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February 2002

Automate security with GUI shell and command line scripts

Windows' ubiquitous point-and-click GUI has made command line scripting one of the OS's most underutilized features. The Unix world calls them shell scripts. The DOS world calls them batch files. Whatever you call them, command line scripts are easy to forget in the GUI world of Windows. While scripting on Windows isn't as powerful as on Unix, some of the improvements introduced in Windows NT 4.0 may surprise you. Scripts are ideal for ensuring consistency, for scheduling periodic tasks and for automating tedious tasks. In other words, they're perfect for security. For example, you can use shell scripts to periodically search a file server for "contraband" files, to automate server-hardening tasks, to filter relevant events out of large log files, to add or delete user accounts, and for just about anything else you can think of. Any multistep process that needs consistency every time it's performed and that can be done from a command line is a candidate for scripting. Although useful for augmenting security and other tasks, ...

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Features in this issue

Columns in this issue

  • Security startups: Recipe for success

    by  Robert Logan

    Stir one part technologist with one part experienced CEO and some VC money and you have the recipe for successful security startups.

  • Secure reads: The CISSP Prep Guide, CISSP Exam Cram

    by  SearchSecurity staff

    Although efficient study guides for cramming before the CISSP test, The CISSP Prep Guide and the CISSP Exam Cram won't advance the infosec profession and are likely plagiarized.

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