Chapter 2: Windows Security

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Chapter 2: Windows Security


  1. How might enforcing a password history make you safer?

Answer: Enforcing a password history might make you safer because it would keep you from using the same password for a very long time. If one of your passwords were to be stolen, your accounts would only be vulnerable for a limited amount of time.

  1. How might enforcing a minimum password length make you safer?

Answer: A minimum password policy might make you safer by preventing you from using short passwords that are easily cracked.

  1. How might enforcing password complexity requirements make you safer?

Answer: Password complexity requirements might make you safer because they would force you to create a password that is more difficult to crack.

  1. How might enforcing an account lockout policy make you safer?

Answer: Enforcing an account lockout policy might make you safer because it would prevent an attacker from continuously trying to gain access to your account. It would also give you a warning signal that your account may be a target of an attack.


  1. Could you still access some websites with your port 80 rule enabled? Why?

Answer: Yes, you could access a website if it was running on a port other than 80 (e.g., 8080). You would have to specify the alternate port in order to get to the website, but it is possible.

  1. Why would you want to allow incoming (not outgoing) port 443, but block incoming port 80?

Answer: You may want to only allow encrypted connections coming into your network.

  1. How could blocking all ICMP traffic protect you?

Answer: It may keep attackers from mapping your internal network.

  1. How could blocking all ICMP traffic hurt you?

Answer: Blocking ICMP may prevent certain applications from working correctly. It may make troubleshooting and network administration much more difficult.


  1. How much data would you lose if your hard drive failed right now?

Answer: This will be different for each person. In general, most student will lose anywhere from a week to all of their data.

  1. How long would it take to restore your data?

Answer: This will be different for each person. For most students it will take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

  1. How long has it been since you have backed up your data?

Answer: This will be different for each person. Some students have weekly backups enabled but most do not. Some students back up at the end of each semester.

  1. Would a cloud-based backup solution be wise? Why or why not?

Answer: A cloud-backed backup solution might be a good idea because you wouldn’t lose any data if there were a local natural disaster or fire. It might also be more convenient than creating backup storage. However, all online backups must be encrypted. Your privacy is not guaranteed when you use online backup.


  1. How can updates make your computer more secure?

Answer: Updates fix vulnerabilities in your software and operating system.

  1. Could updates cause problems? Why?

Answer: Yes, updates may inadvertently cause existing applications to fail. An update may fix a potential vulnerability and change the way the application or operating system functions. These changes in functionality may cause applications to fail, especially custom applications.

  1. Should all updates be applied? Why or why not?

Answer: For most home users, yes. For corporations, no. Corporations must test all updates on replicated testing servers before they are applied to production servers. Applying updates to production servers can cause outages and data loss.

  1. How do large organizations control updates for hundreds, or thousands, of computers?

Answer: It is possible to control the roll out of updates to thousands of computers via a domain level updating service. For example, Microsoft uses Windows Server Update Services to control how updates are applied to domain resources.


  1. How could parental controls protect users (children)?

Answer: It could keep users (children) from accessing inappropriate content.

  1. How might time controls protect users (children)?

Answer: Time controls can protect children by only allowing them access to a computer while a parent is available to monitor their activity.

  1. How might application controls protect users (children)?

Answer: Application controls might protect children by preventing them from using an application that might be harmful. For example, a parent may block an online music sharing application. This would prevent a child from illegally downloading pirated music. It would also prevent others from downloading music from the child’s computer, which is also illegal.

  1. How might a user circumvent parental controls?

Answer: A user could boot the computer from a USB or DVD that contains a live Linux distribution. The local operating system would not even be accessed, yet the user could have full control of the machine.


  1. Why is malware produced?

Answer: Motivations vary from economic (to get money), social (to gain respect), curiosity (to see if it can be done), etc.

  1. Should you run multiple antivirus scanners? Why or why not?

Answer: Not really. One good antivirus scanner is sufficient. Multiple antivirus scanners just consume more CPU cycles without offering significant additional coverage.

  1. Can malware scanners misidentify software as harmful? Why or why not?

Answer: Yes, malware (or antivirus) scanners can misidentify software as harmful. Several of the pieces of software in this book may show up as harmful in your antivirus scanner. This happens in some, but not all, scanners. Scanners just look for the patterns identified by the antivirus publisher.

  1. How does Microsoft Security Essentials ensure you are protected against the most current threats?

Answer: Yes, Microsoft makes additions to their virus signature files of the most current and prevalent malware threats. Updates are automatically sent out.

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