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Preventing Security Threats in Operating Systems

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Systems
Wordcount: 3717 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Security threats in operating systems and how to prevent them.

Preventing Security Threats in Operating Systems 

Security in operating systems



Security Threats


SUDO command

Permission and access control


Antivirus, encrypting and backup

Windows server 2012

Active Directory

Group Policy

Windows 10


What can we do to prevent threads?



Figure 1 – Ubuntu v. 16.10 Yakkety Yak

Figure 2 – How does sudo work

Figure 3 – Numeric meanings

Figure 4 – Windows Server 2012 logo

Figure 5 – Windows 10


Operating system is fundamental computer program. The most important task of operating systems is allowing users editing and executing applications and making it easier. Nowadays we meet many threats – such as hackers, spies or viruses, wherefore we need to make sure we can rely on our software. It should be available and ready to use whenever we want to use it, reliable as well as foolproof and secure – it should protect all of our data. [1]

In this report we will focus on three operating systems – Linux Ubuntu, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012.

Security Threats

There is a lot of threats that we should protect our systems from. Hackers try to steal our data usually not by breaking our system security but by avoiding them. The most common threats nowadays are:

  • Computer viruses and malware
  • Break into a system
  • Unjustified access to private data
  • Hacking and spying

We can prevent these threats in many ways – like installing special software that help us detect and defeat viruses, use strong passwords to protect confidential data. But realistically the best protection from any threat is using both offered by software developer programs and our brains and being aware of what we do all the time.


Linux Ubuntu is an operating system created in 2004 by company named Canonical. It is open sourced and free for everybody.[2][3] In 2018 the percentage usage of this system was approximately 1.64% worldwide (1.17% in United Kingdom). [4]

SUDO command

In Ubuntu when using files, user does not get full privileges so that he is not able to corrupt operating system or other files. If privileges are necessary, it is possible to use sudo command which allows a user to execute command as superuser.[5]


Figure 2 – How does sudo work[6]

Permission and access control

It is possible to use commands chmod and chown to make sure data and files are only being used by unauthorized users[7]

To change permission we need to type command chmod and add attributes:

chmod (owner)(group)(other users)

Brackets should contain attributes from picture below, for example:

chmod 751

Means that owner can read, write and execute access, group can read and execute access and other users can only execute access.

Figure 3 – Numeric meanings[8]


Ubuntu uses Netfilter as default firewall. It controls the network traffic on our system. Basic Netfilters command is iptables. Only super-user can use it. We can use iptables to set new rules for filtering and changing packets, as well as for displaying existing rules.

Firewall is default set to disabled. We can turn it on by using command:

sudo ufw enable

Antivirus, encrypting and backup

Ubuntu is very safe operating system, but it is not perfect, wherefore after successfully installed we should download antivirus, encrypting and backup programs. There are lots of choices, these are just examples:

Free and open sourced popular antivirus – ClamAV

sudo apt install clamav clamtk

Free and open sourced encryption software VeraCrypt:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:unit193/encryption

sudo apt update

sudo apt install veracrypt

Free and open sourced backup software BackInTime:

  sudo apt install backintime-gnome[9]

Windows server 2012

Windows Server 2012 is the server version of Windows 8. It was released to manufacturing on August 1st 2012.[10]

Figure 4 – Windows Server 2012 logo[11]

Active Directory

In Windows Server 2012 we are able to get Active Directory service. We can use different server roles. Below the most common used ones are listed:

  • Domain Services – collect data about network objects and hand it over to network administrators and users. These services also oversee user access to network resources.
  • Federation Services – offer users simplified mechanism for federated identify management and SSO.
  • Lightweight Directory Services – store data for specific applications.
  • Rights Management Services – help owners to define who can open, modify, print and forward information.
  • Certificate Services – allow users, computers and organizations to issue digital certificates and manage them.[12]

Group Policy

Group Policy is a set of rules and settings, which determine operations users are given. You can define there to which elements user has access to, and to which not, what applications can or cannot he use (for example we can prohibit users from entering the control panel or changing background). This set of rules contains about 2000 various types of settings and configurations.

