This chapter will help you to secure aspects of your computer that lie outside the direct influence of Linux, focusing on what is called physical security. Physical security refers to aspects of computer security that have to do with the physical placement of the machine itself, the machine's operating environment, and the degree to which the machine is protected from hardware-level compromise.
This sample chapter is excerpted from Sams Teach Yourself Linux Security Basics in 24 Hours.
Why Is Physical Security Important?
Physical security is important because a physical attack is perhaps the most fundamental kind of attack. The types of actions we're referring to when we speak of physical attacks can include things such as the following:
Simply hitting the reset switch or power button
Using a floppy drive or CD-ROM drive on a machine that does not support good BIOS security
Damage to or theft of important machine components, especially those that store data
Theft of an entire machine
In the home environment, physical attacks are both less likely and more difficult to defend against should you be unlucky enough to be the target of burglary or theft. Still, some steps can be taken to prevent such problems.
In the small office, on the other hand, physical security is one of the most important concerns. While large corporate installations are typically closed to public entrance and are well guarded both by humans and by various forms of electronic security, the typical small business can afford no such luxuries. Thus, it is especially important for the small business user to focus on physical security as an important step in preventing data loss or service interruption.