1. Install Windows Updates.
It is essential to ensure that the Windows system is up to date by regularly checking for updates and installing them as soon as they are available. Installing windows updates helps to patch security vulnerabilities, so it’s important to keep all software up-to-date. Additionally, installing the latest service packs and security updates will help to keep the system secure.
2. Verify Firewall and Antivirus Settings.
Ensure that the firewall and antivirus settings are configured correctly and are up to date. It is also important to verify that all ports that should be blocked are indeed blocked, as well as any software or applications that could cause security vulnerabilities.
3. Configure Account Lockout Policy.
Account lockout policies can be used to restrict the number of failed login attempts before an account is locked out for a certain amount of time. This helps protect against brute-force attacks, where attackers attempt to guess passwords by trying multiple combinations in quick succession. The policy should specify how many failed attempts can occur before lockout as well as how long an account should remain locked out.
4. Enable User Access Control (UAC).
User Access Control (UAC) helps to protect the system by prompting users for additional permissions when an action needs to be taken that would affect the security of the system. For example, if a user tries to install software, UAC will prompt them for confirmation before allowing the installation to take place. It is important that UAC is enabled and configured correctly in order to ensure that users can’t bypass security measures without adequate permission levels.
5. Disable Unnecessary Services and Application Features.
It is important to disable any unnecessary services or application features as they may represent potential attack vectors for malicious actors. For example, if a service is running on the system that doesn’t need to be there, it could be used as an entry point into the system.
6. Set System Security Policies.
System security policies should be configured to ensure that user accounts are adequately secured and can only access resources for which they have been given permission. This can help protect against malicious actors who may try to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or systems. Additionally, security policies should specify which types of files and programs are allowed on the system and what privileges users have in regards to those files and programs.
7. Restrict Network Sharing/Communication Options.
The network-sharing settings should be set so that users cannot access resources on the network unless they have been given explicit permission. Additionally, communication options should be restricted so that only authorized users can communicate with each other over the network.
8. Set Password Complexity Requirements.
Password complexity requirements help to ensure that users create strong passwords that are difficult for attackers to guess or brute-force. The password policy should specify criteria such as minimum length and character types (e.g., uppercase letters, numbers, etc.) that must be included in a valid password.
9. Set User Account Privileges.
User accounts should have privileges set according to their job roles and access needs. This means that each user should only be able to access resources for which they have been given permission. This can help protect against malicious actors who may try to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or systems.
10. Configure Remote Access Security.
If remote access to the system is necessary, steps should be taken to secure it. This can include using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt communication between systems, setting up two-factor authentication, and limiting access based on IP addresses or other factors. These measures will help ensure that only authorized users are able to gain access to the system.
11. Monitor and Audit System Events.
It is important to regularly monitor and audit system events to detect any suspicious activity. This can include checking for failed logins, unexpected system changes, or other unusual activity. In the event that malicious activity is detected, steps should be taken immediately to investigate and address the issue.
12. Regularly Back Up Data and System Files.
Regularly backing up system files and data can help ensure that critical information is not lost in the event of a system failure or attack. Additionally, backups should be stored offsite to ensure that they are protected from potential threats. This will provide an additional layer of protection against data loss and downtime.
13. Secure Wireless Networks.
Wireless networks should be secured with strong encryption and authentication protocols to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, wireless access points should be set up so that they are not visible to the public, as this can help protect against malicious actors who may try to gain access to the network. Other security measures such as MAC address filtering or setting up virtual private networks (VPNs) can also help provide additional protection for wireless systems.
14. Utilize Encryption Technologies.
Data should be encrypted to ensure that it remains secure when it is transmitted over a network or stored on systems. This can help protect against malicious actors who may try to gain access to sensitive data, as they would not be able to read the information without the encryption keys. Additionally, encrypting data can help protect against accidental data loss due to theft or system failure.
15. Restrict Administrative Rights to Users with Necessary Access.
Administrative rights should only be given to users who actually need them and whose job roles require these privileges. This can help protect against malicious actors who may try to gain access to sensitive data or systems, as they would not have the necessary permissions to do so. Additionally, this practice can help ensure that administrative tasks are only being performed by those who are qualified and authorized to do so.