Gartner Research

Secure by Default: Using System Hardening to Prevent Threats

Published: 19 September 2017

ID: G00334530

Analyst(s): Prateek Bhajanka , Craig Lawson


An effective system hardening program can reduce the attack surface from threats and also achieve compliance objectives. Security and risk management leaders should develop and apply system hardening to strengthen their existing security programs.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Review Your Existing In-Depth System Hardening Program, or Develop One
  • Establish the Definition, Scope, Applicability and RACI Chart of System Hardening to Eliminate Any Ambiguity in the System
  • Treat System Hardening as an Ongoing Discipline Throughout the Life Cycle of IT Assets

Case Study

  • Use Cases of System Hardening in Recent Times
    • WannaCry Outbreak
    • 2016 Dyn DDoS Attack
    • Temp File Attack

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