NSA Operating System Guides

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 29, 2005
Updated • Feb 16, 2016

The National Security Agency offers Operating System Guides on its website. These guides are currently being used throughout the government and by numerous entities as a security baseline for computer systems used by these organizations.

The operating systems include Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 2000 and Mac OS X among others. The guides are available in pdf and zip format. All guides include for instance account policy settings, file system security and security configuration and analysis.

You can access a list of guides on this page. Please note that search results list more than 19,000 search results for security guides. Some guides are still accessible while other search results lead to pages that are no longer available at their original web address. It is not clear if the NSA has moved those guides to a new destination or removed the guides from the web.

NSA Operating System Guides

Here is a link to a page that is still working:  Operating Systems - A page that lists guides for various operating systems, including Windows 7, Windows Vista, Apple Mac OSX or Linux. Topics discussed include security highlights, security compliance management or application whitelisting.

Mac OS X

  • Security Configuration Recommendations for Apple iOS 5 Devices
  • SCAP Content for Apple iOS 5 Security Configuration Recommendations
  • Mac OS X Security Configuration Guides

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

  • Guide to the Secure Configuration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

Windows Applications

  • Application Whitelisting Using Miscrosoft AppLocker
  • Recommendations for Configuring Adobe Acrobat Reader XI in a Windows Environment
  • Spotting the Adversary with Windows Event Log Monitoring
  • Reducing the Effectiveness of Pass-the_Hash
  • Application Whitelisting Using Software Restriction Policies

Microsoft Windows

  • Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit
  • Understanding the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit Frequently Asked Questions
  • Microsoft Security Compliance Manager
  • Security Highlights of Windows 7
  • NSA Windows Server 2003 Security Guide Addendum
  • Windows Vista FAQs

Each guide is listed with its title, the month it was last reviewed, and file size if available. Guides without file size appear to be broken more often than not.

I'd recommend to use the search form on the site to find links for your operating system. You can use the link to the advanced search options on the left to include and exclude phrases in the search. You can also filter by title only which drops the result count considerably.

Please note that you may still get links displayed to pages that are no longer hosted on the NSA website. The majority of guides seem to be rather outdated though.

Another page of interest is the published papers and technical reports page, that concentrates on the security enhanced Linux version that the NSA has developed and released.

NSA Operating System Guides
Article Name
NSA Operating System Guides
The National Security Agency offers Operating System Guides on its website that help users secure their machines.
Ghacks Technology News

Next Post: «


There are no comments on this post yet, be the first one to share your thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.