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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

International Training & Assistance (ITA)
for Bank Supervisors

Operating SystemsS.T.R.E.A.M/Technology Lab Courses - The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Type of Participant Targeted

The Operating Systems course is a one-week course intended for examiners with IT examination responsibilities, but who may not have had university training in information technology. At least one year of field examination experience is preferred.



Course Overview

This course focuses on the security capabilities and limitations of computer operating systems (OS), including network OS, virtual machines, the Microsoft OS family (including Windows 2003 & 2008 servers, Vista, and Windows 7), the UNIX/Linux operating system family, and IBM's AS/OS/400. Hands-on exercises use virtualized or native environments. Class activities include reviewing security parameters and permissions on various platforms.

Course Objectives

  • Upon completion of this course, the participant, at a minimum, will be able to
  • Describe the typical uses of different operating systems in the enterprise and how they interact with other components of an organization's core IT infrastructure
  • Perform fundamental system administration and audit operations
  • Reference U.S. supervisory agency examination work programs
  • Perform user administration, access control, auditing, and reporting on various operating systems

Post-Course Intervention

Participants should be provided with opportunities that allow them to identify security capabilities and limitations associated with operating systems within a financial institution. They should review security measurements and recommend proper security controls to protect various OS assets.

Curriculum Overview

Topic/Activity Approximate Class Hours
OS history and legacy OS 1.50
Network operating systems 1.50
Virtualization 8.00
Vista Windows 7 5.00
Windows security and controls (Wiudows server 2003) 4.00
Windows security and controls (Wiudows server 2008) 4.00
Unix/Linux OS 4.00
IBM/OS 400 2.00
Summary 1.00
TOTAL 31.00

Learning Objectives

Participants build up a solid understanding of various OS functions, features, and their associated security risks through lectures and hands-on exercises. Furthermore, participants evaluate the OS and its security measurement by reviewing, auditing, reporting, and recommending proper security controls.

Accomplishments By Module

Module Learning Objectives
DOS, OS/2 and Thin Client
  • Identify the basics of operating systems
  • Enumerate the role operating systems play in information technology
  • Test the functionalities and characteristics of different operating systems
  • Explain features of Unix and Linux
  • Identify security strengths and weaknesses
  • Audit Unix and Linux
Windows Security and Controls
  • Explain Windows security concepts
  • Examine Windows elements, including Windows administrative tools, file systems, process management, registry management, performance monitoring, Microsoft Management Console, active directory, user management, group and share, group policy and account policy, audit, and various Window services
  • Examine Windows security controls, such as device hardening, security template, and encryption of file system
Virtual Machine
  • Gain basic understanding of virtual machine solutions
  • Explain features in virtualization player
  • Review virtualization vendors
Vista and Windows 7
  • Describe new options and features in Vista and Windows 7
  • Explain new security applications
  • Consider migration impacts
Windows Servers
  • Review features in the latest Microsoft server 2008
  • Identify new security controls and improvement in user interface
IBM OS 400
  • Inspect IBM OS and servers
  • Explain the management functions, such as log on, screen and operation navigation, and print
  • Examine system security values, password, user profiles, and group membership
Network Operating Systems
  • Explain features of network router, switch and firewall
  • List usages of network devices
  • Perform user creation, OS administration, maintenance, and audit

Class Size

The optimum class size is approximately 20 participants. To provide sufficient variety of interaction among class participants, the minimum class is 10 participants.


Operating Systems courses include one or more instructor(s) from the FRS and may also include additional instructors from an external agency or consultant firm.

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Last update: January 18, 2012