Servers provide an essential role in modern businesses. The most important part of their mission is offering data and computer services. Servers play a crucial role in a company and are responsible for maintaining its sensitive data and information.
Data loss or a loss of control over the organization’s direction and operations are two of the worst possible outcomes of security flaws.
It’s better you took the necessary precautions to protect your servers to avoid putting yourself in a very precarious position.
You need to become more familiar with the best strategies for securing your servers. This post will describe some of the server security techniques you can use to protect your servers and provide instances of applying these recommendations.
What is Server Security?
As they store data and run programs for employees and customers, servers are integral to every company’s information technology architecture. And because they play such a vital role, servers are a constant target for hackers who want to exploit any security flaw, which may result in lost data, financial losses, and destroyed reputations.
To ensure your company’s security, you must ensure your server (or servers) are safe. When properly implemented, the settings, tools, and procedures constitute server security and shield the server from external and internal threats.
A business should perform an internal penetration test to evaluate its entire security posture to strengthen the security of its internal infrastructure.
10 Server Security Best Practices
1. Update your software and operating system regularly.
In server security, applying all software and operating system-related security patches is vital. Due to the complexity of server systems and software technologies, some security risks they contain may quickly go undiscovered.
For this reason, it’s not uncommon for security flaws to exist in both out-of-date and brand-new software installations. Additionally, hackers always look for novel and creative methods to get into a system.
Afterward, a more robust and protected version of their OS or software will be made available to the public. As soon as the provider has tested and published it, you should download it promptly for the security of your server.
2. Use VPN
The private network infrastructure is built on top of the IP address space used by the internet. No Internet Protocol (IP) packets destined for a VPN’s network are ever transmitted across any public network.
A VPN will enable you to connect multiple computing devices in different areas. It allows you to perform tasks safely on your server.
Sharing data between servers under the same account is safe from outside interference. Put a Virtual Private Network in place to safeguard your server from illegal access.
3. Use Firewall Security
Firewalls are essential for keeping your servers secure. They filter incoming and outgoing traffic to enable some services while blocking others.
Firewalls are classified into many categories. The first category is focused on public services that anyone may access anonymously over the internet. The second category is private services, which only a small number of authorized accounts can access. The last category is internal services, which do not need contact with the outside world.
Restricting the use of these services should be done following whatever demographic is most appropriate. You should set up your server so that only necessary connections may reach it.
4. Enable Server Password Security
Using vital password hygiene is crucial for server protection. Establish clear guidelines for creating and using passwords on the system.
Passwords should be at least a certain length, and there should be rules about how hard they should be. Sessions should end after a certain amount of inactivity, and there should be more than one way to prove who you are.
A well-defined policy for when passwords expire is another helpful tool to have. The time that a password is permitted to remain in use should be, at most, a few weeks or months. It’s best to tell all users to use secure password storage so that credentials don’t end up in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.
5. Regularly backup the server.
Even if the preceding measures are meant to safeguard your server’s data, it is essential to keep a backup of the system in case anything goes wrong. Storing encrypted copies of your vital data offline or through a cloud service is recommended.
Make this preventative action a standard practice, whether you use scheduled backup tasks or do them manually. In addition, you should perform complete backup testing. Included in this should be “sanity checks,” in which administrators or end users ensure that the recovered material makes sense.
6. Install SSL Certificate
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates serve as security protocols that monitor and protect data transmissions between computers in an online environment.
The SSL protocol is essential to protecting data sent between a client and a server. Encryption of all data transfers and communications is essential when exchanging information with a client’s browser or another server.
SSL certificates encrypt data in transit to ensure the security of sensitive and private information such as health records, credit card information, and financial records. A hacker who gains access to the data cannot understand its significance.
7. Enable restricted access to your files.
The majority of operating systems allow the user to set permission levels. If you care about the security of your servers, you should apply as many limits as possible.
Users may control which directories, networks, files, and other server components they have access to. Both malicious and accidental attacks on a server may reduce by implementing access restrictions.
