Kudos to you for switching to a dedicated server rather than going for a shared one and splitting resources. But if you think getting a dedicated server is enough to keep all the malicious malware and hackers at bay, then you are mistaken!
This was just the first step of the firewall. Think of your transition to network and security solutions as putting a big fat lock on the main door of your house. But what about the windows? The back door? The tiny secret openings? You can’t be fully certain of your security unless you lock up everything, right? The same can be applied to cloud-based servers.
With more and more horrific cases of data breaches happening every other day, users and hosting providers take the security that they offer with their dedicated servers very seriously. Building credibility by safeguarding the data of your customers and your business is extremely crucial.
Read on to know about some of the best tried-and-tested ways to accentuate your dedicated server security.
Common Dedicated Server Breaches
Before we dive into the solution, let us know some of the common causes of this problem, as understanding the issue will help us eradicate it better.
This involves the manipulation of traffic by sending it to the wrong source. A DDoS attack on your website can prohibit the functioning of basic facilities, cause downtime, and also leak information.
This is the most common reason behind data breaches. Weak credentials provide an opening to malicious criminals and scammers.
A malware infection can result in a laggy user experience along with a high amount of cache and storage errors. In some cases, it can even affect the device you use to access the website.
Applications that are poorly written/designed offer a plethora of exploits for hackers.
In order to reduce complexity, sometimes providers forget to keep a tight rein on the permissions that they grant to the users on the server. Be it a rogue employee or an annoyed client; they can easily delete, copy, or alter your data.
8 Ways To Improve Your Dedicated Server Security
You should never depend on default passwords when purchasing or configuring a new dedicated server hosting plan. It is essential to update your password on a regular basis, bearing in mind the following guidelines for creating a secure one:
- Make use of a mix of upper and lowercase letters, as well as special characters.
- Use of terms or dates that are associated with your personal identification is strictly prohibited.
- Make a schedule to update your password at least once every two to three months.
- Checks and scans should be performed regularly.
Keep a check on your system, and don’t forget to scan it on a regular basis to look for issues that may be causing damage or posing a threat to your security. Professional hosting services should be able to offer you the necessary software and tools to conduct security checks and scans on your website.
If you are using old software, it is possible that it does not have the necessary security upgrades, fixes, and other safeguards to keep your data safe. Make sure that the most recent version of the software is installed on your dedicated server. Don’t forget to use a dependable, dedicated server security check to ensure that your system is always up to date and secure.
The following are the steps by which you can perform the update process for your software. This is a two-step procedure that includes both updating the package list (which contains a list of all the software programs that have been installed) and directly upgrading the packages using the code provided below:
Step 1 – Updating the Package List: apt-get update
Step 2 – Updating the Package: apt-get upgrade
Backup Your Sensitive Data
Scheduling frequent backups of your database is one of the simplest and most effective actions you can take to prevent your website from experiencing severe long-term harm as a result of a cyberattack or a data compromise. If your data is hacked or destroyed, backing up helps you to recover all your files with the least amount of delay.
Always plan your backups with regard to the nature of your site and how often you change its content. Planning data backups should be done on a regular basis so that you don’t lose any important information or content.
You can simply set up and even schedule automated data backups as required with the majority of hosting services. Ideally, you should set aside some time each day, or at the very least a few times each week, to back up your server data. It goes without saying that the frequency with which you backup your data is dependent on the amount of storage space you have available for storing this information.
Modify The Default SSH Listening Port
Configuring the SSH service by switching the listening port to anything apart from the standard port 22 will decrease the probability of hacking. Most robots target port 22. By changing it, you set up an additional layer against malware. To do this:
- Configure the service line by using the following command: nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
- Search for the following line: # What ports, IPs, and protocols we listen for Port 22
- Replace the port number with another one that is already not in use.
- Reboot your server.
- Now, when you get a prompt for an SSH connection, enter the new port: ssh root@YourServer.ovh.net -p NewPort.
Aside from this, using TLS protected interfaces to encrypt the traffic between your computer and your web server might also be a good idea.
Restriction Of Server Access Via Root User
Changing the root access credentials can help you secure your database better.
