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Operating systems and security functions

Windows 95 was launched in August 1995. Up to this time, tried and tested DOS and Windows security products were available that had met the varioussecurity requirements for this environment. The secrecy surrounding Windows '95 and the final version meant that producers of security products lost a great deal of time. They had to start from scratch, identifying the security weaknesses and learning new techniques, such as implement full hard disk encryption of a 32 bit operating system. The pressure created by Windows '95 was considerable, but it has taken time for the solutions started to appear. The entire process, from the launch of Windows '95 until the first access control products entered the market, took almost a whole year. This delay left many of those who chose to convert to Windows '95 exposed to major security problems. An IT manager can learn a lot from the circumstances surrounding the introduction of Windows '95. When changes are as significant as from DOS/Windows to Windows '95, the conversion should not take place for at least a year if security requirements are not covered by the operating system itself. Nevertheless, Windows '95 and Windows NT both include a number of security functions. These meet some of the needs of professional customers, but not all. The future demand for modular security programs will become even greater. To achieve an adequate level of security, we recommend a combination of the security features of the operating system with modules from an access control product. A Windows '95 access control product should perform at least the following functions:

1. Boot protection

2. Uninterrupted startup

3. Screen saver

4. Full hard disk encryption

5. Logon program

A Windows '95 computer switches from 16 bit to 32 bit disk access during startup, which complicates full hard disk encryption. Access control programs for Windows 95 are using both pre-authentication and authentication methods.

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