Learn SELinux with online courses and programs
What is SELinux?
SELinux, short for Security-Enhanced Linux, is a security module for Linux systems. It implements Mandatory Access Control (MAC) and gives administrators more control over who accesses the system. The United States National Security Agency (NSA) developed SELinux with the help of Linux Security Modules (LSM). It became an open-source tool in 2000.
SELinux provides access controls for applications, files, and processes on a system through a set of rules in security policies. Unlike traditional Linux permissions, which provide discretionary access control (DAC), SELinux provides more fine-grained control over access to system resources. When a subject, an application, or a process requests access to an object, such as a file, SELinux decides whether to grant access.Footnote 1
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SELinux tutorial curriculum
Are you curious about how to learn SELinux? An online course could be a good place to start.
An introductory SELinux course may discuss fundamentals of Linux system administration. You may learn about different Linux security models and their limitations, and have the chance to compare SELinux with other Linux security frameworks. With foundational knowledge, you can move on to an intermediate course, which may delve deeper into:
SELinux architecture, packages, and various states
SELinux policies, contexts, labels, and how they contribute to system security
Methods for evaluating system security in an SELinux status and configuring SELinux modes
SELinux policies for applications and services with non-standard configurations while handling user management in SELinux
Advanced classes may explore how to use multilevel security (MLS) and multi-category security to enhance confidentiality, how to write custom SELinux policies for specific use cases, and how to troubleshoot common errors and problems. You may also learn how to:
Review SELinux logs for security analysis and monitoring.
Deploy the same SELinux configuration on multiple systems.
Disable SELinux when necessary.
Set SELinux to permissive mode for troubleshooting purposes.
Learning about how to use SELinux can supplement your knowledge of cybersecurity and computer science. edX offers a variety of educational opportunities for learners interested in studying these topics, as well as a host of other disciplines. A boot camp can provide flexible, hands-on learning for those who want to upskill quickly, while executive education courses are designed for busy professionals. You can also pursue a more comprehensive curriculum in a bachelor’s degree program or, for more advanced learners, a master’s degree program. Find the right learning path for you.
Explore jobs that use SELinux
Various job roles may require expertise in SELinux to enforce access control policies and protect against malicious attacks on Linux systems. Jobs in which knowledge of SELinux could be beneficial include:
Software security engineer: Designs and implements security measures to protect software applications from cyber attacks, data breaches, and other security threats.Footnote 2
DevSecOps engineer: Integrates security practices into the DevOps workflow. They work with developers and operations teams to ensure security in the software development and deployment process.Footnote 3
Linux system administrator: Manages and maintains Linux-based systems, including servers, workstations, and cloud-based infrastructure.Footnote 4
Security analyst: Identifies and mitigates security risks for an organization. They analyze security data to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities, and develop strategies to prevent security breaches.Footnote 5
Each of these roles will have different education and skill requirements. For example, you may be able to build relevant programming skills in a coding boot camp. For those interested in more security-focused roles, a cybersecurity boot camp might be the better option. However, some employers may seek candidates with a higher-level degree, depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.
How to use SELinux in your career
SELinux is a crucial tool in the field of cybersecurity and can be a valuable asset to professionals in various roles.
For example, software security engineers might use SELinux to create and enforce access control policies to protect software applications from cyber attacks and data breaches. DevSecOps engineers could use SELinux to secure cloud-based applications and infrastructure by enforcing access control policies.
Alternatively, Linux system administrators might use SELinux to secure Linux-based systems and troubleshoot any issues related to SELinux. Security analysts use SELinux to analyze security threats and vulnerabilities and develop strategies to prevent security breaches.
If you’re interested in pursuing a cybersecurity or software development career, knowing SELinux policies and how to apply them in various roles can be a valuable asset to your job.