Program Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) can be used to perform advanced modifications in our system. You can access it by going to Run > gpedit.msc.

Windows 10

Windows 10 is the freshest version of Windows operating system. It was released on 29July 2015 by Microsoft. In October 2018 Windows 10 was installed on 38.28% PC worldwide.[13]

Figure 5 – Windows 10[14]


Windows’s firewall should never be turned off. If firewall detects any unwanted actions from internet, it blocks this connection. It helps with fighting against viruses, lets users know if there are some suspicious requests (but it is almost always our decision if we want to keep or terminate it). It also (optionally) creates security log (register), where records of every single connection attempt – both successful and inauspicious – are stored. It is very useful while solving problems.[15]


Windows Defender is an antivirus software that protects system against malware and spyware. It prevents AutoStart of unwanted programs, protects downloaded files, drivers, services, applications and software installed in our systems.

Figure 6 – Windows Defender[16]

Device Encryption

Windows 10 provides its users device encryption. Feature this protects users data by encrypting it. It can be deciphered only by person who has key. To enable it log into your account, then press Start button > Control Panel > System and Security > BitLocker Drive Encryption. Then just click Turn on BitLocker. Then you can choose your preferences and improve your systems security.[17]

BitLocker uses AES algorithm to encrypt all areas of partition. The only way to access your data is to authorize by giving a key. It can be either written 48 length character password, file from USB flash drive, TPM (Trusted Platform Module) or data from register log.

What can we do to prevent threads?

  • Update system regularly

Updates are important patches that software developers release to improve programs, fix errors and fix vulnerabilities to protect against hacker attacks. It is necessary to update our systems regularly.

  • In Ubuntu we are able to update our system by using these commands in terminal:[18]

sudo apt-get autoclean

sudo apt-get autoremove

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

  • In Windows 10 to check for updates select the Start button, then go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and select Check for updates.[19]
  • In Windows Server 2012 to check for updates go to Search, then click on Settings and type: Windows Update. Click Install optional updates, and wait while your system.[20]
  • Take care of your passwords

Your data is only safe when you protect it with password. But to be sure nobody unauthorized gets access to your files, you must remember to change your password regularly. And make sure it is strong password – that contains small and capital letters, numbers and special characters.

  • Turn the firewall on

Firewall is software that monitors and secures system from unwanted guests. It is very useful, so we should remember to keep it on all the time.

  • Use antivirus program

Antivirus program is software that scan our drives, websites, files etc. Its task is to prevent viruses and malware from infecting our computers.


The technological progress nowadays increasingly contributes to the security of operating systems. The solutions offered by the developers will perhaps never give us complete security, which is why we always have to remember to update our system, change passwords and think about what we do during every action. These hints are just some small bricks but in cooperation with the rest of the software can create a wall too big to pass, which will allow us to use our computers peacefully.


  • Garfinkel, S., 2003. “Practical Unix and Internet Security”. 2nd ed. s.l.:O’Reilly.
  • home.pl, n.d. Knowledge database. [Online]
    Available at: https://pomoc.home.pl/baza-wiedzy/czym-jest-haslo-dostepu-jak-tworzyc-bezpieczne-i-silne-hasla
    [Accessed 22 November 2018].
  • Madej, J., 2010. Classification of IT system security threads. [Online]
    Available at: http://ubuntu.pl/dokumenty/Przewodnik_Ubuntu_14.04_LTS_Trusty_Tahr.pdf
    [Accessed 21 November 2018].
  • Martin, P., 2006. The Importance of Using a Firewall for Threat Protection. [Online]
    Available at: https://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/importance-using-firewall-threat-protection
    [Accessed 22 November 2018].
  • Pillou, J.-F., n.d. CCM. [Online]
    Available at: https://pl.ccm.net/faq/1799-ubuntu-jak-wlaczyc-i-wylaczyc-firewall
    [Accessed 22 November 2018].
  • STELMACH, D., n.d. GROUP POLICY. [Online]
    Available at: http://pasja-informatyki.pl/sieci-komputerowe/zasady-grupy-wprowadzenie/
    [Accessed 22 November 2018].
  • techopedia, n.d. Firewall. [Online]
    Available at: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/5355/firewall
    [Accessed 22 November 2018].
  • tutorialspoint.com, n.d. BASICS OF COMPUTER SCIENCE – THREAT. [Online]
    Available at: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/cgi-bin/printpage.cgi
    [Accessed 21 November 2018].
  • Wikipedia, 2018. Ubuntu. [Online]
    Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu#Security
    [Accessed 21 November 2018].

