Implementing PowerShell to securing Windows systems; NSA shares a PDF

PowerShell has numerous features designed to improve the security of your scripting environment. Authorities from New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom have confirmed this. The agencies recommend a proper configuration and monitoring of PowerShell instead of removing or disabling the tool completely.

Microsoft PowerShell plays a vital role in securing Windows systems.

In a Cybersecurity Information Sheet, the agencies from different countries discuss the importance of using PowerShell to combat cybercrime abuses. These agencies also recommend users to use the most recent versions of PowerShell as they are equipped with improved capabilities and options that can assist defenders in countering abuse of PowerShell.

Microsoft’s tool uses Windows Remote Management (WinRM) as the underlying protocol and relies on Kerberos or New Technology LAN Manager (NTLM) authentication protocols. These authentication protocols do not send credentials to remote hosts. As a result, they avoid direct exposure of credentials and the subsequent risk of theft arising from exposed credentials.

Second, PowerShell permits remote connections over Secure Shell (SSH) in addition to supporting WinRM connections. This allows for public key authentication and makes remote management through PowerShell of machines convenient and secure.

Monitoring PowerShell logs continuously can also detect and alert on potential abuses. Some of the tool’s services like Deep Script Block Logging are disabled by default. It will need to be enabled to record each PowerShell command in the Windows Event Log and analyze them thoroughly.

All in all, PowerShell is a vital tool for the security of the Windows operating system. Removing or restricting it will not help administrators and defenders in any way from utilizing its capabilities to assist with system maintenance, automation, and security operations. In order to ensure proper security and management of administrative abilities, it is wise to adopt and configure it properly.

Download the PDF guide by visiting defense.gov.

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