9.3. System security

In the face of potential attacks, we need to have mechanisms for preventing, detecting and recovering our systems.

For local prevention, we need to examine the different mechanisms of authentication and permissions for accessing the resources in order to define them correctly and be able to guarantee the confidentiality and integrity of our information. In this case, we will be protecting ourselves against attackers that have obtained access to our system or against hostile users who wish to overcome the restrictions imposed on the system.

In relation to network security, we need to guarantee that the resources that we offer (if we provide certain services) have the necessary parameters of confidentiality and that the services cannot be used by unauthorised third parties, meaning that a first step will be to control which of the offered services are the ones we really want, and that we are not offering other services that are uncontrolled at the same time. In the case of services of which we are clients, we will also have to ensure the mechanisms of authentication, in the sense that we access the right servers and that there are no cases of substitution of services or servers (normally fairly difficult to detect).

With regards to the applications and the services themselves, in addition to guaranteeing the right configuration of access levels using permissions and authentication of authorised users, we need to monitor the possible exploitation of software bugs. Any application, however well designed and implemented may have a more or less high number of errors that can be taken advantage of in order to overcome imposed restrictions using certain techniques. In this case, we enforce a policy of prevention that includes keeping the system updated as much as possible, so that we either update whenever there is a new correction or if, we are conservative, we maintain those versions that are the most stable in security terms. Normally, this means periodically checking several security sites in order to learn about the latest failures detected in the software and the vulnerabilities that stem from them that could expose our systems to local or network security failures.