Every installation of the Windows operating system requires a properly hardened state and continuous control of all changes, whether it is deployed on user machines, Active Directory domain controllers, SQL servers or file servers.
Accordingly, organizations need to pair two critical processes. System hardening — the establishment of known-good configurations — is essential to avoiding improper settings that can allow security breaches and disruptions to business processes. And file integrity monitoring (FIM) watches for unexpected changes to your secure baselines that could indicate a malware infection or other malicious activity.
Indeed, system hardening and FIM are so critical for data security that most common compliance regulations and security frameworks, including PCI DSS, HIPAA, FISMA and NIST, recommend implementing them whenever possible.
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VP of Security Research at Netwrix