Firstly, the businesses should acquire suitable policies to make their dedicated servers secure. Your dedicated server might be the target for hackers as it provides all the sensitive data of your business. Protecting the servers is the primary step. If not secured, it may result in loss of enterprise in an incurable manner. Therefore, minimize the risk of threat on your data. In this article, we will discuss some security tips and best practices to make your server more secure. So, let’s see how hacker can hack the system of client –
1. Client “A” buys the web hosting package.
2. Then the client uploads financial data to the server.
3. The predatory hacker filters poorly secured data.
4. He might damage or destroy the business of Client “A”.
5. The hacker installs monitoring software and recovers all sensitive data of client “A”.
Some of the ways to secure dedicated server from hacking are below-
1. SSL and firewall
Certain privileges apply to secure Dedicated hosting. The firewall acts as a layer between the local network and the Internet. Therefore, the firewall can block the harmful code and SSL provides access to transfer the encrypted data. It is a basic step to have a firewall to prevent DDoS attacks. For effective security use a firewall along with SSL. SSL and those certain privileges give access to important data.
2. Interruption protection system
It is an improved security system that works with the firewall as a set of two. It determines the traffic at the source and allows real traffic. Since, the Firewall reacts to hacking attempts, IPS are dynamic. This means it takes decisions like preventing the traffic, reviewing the connections, giving the indication to the administrator, etc.
3. Secure Passwords
To secure dedicated hosting in the case of password selection, brute force techniques can track the most common or simple passwords. Selecting complex passwords can increase security. The complex passwords can be combinations of lowercase and uppercase characters mixed with numbers and special characters. Because attackers cannot track such complex passwords.
4. IP Whitelisting
Whitelisting of IPs allows access to only limited IPs thereby avoiding the insignificant traffic. Only authentic and verified IP addresses can access the server.
5. Script Updates
To secure server hosting Update the scripts regularly. The performance of a server depends on server scripts and applications. The updates overcome the error causes by earlier versions.
6. Server management
Proper management of hardware can result in the best performance. Restricting access to the server can be the primary aspect to secure dedicated hosting. It is the job of the hosting provider to protect the server and network. The methods like IP blocking, spamming and mod security need focus for protecting the server. So, select the hosting provider who is accountable for software, hardware, proper system maintenance, technical support, monitoring, and updates.
7. Limit Login Attempts
Brute Force Attack is one of the basic malicious attacks on the secure dedicated server. To make any website accessible on the internet it should have some services open to the internet. Therefore, these open points may become accessible to attackers. In these kinds of attacks, attackers try to access the secure dedicated server with an assumption of some random username and password. Limiting the login attempts to the website can block the IP addresses from which multiple attempts are taking place. Restrict the number of attempts for use of SFTP/FTP server setting login. This limit range can be basically between three to five times only. Always keep updating the security patches and updates for computers and browsers.
8. Secure Connections
While connecting to the secure dedicated server, it is important to secure the connection. If your connection is insecure, there might be a threat to data from someone who is monitoring these connections. Following are the steps to secure the connection –
● By using a key instead of a traditional username and password while logging in to SSH provides extra security. It is advisable as it is difficult for the hacker to guess the key since it has no username associated with it.
● Use SFTP instead of normal FTP while making FTP connections. For this, you also need to enable SSH/Shell Access on your account to make secure server hosting.
● SFTP server should also have settings for a maximum number of requests per second the server will allow. The minimum setting is 40 connections per second. If you have very high traffic to your server, you can set this a bit higher, but take care that it should not be very high. This helps to prevent DoS (Denial of Service) attack where a server is made unavailable by using a program to saturate the server with many requests at a time.
Avoid using freeware as the development environment, which increases the risk of a malware attack in free downloads. It might not be secure.
9. Change Default SSH Port
The SSH listening port is set up on port 22 by default as it is an industry-standard. So, it is advisable to change this port setting to something different than the default value. Most of the secure dedicated server hacking attempts are made by robots that target port 22, so modifying this setting will make your server a difficult target.
To change your default SSH port, you need to follow the below steps:
1.To open the configuration file to make changes, use the following command: nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
2. Find the following part in your file and replace port 22 with a new port – # What ports, IPs, and protocols we listen for Port 22
3. Now, while requesting a new SSH connection on your machine, you need to indicate a new port by: ssh root@YourServer.ovh.net -p Newport
Please remember to reboot your server once you are done reconfiguring the port. Also, do not choose a port number that is already in use. Also, you may find that some services cannot be reconfigured to a non-standard protocol and so these services will not work.
