Server security is essential as we all know that servers need to be up all the time, else it brings halt in between in the current business and potential loss, sometimes even in millions! It is also necessary that not only one but many measures are taken in combination in order to warrant that the server is highly protected and the data is never lost or stolen. This is because breaching becomes difficult if it has a number of protection layers. In order to ensure best security measures for servers, following methods are of great help, and hence are widely used.
Best security measures for servers
1. Secure your CMS – This can be achieved by updating the CMS sites like WordPress as well as the themes that are used by you for your site. This is because the developers have probably come up with resolving the loopholes that were there and might have caused heavy damage if somebody else would have noticed first and taken advantage of.
2. Backups – Keeping back-ups can save ounces of your time and money even if you were somehow attacked despite having the best security measures for servers. One should take steps in advance such as installing a backup software so that the data can be restored soon after the possible damage and related halt in between.Additionally, disable the file editing (in wpconfig.php file) and PHP execution (in .htaccess file) in WordPress. One has to limit the login attempts being made from an IP.
One should always keep in mind that hackers are opportunists and are too large in number. Once they find any security cracks they would never miss a chance to exploit.
3. SSH (Secure SHell) Keys – These contain a pair of cryptographic keys to authenticate a server as an alternative way to password-based logins. There are public (shared with anyone) and private (shared with only the concerned user) keys to confirm authentication. The private user can keep his/her key secret so that nobody breaches into it. The connection can only be established if the entered keys are matched correctly. It is easy to set up and are recommended method to login into Linux or Unix environment remotely from any part of the world. Moreover, the SSH keys can be created on one’s own machine where one among the pair is transferred to servers within a few minutes and another to be kept with the user himself.
The term Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) refers to creating, managing and validating certificates to identify individuals and encrypt communication. The SSL or TLS certificates are used to authenticate varying entities to each other. Once authenticated, these can be used to establish encrypted communication also.
4. Firewall – The firewall controls what kinds of information are allowed to be exposed on the network. It is capable to block or allow one or more ports except those that are publicly available. For instance, your private network wants to allow only those requests that come from port 80 then appropriate settings could be done to exactly achieve that. Therefore, all requests coming from ports other than 80 will not be able to access the server’s details and the related message that is understandable or some kind of technical error message would be displayed.
Also, make sure to disable directory indexing. This won’t allow the attackers to see the directory structure and scan to find out if it’s vulnerable, or download files. Simply add the directive in the .htaccess placed in the root.
5. VPN – The Virtual Private Networks ensure that limited users of the same team or geographic region are allowed to access information, and nobody else. This greatly reduces the probability of security threats. For instance, those residing in India cannot retrieve the home page of Google and Yahoo, and other similar sites that belong to the United States, and vice versa. This is because the servers have blocked the access of foreign clients.
6. Server monitoring – It is important to take note of the server’s activities so as to prevent it from many kinds of unwelcome functioning. There are popular monitoring tools that can help with checking the working of DNS, SMTP, CPU usages, logs, errors, memory usages and health check URL, and restarting LEMP service if it didn’t work as expected. The user is notified whenever a condition is met.
There are many other security measures for servers to ensure best outcomes, but the above methods are the most common ones. Every server is different in terms of its operating system, RAM, processor, hard disk, and its way to deal with a number of visitors that could be within normal range or too large. Therefore, what might suit for one may or may not be suitable for another. Most server administrators are familiar with lots of methods and they also do trial-and-error at times to come with the feasible solution, which is also the right thing to accomplish in real time if they are familiar with the risks and know how would they tackle.