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AIX Security Expert Eases Complicated System Tuning


 

Hardening security on any system has always been a critical and intricate job for system and network administrators. They must consider the parameters to be tuned, the configuration files modified and the services enabled or disabled. Main issues system/network administrators face while hardening security of a machine include:

  • Security settings are scattered: There are few security settings that involve changes to audit configuration files; some security settings are tuned in the network options and others need password policies to be redefined.
  • Expertise is needed: Hardening a system, if done without proper understanding, can result in serious complications. Only experienced system administrators should handle this job.
  • AIX* environments are expansive: It’s difficult to maintain a common security policy across an organization that includes hundreds of machines.
  • The job is tedious and time consuming: Hardening hundreds of systems in an organization will take time if it must be done manually.
  • Security status must be tracked: When a system administrator enforces some security policies on a machine, and another system administrator either intentionally or unintentionally changes even one security setting, it becomes difficult for the first system administrator to track the changes.

 

Hussaina N. Begum is a security developer with five years of AIX development experience with IBM. She contributed to security enhancements of AIX 5.3 and 6.1. Her major contributions include AIX Security Expert and IKEv2(RFC4306) implementation on AIX.

Kavitha Ramalingam is a developer in the IBM AIX WPAR team. She has worked on support, testing and development projects on AIX for the past 10 years.

Rajeev Mishra has been involved with AIX kernel development for the last 12 years. During this time he’s contributed to many core technologies. Currently he’s the team lead for the workload partition (WPAR) development team.


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