However, using it every day to gain server grants might be difficult. If you create a user account with restricted permissions, then you can enter the su root command followed by entering the password. Logging in using the ID you created will stop anyone from entering the server using SSH. However, if you still want multiple users to access the server, always ensure that the network is a known one.
- Open your SSH configuration file by following this command: nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
- Now, locate the following command and replace yes with no:
- Save this configuration file and use this command: /etc/init.d/ssh restart
Furthermore, you should disable all the services, such as FTP, if they are not in use.
Setting Up A Fail2ban Package
This is an intrusion prevention software that filters out IP addresses that try to penetrate your system. It will also safeguard your website against any brute attacks. To install Fail2ban:
- Start: apt-get install fail2ban
- After installing the package, make a backup of the configuration file by using this command: cp /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf.backup
- Modify the file using: nano /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf
- Restart your system using the following command: /etc/init.d/fail2ban restart
Log in Trusted Networks Only
You should only log into your hosting account from a secure network and should ensure that all other authorized users do the same. Always remember to take a minute to examine the security of the network you are connecting from while logging in to your dedicated hosting account.
Adding this feature to your server is one of the most straightforward and cost-effective methods to improve its security. When you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi network or any other network that isn’t completely secure, avoid inputting your username and password.
For example, while it may be enticing to go to your local coffee shop and use the free Wi-Fi to work on your site. It’s essential to remember that anybody who is on the Wi-Fi could have access to your site, including your server login and password, may see whatever data you put on your site. This has the potential to compromise your login information and, as a result, put your server’s security at risk.
Install DDoS Protection
As discussed above, distributed denial of service or DDoS attacks uses different devices to send fake traffic to your website. When your website is not able to keep up with the increased traffic, it crashes. These attacks can be performed using any IoT (Internet of Things) device, mobiles, or anything that has a camera.
When choosing a DDoS protection service, go for solutions that incorporate a multilayer approach, include a cloud-based WAF and intelligent attack scanning. You can scale the size of the protective layer as per the size of the attack. A protection plan will also include a threat management database and a dashboard to manage all your traffic.
Here is a hosting service that provides DoS protection for free as a part of their package.
Choosing The Correct Managed Server Provider
Making the decision on who to entrust with the full breadth of your company’s information may be difficult. In the contemporary day, the quality of the technology – and, by extension, the quality of the IT staff – that supports a company determines its success or failure.
As a result, it is even more critical to choose the most qualified managed service provider (MSP) for your requirements, one that has the credentials and expertise to take your business to new heights. The following suggestions will help you feel more confident and receive the most value for your money when looking for an MSP or consultant for your company’s information technology.
Electric is a New York-based information technology support business that was founded in 2016. The company has nearly 400 employees and provides the following services to mid-market and small businesses across a wide range of industry sectors:
- IT managed services
- Application management and support
- Human resources services
- IT staff augmentation
- IT strategy consulting services Vertical Computers
Vertical Computers is an information technology service business with headquarters in Chino, California. The business, which was established in 2014, employs about 15 people and offers IT managed services, cloud consulting and SI, and voice services to a variety of clients.
SugarShot is an information technology firm with its headquarters in Los Angeles. Since its founding in 2018, the company’s 11 workers have mostly focused on providing IT managed services, particularly in the areas of security, help desk, disaster recovery, and network segmentation.
Lastly, if managing your daily technical procedures seems like a hectic task due to a lack of time/knowledge, you can always consider getting a host to manage everything for you.
A dedicated managed service provider will handle things with ease and make sure that all the security protocols are carried out correctly. These services will be even more beneficial to you if you lack an IT team in your organization or are just getting started with online hosting fundamentals. Even though these services will come at a considerable cost, the additional security that you get is worth it.
Some loopholes are always present in the digital community. But when it comes to your dedicated server security, you don’t want any holes. Taking these measures will bolster your company’s security and keep your business away from any interruptions. Underestimating a hacker is a foolish idea. Not only do they have highly devious plans, but they can also extort you in some cases.
Additionally, if you get in a jam with HIPAA or PCI compliance, having a secure server will give you the privacy you need. By implementing these measures, you safeguard your employees from identity theft and theft scams, not to mention reputation loss. Having control over your data is the best way you can protect it.