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Computer Weekly 8 November 2011: Read this week's issue of the UK's leading technology publication, with the news, analysis and opinion that matters to IT managers.

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How to configure Mac OS X Server

 


In the previous article in this series, we showed you how to secure a Mac using the functions built into its operating system, OS X.

 

These functions range from simple password protection and patch management through to full-disk encryption.

 

However, these are not the only security functions available. Indeed, OS X has a whole security and management infrastructure available for administrators called Managed Preferences, which can be managed most easily using OS X Server.

 

Capable of running on any Mac that can run OS X 10.8, it is priced at £13.99 for unlimited client connections, so easily affordable.

 

Apple also sells a customised Mac mini desktop computer with improved storage capabilities, which comes with OS X Server installed for small and medium-sized companies, as well as workgroups, which want a dedicated machine.

 

In this article, we’ll show you just a couple of the security features of OS X Server: global password policies and data loss prevention

 

Contents:

           

  •  Configuring Mac OS X Server for the first time
  • Types of user account
  • Setting up a global password policy
  • Creating a network user
  • Managing preferences
  • Binding clients
  • Next steps

 

 

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  • Protecting against modern password cracking

     

     

    Protecting against modern password cracking

     

    By Yiannis Chrysanthou  and Allan Tomlinson

     

    Attackers are increasingly turning to human psychology and the study of password selection patterns among user groups to develop sophisticated techniques that can quickly and effectively recover passwords.

     

    Passwords are commonly protected by applying a one-way cryptographic algorithm that produces a hash of set length given any password as input. However, cryptography can only protect something to the point where the only feasible attack on the encrypted secret is to try to guess it. When it comes to passwords, guessing can be easy.

     

    Passwords are insecure by nature because they are used to prevent humans from guessing a small secret created by humans themselves.

     

    This article shows that guessing passwords is as easy as creating them: most commonly used passwords are easy to guess and harder passwords are almost never used.

     


     

    Royal Holloway Information Security Thesis Series

     

  • The Demise in Effectiveness of Signature and Heuristic Based Antivirus

     

     

    Today there is an urgent emphasis being placed by vendors on the need for antivirus to be installed on an increasing number of computing platforms used within organisations.

     

    The aim of this is to satisfy risk controls while also forming part of an organisation’s technical information security strategy.

     

    This market demand for antivirus has led to a number of security products which do little to actually protect the user, their data or the organisation.

     

    This paper outlines why, in our opinion, the antivirus based approach adopted by organisations to technical risk management, not only fails to provide the protection it is designed to, but it in fact increases an organisation’s susceptibility to attack.

     

    Overall our view is that signature based antivirus is tackling a problem we had 20 years ago and is not relevant to many of today’s threats for businesses, although we feel it still has a role in protecting the consumer. As a result, NCC Group’s opinion is that security budgets might be more effectively directed

     

    Click on the button below to download this report

     

     

    NCC Group is a global information assurance specialist.

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