view the full set of local policies, you can open the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) object. You can find the security policy settings under Computer ConfigurationWindows SettingsSecurity Settings. The Local Security Policy utility in the Administrative Tools group enables you to access the Security Settings node alone. When Windows computers are members of a centralized Windows domain, an administrator can also manage policies for all computers by using Group Policy. The Security Policy Setting Categories Security policies on Windows systems are grouped into categories. This table explains the Local Security Policy categories available in Windows.

Security Policy Setting

Account Policies: Define password policy, account lockout policy, and Kerberos policy.

Local Policies :  Set an audit policy, user rights assignments, and machine specific security options (such as suppressing the display of the last user who logged on in the Log On To Windows dialog box).

Windows Firewall with Advanced  Security:     This setting is new in Windows 7 and allows you to configure advanced settings for Windows Firewall beyond the basic settings configured in the Security Center.

Public Key Policies: Set policies for the use of public-key certificates for users and the file system.

Software Restriction Policies: Configure rules that identify types of software and determine what software can run on your system.

IP Security Policies: Create and configure IPSec to secure IP traffic on the network.

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