Authentication, user accounts access controls, cryptography and firewalls are the main security elements in an operating system. These features offer preventive measures against access to disks, information or programs in an operating system by unauthorized parties.
The four key elements in a computer operating system security serve different roles. Authentication ensures that each of the users accessing an operating system are properly validated. The process usually involves creating registered passwords and user names to access the system’s resources to the authentic user.
User account access controls focus on the authorization aspects of the system, such that the validated users may only perform activities within their scope. The operating system determines the subject’s access to its resources ensuring that only authorized user accounts access privileged resources and the guest access rights remain limited.
Cryptography is implemented mainly through data encryption techniques, in which information is scrambled before it is written on a disk or sent over a network. This security tool is critical, especially in network operating systems, and it prevents hackers from tapping into confidential data.
Firewalls are the most widespread security elements in computer systems. They shield access to the system’s internal operations from both the external and internal parties. They can be very effective tools in preventing breaching attacks when properly configured.