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Friday, February 24, 2017

A SysAdmin’s Essential Guide to Linux Workstation Security

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How to work from anywhere and keep your data, identity, and sanity

This document is aimed at teams of systems administrators who use Linux workstations to access and manage your project’s IT infrastructure.

If your systems administrators are remote workers, you may use this set of guidelines to help ensure that their workstations pass core security requirements in order to reduce the risk that they become attack vectors against the rest of your IT infrastructure.

Even if your systems administrators are not remote workers, chances are that they perform a lot of their work either from a portable laptop in a work environment, or set up their home systems to access the work infrastructure for after-hours/emergency support. In either case, you can adapt this set of recommendations to suit your environment.

This, by no means, is an exhaustive “workstation hardening” document, but rather an attempt at a set of baseline recommendations to avoid most glaring security errors without introducing too much inconvenience. You may read this document and think it is way too paranoid, while someone else may think this barely scratches the surface. Security is just like driving on the highway — anyone going slower than you is an idiot, while anyone driving faster than you is a crazy person. These guidelines are merely a basic set of core safety rules that is neither exhaustive, nor a replacement for experience, vigilance, and common sense.

We’re sharing this document as a way to bring the benefits of opensource collaboration to IT policy documentation. If you find it useful, we hope you’ll contribute to its development by making a fork for your own organization and sharing your improvements.

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