But what are the things in Linux that makes it secure than Windows or any other Operating System.
Here I will try to throw some light on some of the security features which I know in Linux and believe that these points add up to the construction of a much more secure wall all around the Linux Operating System.
ExecShield is designed to prevent security breaches caused by software programs written to crawl
through the Internet looking for systems with common vulnerabilities such as worms and viruses. It is enabled in the kernel and works in a way that is non intrusive to the user.
Its goal is not to defend against the expert hacker who has broken into your local network or an employee inside the company who already has access to parts of the network instead its goal is to prevent against intruders using scripts that look for vulnerabilities in the way a program running with root privileges is written.
For more knowledge on Execshield follow the below link
Prevent security breaches with Execshield
2. SElinux (Security Enhanced Linux)
SELinux is an implementation of a flexible mandatory access control architecture in the Linux operating system. The SELinux architecture provides general support for the enforcement of many kinds of mandatory access control policies,including those based on the concepts of Type Enforcement(R), Role- Based Access Control, and Multi-Level Security.
SELinux can potentially control which activities a system allows each user, process and daemon, with very precise specifications. However, it is mostly used to confine daemons like database engines or web servers that have more clearly-defined data access and activity rights. This limits potential harm from a confined daemon that becomes compromised. Ordinary user-processes often run in the unconfined domain, not restricted by SELinux but still restricted by the classic Linux access rights.
With the enhanced features available with the IPtables you can implement a greater level of security for your Linux machine.
IPtables is used to set up, maintain, and inspect the tables of IP packet filter rules in the Linux kernel. Several different tables may be defined. Each table contains a number of built-in chains and may also contain user-defined chains.
Each chain is a list of rules which can match a set of packets. Each rule specifies what to do with a packet that matches. This is called a ‘target’, which may be a jump to a user-defined chain in the same table.
4. PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules)
Linux-PAM is a system of libraries that handle the authentication tasks of applications (services) on the system. The principal feature of the PAM approach is that the nature of the authentication is dynamically configurable. In other words, the system administrator is free to choose how individual service-providing applications will authenticate users.
Linux-PAM separates the tasks of authentication into four independent management groups: account management; authentication management; password management; and session management.
account – provide account verification types of service: has the user’s password expired?; is this user permitted access to the requested service?
authentication – authenticate a user and set up user credentials. Typically this is via some challenge-response request that the user must satisfy: if you are who you claim to be please enter your password.
password – this group’s responsibility is the task of updating authentication mechanisms. Typically, such services are strongly coupled to those of the auth group. Some authentication mechanisms lend themselves well to being updated with such a function. Standard UN*X password-based access is the obvious example: please enter a replacement password.
session – this group of tasks cover things that should be done prior to a service being given and after it is withdrawn. Such tasks include the maintenance of audit trails and the mounting of the user’s home directory. The session management group is important as it provides both an opening and closing hook for modules to affect the services available to a user.
The 2.6 Linux kernel has the ability to log events such as system calls and file access. These logs can then be reviewed by the administrator to determine possible security breaches such as failed login attempts or a user failing to access system files. This functionality, called the Linux Auditing System.
auditd is the userspace component to the Linux Auditing System. It’s responsible for writing audit records to the disk. Viewing the logs is done with the ausearch or aureport utilities. Configuring the audit rules is done with the auditctl utility. During startup, the rules in /etc/audit/audit.rules are read by auditctl.
For more information please follow the below link
Using audit in Linux to track changes
These are some of the front level security features available in Linux for a better security. I would be glad if someone would like to review or add any of the missing points in this article.
Apart from these there are a numerous options which can be utilized to enhanced the level of security for your Linux machine.
You can follow the below link to find out tips on improving the security of your Linux server
15 tips to improve security of your Linux server