[2] Canonical (2018) Licensing [online] available from <https://www.ubuntu.com/licensing> [21 November 2018]

[3] Canonical (2018) Mission [online] available from <https://www.ubuntu.com/community/mission> [21 November 2018]

[4] Statcounter (2018) Desktop Operating System Market Share [online] available from <http://gs.statcounter.com/> [21 November 2018])

[5] Computer Hope (2017) Linux sudo command [online] available from <https://www.computerhope.com/unix/sudo.htm> [21 November 2018]

[6] Linux Stall (2012) [online] available from <http://www.linuxstall.com/sudo-command/> [22 November 2018]

[7] Wikibooks (2014) Ubuntu System Securities [online] available from <https://pl.wikibooks.org/wiki/Ubuntu/Zabezpieczenie_systemu> [22 November 2018]

[8] DevAnswers (2018) Linux Permissions Table and Guide [online] available from <https://devanswers.co/linux-permissions-table-guide/> [22 November 2018]

[9] Roman Chojnacki (2017) Thing that should be done after installing Ubuntu [online] available from <http://www.benchmark.pl/testy_i_recenzje/co-warto-zrobic-po-zainstalowaniu-ubuntu.html> [22 November 2018]

[10] Wikipedia (2018) Windows Server 2012 [online] available from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Server_2012> [22 November 2018]

[11] Netland (n.d) Microsoft Windows Server 2012 [online] available from <https://netland24.pl/sklep/576478/Microsoft-Windows-Server-2012-R2-Foundation-ROK-EN-only-for-one-CPU-dla-DELL> [22 November 2018]

[12] Slow7 (2016) WINDOWS SERWER 2008 [online] available from <http://slow7.pl/server-2003-2008/item/89-windows-serwer-2008-wymagania-role-i-funkcje> [22 November 2018]

[13]Wikipedia (2018) Windows 10 [online] available from <https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_10> [22 November 2018]

[14]Woody Leonhard (2015) Windows 10 review: Hold off if you use Windows 7 [online] available from <https://www.infoworld.com/article/2953655/microsoft-windows/windows-10-review-hold-off-if-you-use-windows-7.html> [22 November 2018]

[15] CentrumXP (2006) Firewall – description [online] available from  <https://www.centrumxp.pl/Publikacja/Opis-Zapory-systemu-Windows-Wprowadzenie> [22 November 2018]

[16] Mike Williams (2018) Windows Defender review [online] available from <https://www.techradar.com/reviews/windows-defender> [22 November 2018]

[17] MAURO HUCULAK (2016) How to use BitLocker Drive Encryption on Windows 10 [online] available from <https://www.windowscentral.com/how-use-bitlocker-encryption-windows-10> [22 November 2018]

[18] PCLAP-ALERT (n.d) Why system needs updating? [online] available from <https://www.pclap-alert.pl/po-co-aktualizowac-system/> [22 November 2018]

[19] Windows (2018) Update Windows 10 [online] available from <https://support.microsoft.com/en-ca/help/4027667/windows-10-update> [22 November 2018]

[20] Windows (2015) How to get an update through Windows Update [online] available from <https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/3067639/how-to-get-an-update-through-windows-update> [22 November 2018]


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