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Protecting Data

Protecting the data on a system takes a number of forms. The first is protection against hardware failures of various types. Because hard disks contain moving parts and magnetic media, they can be expected to fail eventually. To provide fault tolerance against disk failures, the server versions of Windows 2000 implement disk mirroring and RAID 5 within the operating system. In addition, Windows 2000 provides a backup program that Microsoft has licensed from Veritas to cope with human errors as well as hardware failures.

Protecting data means protecting it from unauthorized access, whether that means modifying it, deleting it, or simply reading it. One of the cornerstones of the security design in Windows 2000 is aiming to meet the C2 security standard defined by the US Department of Defense. Two of the basic principles of C2 security are mandatory logon (that is, before using the system you must identify yourself) and discretionary access control (every resource on the computer is owned by someone and that owner has the power to determine). The NTFS file system in Windows 2000 controls access to resources based on each file and each folder having an owner who controls who may have access to the file or folder using a Discretionary Access Control List. This list contains the details of users and what they may do to the resource.


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