What is a server?
A server can be explained as a device or a computer program, providing a service to another computer program and its user generally referred to as the client. In a data center, the server program is run on a physical computer which is called as the server. Simply put, they just interconnect machines in a network. Traditionally, there are four types of servers,
1. FTP servers
3. Online game servers
4. Web servers.
Functions of a Server
The key function of a computer server is to store, retrieve and send data and files to other computers in a network. The significance is understood when the concept is explained on a larger scale. The internet, the worldwide computer network relies on a large number of servers located around the world for easy exchange of data.
What is server security? Why is it important?
As the server interconnect computers, they are the hub of a lot of valuable information that can be accessed. Protection of this accessible information assets from a Web Server is known as Server Security. A security rupture can harmfully affect the goodwill as well as the monetary status of an organization. Web server security becomes highly important when it is connected to the internet. The Websites facing the customers are really in need of layered security.
Some Common Server Security Issues Faced
The most harmful mistakes which can cause the server less secure are as follows
* Open Network Ports
* Old Software Version
* Poor Physical Security
* Insufficient security of CGIs
* Old and Unnecessary Accounts
Server Security Guidelines
Web servers frequently face a lot of exploit attempts. If they are not secured properly, they pose a lot of risk to the organization and the networked computing environment. Assign only least privilege to the user so as to perform a task. Protocols like SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security ) provide server and client authentication and encryption of communications. Let us discuss some basic steps to secure a Web server.
1. Regularly upgrade the operating system to ensure safety.
2. Configure the OS to meet the system best practices by enabling only the necessary services and applications and disabling the unwanted, Setting all the account passwords accurately, changing all the default passwords, removing default accounts, and a lot more!
3. Routine monitoring of the appropriate mailing lists and/or web sites for security-related announcements.
4. Configuring the Web server for meeting the vendor best practices like installation of the web server software on a dedicated host, regularly upgrading known vulnerable assets, disabling the unnecessary web services, prohibiting the access to private/confidential files, etc.
5. Employ SSL/TLS as per the nature of the web server data for the desires authentication and encryption.
6. Creating log files for easy recovery and future investigations by assigning specific log file names for different virtual websites associated with the same physical web server, preventing log files from filling up the hard drive, enable the log files to capture all the potentially suspected activities like a failed login, etc.
7. Regular backups for web content and occasional ones for operating system and application configurations.
8. Accomplish internal change control methodologies by notifying the relevant changes, testing the proposed changes before making the change in the production environment, securing relevant information, and documenting all changes being made to the system, application, or web content as well as establishing efficient mechanisms for revision control.
Server Security Courses
A lot of good standard server security courses are available online to make you capable of securing your servers. Please browse through the following links for a better understanding.
Server Security Checklist
Discover the server security checklist and implement it while deploying a new server or doing a security audit of the existing servers.
1. Server identification
Initially, identify the server properly
2. Record basic details.
Record the basic details of the server set up and the person handling it
3. Physical security:
Ensure the physical security of the server
4. Ensure the server location is secure:
Some of the top tips for ensuring the server location are,
Ensure the keys to the server room are kept secure
Keep a record of everyone who has access to the server room
Test the server room and locker keys
Be sure that as few people as functionally possible have copies of these keys
5. Patching and server maintenance:
Update service packs and patches in Ubuntu, it is as simple as running a command line application.
6. Event logs:
Check whether the event log monitoring is properly configured, Check event log monitoring process, Check remote access logs and Investigate remote access activity.
7. System Integrity Control
Evaluate server configuration control process, Revise server configuration control process, Limit changes to start-up processes, Remove unused software and services.
8. Remove unused software and services
Run a full system anti-virus scan, Configure server firewall
9. Authentication and access controls
Enforce strong authentication for all admins, Send a reminder to activate strong authentication, Remove inactive user accounts, Review administrator access
10. Backups and restore points
Check server data is being routinely backed up, Perform a test recovery from a backup image, Review your backup process.
11. Risk management
Check for hardware replacement and retirement
How to Secure Server from Hackers
Cyber security is really a difficult task. Enough attention has to be paid as the risks involved are very high. Let us go through some of the easy and practical tips to protect the server against hackers.
1. Install only necessary software
Fewer services, programs, plugins, means less to worry about. Also, check the required dependencies.
2. Close all the network ports
Block all the accessibility the hackers has to your server.
3. Filter the openings you cannot block
Firewalls are commonly used to filter the network traffic and ascertain the server security. Follow a default policy for blocking. Filter both incoming and outgoing traffic.
4. Hide all version information
Remove the version information from web servers, mail servers, web languages, WordPress, file servers, and SSH.
5. Check and update regularly
Check the logs, check for updates, and update regularly.
Improve the cyber security of your browser and ensure better safety for your business and customer data. Stay confident throughout!
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