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Operating Systems

The NSA Information Assurance Directorate collaborates with operating system vendors and the security community to develop consensus-based security guidance. This guidance may be issued by IAD or by the vendor.

IAD recommends using the latest version of any operating system, as these implement security features which protect against modern attacks.

Apple iOS and OS X

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Title Last Reviewed File Size Revised
Guide to the Secure Configuration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Jun 2012 1.12MB Aug 2011

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows Applications

The following resources provide security guidance for specific features or applications in Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Title Last Reviewed File Size Revised
Application Whitelisting Using Miscrosoft AppLocker Aug 2014 2,818KB Aug 2014
Recommendations for Configuring Adobe Acrobat Reader XI in a Windows Environment Jul 2013 355KB Jul 2013
Spotting the Adversary with Windows Event Log Monitoring Dec 2013 885KB Dec 2013
Reducing the Effectiveness of Pass-the_Hash Nov 2013 391KB Nov 2013
Application Whitelisting Using Software Restriction Policies Jun 2012 390KB Aug 2010

Microsoft Windows Operating Systems

The following resources provide security guidance for Windows operating systems such as Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Windows Server 2003 lacks critical security features and is near the end of it's extended support lifecycle.

Title Last Reviewed File Size Revised
Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit Jan 2015 869 KB Nov 2014
Understanding the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit Frequently Asked Questions Jan 2015 416 KB Jan 2015
Microsoft Security Compliance Manager - - -
Security Highlights of Windows 7 Jun 2012 431KB -
NSA Windows Server 2003 Security Guide Addendum Jun 2012 49 KB Sep 2012
Windows Vista FAQs Jul 2013 - Jun 2007


Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: June 23, 2015 | Last Reviewed: June 23, 2015