For example, restricting who may view a file might help keep personal details secret. Similarly, limiting access to files and data will help keep them unchanged. It’s not fair to offer every worker unlimited access to the company’s computers. Using the least amount of privilege possible is one of the best method to keep your servers safe.
Server resources shouldn’t be made available to those without business using them or who don’t need them to complete their jobs. Employees with access to sensitive data and information have been responsible for the most severe data breaches.
Therefore, limiting access can help protect your servers from insider attacks.
8. Manage server users
The “root” user on a server can carry out any task. If the root password got into the wrong hands, your server would be in serious trouble. As a best practice, many users turn off SSH’s root login.
To get the most access, hackers target the root user’s password. Removing this user from the system will make your server far less appealing to attackers and protect it from harm.
Create a restricted user account to prevent unauthorized users from abusing root access. This account lacks the privileges of the root user but may still execute administrative instructions through the root command.
As a result, you can perform most of the administrative tasks using the limited user account and switch to the root account only when necessary.
9. Use Paraphrase Passwords
The security of your server can improve by switching to a passphrase instead of a password. A passphrase is lengthier and has spaces between the words, which is the primary distinction between the two. Therefore, it typically takes the shape of a sentence, but this is not required.
For example, a password passphrase may be: I love!ToDrinlCoffeeAt1676SB.
The provided example is a lengthier password that includes both upper and lower-case letters, digits, and special characters.
Moreover, a passphrase is much easier to remember than a random characters. Lastly, its length of 49 characters makes it tougher to break.
10. Security checks should be done regularly and often.
With frequent audits, it is easier to identify potential vulnerabilities and determine how to remedy them, so your server stays wholly secured. Examine your logs for odd or suspicious activities.
Examine whether there are any available software, operating system, and hardware system software upgrades. Test the functionality of the system. An increase in disc, CPU, or network traffic might indicate that a hacker is attempting to access your system. You should do more than set up a server and remember about it. You should monitor it regularly.
11. Develop Isolated Virtual Environments
Check for updates for your software, operating system, and hardware systems. Examine if the system works as intended. If you see a spike in disc, CPU, or network activity, there may be an effort to break into your system. A server cannot be put up and then forgotten; it requires constant attention.
Taking these precautions will help you deal with any security issues that may develop, reducing the risk that additional data may expose. Containers and VM virtualization are both simpler to implement.
Creating chroot jails in a UNIX operating system is another option for virtualized environments. When a process is given a chroot, it is isolated from the root directory of the central operating system and given access to just the files in its directory tree. Even though this is not entirely isolated, it should only use with other safety measures.
12. Establish Multiple Server Environments
Isolation is a very effective method of keeping servers safe. To achieve complete isolation, you need to use bare metal servers that are not connected to other servers in any way. This choice is the safest and most convenient, but it costs the most to keep up.
Providing distinct execution environments in a data center enables the so-called Separation of Duties (SoD) and configuring servers based on their duties. It is a standard security strategy to separate database and web application servers. Separate settings for execution are especially helpful for larger businesses that can’t afford to have significant security holes.
Keeping data and system files safe from hackers who obtain access to admin accounts is the job of separate database servers. System administrators may independently configure the security of online applications, and the attack surface can reduce with the help of web application firewalls.
The technologies and procedures mentioned above for securing a server are only a few advancements you should implement to develop a secure server environment.
While setting up the infrastructure, security measures should be put in place from the start. Once you’ve established a secure foundation, you can start phasing out your services and apps with the knowledge that they’ll operate in a protected setting.
Implementing such precautions is critical, and the sooner, the better, since the more you delay, the more you expose your business to danger.
Moreover, you can buy ESET Antivirus to assure the security you want. Not just for your server but also your devices.
Jennysis Lajom is an IT graduate, a chemist, an eCommerce business owner, and a Korean drama fan. Her passion for digital marketing led her to a career in graphic design, editing, and social media marketing. She is also one of the resident SEO writers in the Softvire US and Softvire Australia.