Host Integrity Monitoring Using Osiris and Samhain

    Date22 Aug 2005
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    Host integrity monitoring is the process by which system and network administrators validate and enforce the security of their systems. This can be a complex suite of approaches, tools, and methodologies, and it can be as simple as looking at loggin output. In the past, tools like Tripwire were used to check the configurations on hosts. The freeware version of this tool was limited in its manageability, which was available mainly in the commercial version.

    Tools like Osiris and Samhain came along to fill the gap and have since evolved into mature projects themselves. Like any existing software tool out there, any new book should be evaluated not only on its own but also in he context of the existing documentation. Both Osiris and Samhain have decent amounts of documentation available already (Samhain seems to have a larger user documentation repository online than the Osiris tool does), and the book contributes to these docs quite well.

    Host Integrity Monitoring shows you how to set up these tools and put them into production on Windows, UNIX, and OS X. Wotring's writing is fairly good, and his examples are usually pretty clear. The pace of the material is good, and there's not a whole lot of domain-specific expertise beyond system administration skills required to make use of the book. At times some of the formatting of the text gets in the way, but that's trivial compared to the quality of writing (which is pretty good).

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