Hardening Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 Workstations

Australian cyber security center     ACSC     Updated May 2018


Workstations are often targeted by an adversary using malicious web pages, emails with malicious attachments and removable media with malicious content in an attempt to extract sensitive information. Hardening workstations is an important part of reducing this risk.

This document provides guidance on hardening workstations using Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Microsoft Windows 7 SP1. Some Group Policy settings used in this document may not be available or compatible with Professional, Home Premium, Home Basic or Starter editions of Microsoft Windows 7 SP1.

While this document refers to workstations, most Group Policy settings are equally applicable to servers (with the exception of domain controllers) using Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. The names and locations of Group Policy settings used in this document are taken from Microsoft Windows 7 SP1; some differences may exist for earlier or later versions of Microsoft Windows.

Before implementing recommendations in this document, thorough testing should be undertaken to ensure the potential for unintended negative impacts on business processes is reduced as much as possible.

This document is intended for information technology and information security professionals within organisations looking to undertake risk assessments or vulnerability assessments as well as those wishing to develop a hardened standard operating environment for workstations

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