Improve security by optimizing your reboot strategy

Many  computer changes we make for security reasons are not effective until the  computer is rebooted (restarted). However, reboots require all the software on  the computer to be shut down. This leads to some key challenges:

  • There is a danger that as the software is shut down, any unsaved data or document changes might not be saved
  • In almost all cases the user will have to start their applications again as needed, reopen the documents, and reposition the application windows
  • If the user was in the midst of a task, that task will be delayed while the computer reboots
    1. The task might be particularly time critical
    2. The interruption might be embarrassing to the user
  • The user might have had a bad experience with a previous reboot and thus fear this reboot could be problematic

For these reasons, computer administrators and end-users often hesitate to force reboots. Computers are commonly left vulnerable for weeks as reboots are delayed and thus the security improvements are not effective. In this paper we will:

  • Review core concepts related to reboot strategies
  • Detail reboot options
  • Outline the process to review your strategy and optimize it

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