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Hardening

Hardening

In a general sense, hardening is the process of securing a computer. More specifically, hardening is the removal or disabling of all components in a computer system that are not necessary to its principal function or functions. By reducing the purposes for which a computer is used, the computer is rendered less vulnerable to outside attack by hackers or other intruders.

General hardening steps include limiting the number of users allowed to access a computer, tightening password and access control, and installing basic intrusion-detection software. The more specific variety of hardening requires the involvement of a highly trained computer technician. Once the user has defined the principal purpose or purposes for which the computer is to be used, then the technician can disable or remove all components that are not necessary to those purposes.

An example of a computer that needs to be hardened is a server, a computer, or device on a network (a group of linked computers) that manages network resources. The server should be equipped with high-quality firewall software to prevent outside intrusion. Often, such software may not provide enough security, in which case hardening is necessary. If the server is properly hardened, this narrows the avenues of access for intruders hoping to get past the server to other computers on the local network.

During the hardening process, a computer should be disconnected from any network. Once it is hardened, the computer will no longer be a general-purpose machine, but will be usable only for the very specific purposes for which it has been designated. The more specific that purpose, and the fewer general-purpose features on the computer, the more difficult it will be for a would-be intruder to access the computer, or to use it effectively once it has been accessed.

FURTHER READING:

BOOKS:

Akin, Thomas. Hardening Cisco Routers. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly, 2002.

PERIODICALS:

Connolly, P. J. "Fight DDoS Attacks with Intelligence." InfoWorld 23, no. 39 (September 24, 2001): 58.

Levine, Bernard. "What's Next for Electronics?" Electronic News 47, no. 40 (October 1, 2001): 1.

Wang, Wallace. "Hardening Your System." Boardwatch 15, no. 8 (June 2001): 4446.

SEE ALSO

Computer Hackers
Computer Hardware Security
Computer Software Security

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"Hardening." Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Hardening." Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hardening

"Hardening." Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hardening

hardening

hardening, in metallurgy, treatment of metals to increase their resistance to penetration. A metal is harder when it has small grains, which result when the metal is cooled rapidly. Sometimes small areas on the surface of a casting are given a fine-grain structure by chill hardening; metal pieces (chills) are inserted in the wall of a sand mold. The area next to the chill cools faster and becomes harder than the surface next to the sand. Metals worked cold, as by being rolled into thinner pieces, become hardened, partly by reducing grain size and partly by distorting the shape of the grains so that they increasingly resist further distortion. Alloying may harden a metal by changing its chemical composition. In hardening by precipitation, one constituent of a supersaturated solid solution separates from the solution. Usually the process is carried out at above room temperature. At room temperature the process takes longer; it is then known as age-hardening. Aluminum-copper alloys are hardened by precipitation. Iron-carbon alloys, steel and cast iron, for example, respond well to heat treatments. By varying the percentage of carbon and the rate of cooling from a high temperature, many gradations of hardness, softness, toughness, and other properties are achieved. To impart hardness the metal is rapidly cooled from a high temperature by quenching in water, oil, or molten salt. Later heat treatment by tempering or annealing modifies the metal slightly to give other desirable qualities. Steels with a low percentage of carbon can be given a hard surface by increasing the amount of carbon at the surface so that they will respond to heat treatment, a process known as carburizing, or casehardening. One way to do this is to pack steel in charcoal and then heat it. Another way is to heat the metal in a furnace with a hydrocarbon gas atmosphere; still another is to heat the metal in a molten-salt bath containing potassium and sodium cyanides. If the salt bath cited is of a lower temperature, the steel surface will also pick up nitrogen, which helps harden it; the process is then called cyaniding. At even lower temperatures the steel picks up only nitrogen, and is nitrided.

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"hardening." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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hardening

hardening See acclimatization.

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"hardening." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"hardening." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/hardening

hardening

hardening See ACCLIMATIZATION.

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"hardening." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/hardening-0