10.Back up your system and Data
You should regularly back up your data. Save your data in some backup storage so that in case of an attack, you can retrieve it via different protocols like FTP, FTPS, NFS, CIFS. Also, it is important to outline a plan of data restoration in case of any such attack or hard drive failure.
11. Update your system and packages
For security reasons, distributed system developers receive software package updates very often. So, it is important to install all the updates to avoid hacking. Many of the tools used in creating the website may be open-source software programs. The code is easily accessible to everyone, like hackers. Hackers can find pores in the code, and take advantage of any security vulnerabilities present. So, make sure you have the newest version of the platform and scripts installed to minimize risks. Also, make sure to update the package list and the packages on your secure dedicated server regularly.
12.Protect your website from SQL injection
If you have a web form that takes input from outside users to display information. So, there lies a risk of SQL injection. If the parameter field is left much open without much validity checks, someone can insert code into them and access the database. It is important as sensitive client information is often stored in the database. In conclusion, to avoid this, you can use parameterized queries and strict validation checks in the web form.
13. Prevent Cross-Site Scripting
Avoiding the XSS can evade user input. This means that when the application data is received make sure it is safe before processing to the end-user. It protects the webpage data from harmful attacks. Restriction on the basic characters for coding like ‘<‘ and ‘>’ can prevent hackers from adding the codes to the web pages.
14. Using Content Security Policy (CSP)
CSP allows the individual to enter the valid domain so that the browser considers it as a proper executable program. The browser accepts it as not a malicious script or malware to affect the client’s computer. Using CSP means adding a proper HTTP header to the webpage that provides a string of directives that directs the browser about the safe domains and if any exceptions are present to this rule. Browsers which have CSP compatibility will execute the scripts loaded in the source file received from the safe domains and ignore other scripts. CSP is designed to be backward compatible. Some browsers may not support CSP. But CSP will also work with a secure dedicated server that implements it by ignoring it, functioning as well.
15. Change root user Password
Whenever we install a distributed system or an operating system, a root access password automatically creates. You must change this password for system safety. To change the password, you need to open an SSH connection to your secure dedicated server and use the below command: passwd root
Then you need to enter your new password twice. Please remember, while typing the password it will be hidden due to security reasons. So, you will not see the typing characters. For logging in to the system for the next time, you should use this new password.
16. Restricted user access
If you perform activities on the secure dedicated server everyday, a user account with finite access also solves the purpose. To add a new user, enter the following command: adduserCustomUserName
The user requires information like username and password. It allows users to access the system via SSH and the password set. So, If some activity requires administrative rights this command can be used to access the root user rights: su root
Then, enter the root user password for the validation.
17. Avoid anonymous access
Most of the FTP servers have an option for the user name as ‘Anonymous’. Determining the port for FTP and version of FTP software running will be easy with an ‘Anonymous’ login. To find the security vulnerabilities do minimal research in the software. Though there is an anonymous access, restrict the user access permission to read-only and lock into the home directory. If there is any requirement for download access, keep those files in a dedicated SFTP outside your demilitarized zone (DMZ).
18. Change File Permissions
The files and folders on a secure server hosting account manage the website. If the windows server is the host of the website, then to secure hosting follow the below steps to change file permissions.
1. Login to the server as an administrator.
2. Locate the file to change file permissions.
3. Right-click on the file, select the “Security” tab, and then click on “Edit”
4. If the permissions changes are for a user then select the user
5. Change the permissions as per the requirement whether it can be Read, Write or Execute.
6. Click on “Ok” to accept the changes and select “Apply” to apply the changes before closing the file or folder properties.
To secure hosting, change file permissions on a Linux operating system, permissions are saved in 3 digit format where each integer is between 0 and 7. Here, the first digit refers to the administrator or owner of the file. The second digit refers to the group to which the file belongs. And the third digit means to any other user who accesses the file. The permissions can be:
1. ‘4’ for Reading
2. ‘2’ for Write
3. ‘1’ for Execute
4. ‘0’ for No Permissions.
For example, a file contains a permission code ‘644’. Here, 6 means the owner has permissions to Read and Write (4+2=6), the group has 4 means Read permission only and the other user also has 4 means Read permission only. The common rule for files and folders security is:
1. Provide folders and directories with 755 permissions
2. Provide files with 644 permissions
I hope you got the information on how to protect your data from threat and make it more secure. It is important to keep your data as well as users’ data secure. So, you must follow the above steps to protect your website and the business to make profits and prevent it from going downhill. Don’t forget to perform a security check on your data. Then, you could be more confident in your server.
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