This is a guest post by John Hodge. If you are interested to guest post in this blog, just head over to the Guest Post Guidelines.
In order to understand how you can protect the server you subscribe to, and why it is necessary to do so, you need to have a basic understanding of what a server is. A server is essentially a computer capable of running one or more services, essentially acting as a host that other computers on the network can subscribe to. It is imperative that you protect whatever server you subscribe to because usually servers contain much of a company’s vital information. When a server is hacked into, or becomes compromised, it’s free lunch for the hacker to steal whatever information he or she wants, and manipulate the contents of the server as he or she wishes.
Because of the potential for disaster a breach in server security could present, it is important to know all you can about how to best protect your server. The following items are not an extensive list of everything you need to know about server security, but are 5 must knows that will provide you a base knowledge of ways you can protector the server, or servers you subscribe to
- Do Not Install Services That Are Not Necessary. Generally, a typical default operating system installation is not secure because many network services that are downloaded manually are not actually needed by the user. This becomes dangerous because more services are open within the server, meaning more potential ports for hackers to hack into. By removing these unnecessary services from your server network, or never downloading them in the first place, you will take important preventive steps in preventing a breach in server security. [Read: Tips on Developing an Enterprise IT Security Policy]
- Accessibility of Remote Login. In the past, many servers were only accessible through a local sign in. This however is not conducive to today’s business environment. There is greater potential for a security breach within the server when remote access is available, but steps can be taken to secure remote connection. Tunneling and encryption along with other security sign in software and equipment is a good way to ensure the most protection possible if using a remote access server.
- Track, Monitor, and Audit the Server. Often security breaches occur because the IT department is just not aware of what is going on. All logs within the web server should be stored in a separate inaccessible area. These logs including website access logs, network services logs, operating system logs, and database server logs should be tracked at least weekly, if not daily. Being aware of a potential breach as it occurs might be the best way to minimize damage from a potential breach because you can resolve it as it is occurring, not after it already occurred.
- Development and Testing of Web Applications. Because it is easier and faster to test new web applications on the actual server itself, many developers do so. This however is very dangerous because these web applications are usually in their early development stages and do not have any form of developed security restrictions. Because of these dangers, any new web applications whether in development or testing should always be conducted within servers separate from the Internet, and even more importantly, should never be connected to important data or databases.
- Privileges and Access to Server. When a web server becomes compromised via a server breach, the hacker can often use the account on which the network server is running to accomplish malicious tasks. This is why it is so important to grant certain permissions only to certain individuals, so a general breach does not result in the hacker having access to all information. As a general rule of thumb, you should only allow minimum privileges to the anonymous user. These privileges usually only allow access to the website, web application files, and sometimes general data and databases.
About the Author: John Hodge is a writer for RackMountPro. When he’s not writing he loves computers and everything related to them, gaming and spending time with his family. In addition to selling servers for Linux and Windows RackMountPro has been producing and selling rackmount servers and storage since 2001.