C.5 Operating System Security

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Operating systems (OS) provide the platform on which running software acquires and uses computing resources. Operating systems are responsible for working with the underlying hardware to provide the baseline security capabilities of a system. Understanding the security models of modern operating systems is critical to cyber operations.

Specific Topics to be covered in this knowledge unit include, but are not limited to:

  • Cryptographic mechanisms
  • OS hardening
  • Distributed OS security issues
  • Security mechanisms (e.g. ASLR, data execution prevention, cryptography, trusted boot)
  • Security enhanced operating systems
  • Security architectures (e.g. hypervisors, microkernels, separation kernels, containers, virtualization, MLIS)

Outcome: Students will be able to differentiate user space versus kernel space mitigations.

Outcome: Students will be able to evaluate different deployment scenarios to determine the tradeoffs of various operating system security architectures.

Outcome: Students will understand how enhanced security features in operating systems reduce the attack surface.