[Koha] Linux anti-virus software and other security issues

Mahesh T Pai paivakil at gmail.com
Tue Jun 28 17:24:51 NZST 2011

Buster <storypage at gmail.com> writes:

 > He is the former head of our IT department, is a Windows guy, and
 > dislikes and distrusts anything Linux. His specific concern is
 > security. Namely, he is worried someone can hack into our system and
 > steal patron information. He is also concerned about mal-ware in
 > general and wants us to install antivirus software on it.

This is a FAQ. Google ought to help. 

Actually, there are some antivirus software for linux. 

< ;-P >


< / :-P >

On a serious note - these are virus filters for mail servers -- Linux
does not require antivirus software. Period. 

If an IT guy says that it does, he does not deserve to be in IT. 

 > So I guess my questions are, how do I answer the patron information
 > concern, and how do I answer the malware concern? How do the rest of
 > you handle Linux security concerns? What antivirus software do you
 > use and from whence do you get it?

Yes - you may need to protect the software against SQL injection
attacks. You need firewalls. You need security hardening. 

Hmmm... I had asked a question on this topic couple of days back - "what
do you guys do to harden your systems?"

 > Please explain it to me in a way even a Windows guy with zero
 > understanding of Linux will understand it.

Some guys will never get it. Do drop the idea of convincing him. Such
people have pre-conceived notions; and no way you can change that. 

What you can stress on is, 

(a) freedom - ability to stay unfettered. If things go wrong with one
service provider, you are not restricted in your choice of alternate
service providers (if in-house staff is incompetent, you can always go
for outside service providers; if provider XYZ Ltd is incompetent, you
can choose between ABC Ltd., CDE., inc., or Mr/Ms. Joe|jane Skoder. 

(b) control - by the library as the user here. You guys need to be in
control of the data. HW gets obsolete every few years - and s/w needs to
keep pace. Other platforms will not give you (i) a clean and hiccup free
transition path, (ii) the freedom to look at alternate solutions a few
years down the line.

Also, no chain is stronger than its weakest link. And you are going to
install Koha into a VM within Windows. I doubt that unless you drop that
VM idea, things will be more secure and stable, IMHO.

Mahesh T. Pai   ||
With freedom comes responsibility.
Do not use unauthorised copies of copyrighted material.

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