In today’s digital landscape, ensuring online security is paramount. For instance, storing website data on a dedicated server can make it vulnerable to security threats from hackers and cybercriminals. However, there are various measures that can be employed to safeguard your dedicated server and website.
This article will outline key security recommendations for servers, with a specific focus on dedicated web servers. Additionally, we will explore the benefits of managed dedicated hosting services and their role in enhancing server security.
What is a dedicated server?
A dedicated server is precisely what its name implies. When you pay for a dedicated server, its storage space and processing capacity are exclusively allocated to you and your projects.
This is the opposite of shared hosting servers, which are divided among multiple users. It makes dedicated servers a popular option thanks to lower security risks.
Why is Server Security Essential for a Dedicated Server?
In the information age, malicious individuals are increasingly turning to data as a valuable resource. According to Experian, 85 percent of companies consider data to be one of their most valuable assets.
Therefore, if you have a dedicated server without adequate protection, you may be exposing your business (or the businesses of your clients) to malware, password breaches, and DDoS attacks. This is the reason why protecting sensitive data from hackers is always essential.
Effective Methods to Protect Your Dedicated Server
Depending on the type of security breach, there are several methods to protect your dedicated server.
Let’s examine the most effective security measures you can implement immediately to defend your dedicated server from various vulnerabilities.
1. Install security patches and updates.
Outdated software is one of the most exploited vulnerabilities by cybercriminals. The majority of app developers regularly release security upgrades to address any vulnerabilities in their software’s security.
If you do not download these patches, an unpatched vulnerability could be exploited. Never rely on obsolete services and programs. Even a brief delay in applying the most recent security upgrade can have negative consequences.
Therefore, you should look for software updates regularly. Consider a managed dedicated server if installing security updates and upgrades on a regular basis is too time-consuming for you.
2. Use only trusted networks.
If you access your dedicated server from an untrusted and insecure public network, you expose it to the risk of an attack.
To avoid a disaster, restrict employee access to your server to a known and secure network, rather than permitting logins from anywhere.
3. Conduct regular malware scans.
There are numerous types of viruses, worms, trojans, and spyware that can compromise your system and steal sensitive data. To protect your dedicated server, you should schedule time for routine malware searches.
Using anti-virus software is a prudent precaution, as it can detect and isolate malicious software before it can cause damage. Moreover, the use of malware scanners is recommended.
By scanning your dedicated server for all forms of malware, these automated tools will protect you from security threats.
4. Adopt DDoS Security
A distributed denial of service attack is used to bring websites or entire infrastructure down. A sudden influx of traffic is sent to your server, eventually causing it to fail. More often than not, the intent is to cause financial loss to the targeted enterprise.
DDoS attacks render your website or web applications inaccessible to users, so preventing them is crucial. Using a DDoS-protected dedicated server is the only way to protect yourself from these attacks. All incoming traffic will be monitored by an integrated DDoS shield that is included with these servers.
When malicious traffic is detected, your server’s connection queries are redirected. Simultaneously, legitimate traffic is permitted to proceed, ensuring that your users will not experience any interruptions.
5. Establish emergency protocols for disaster recovery
Establishing emergency protocols for disaster recovery is crucial. Always plan for the worst-case scenario and ensure that you have a comprehensive emergency protocol in place to mitigate the potential damage of a security breach.
At a minimum, your emergency protocol should include resetting usernames and passwords and drafting a statement that can be emailed to customers and posted on your website to explain the situation.
6. Keep duplicates
Keeping duplicates is also important. Even if you take a variety of precautions, sometimes things will still go awry. To ensure that your data is secure even in the worst-case scenario, be sure to back it up regularly. This way, you will have a fallback plan if your dedicated server encounters problems.
7. Modify the SSH port
Modifying the SSH port is another critical security measure. Numerous services use the standard SSH port, and hackers are aware of this and target it to compromise the security of your dedicated server. The most vulnerable port is the SSH listening port, which is set to 22 by default.
Hackers use scanning software to identify hosts whose SSH port has not been modified. To prevent attacks by brute force, change your SSH port immediately. It can be altered to any other port, but it is recommended to use a port number greater than 1024.
The majority of port scanners operate within predetermined ranges and rarely scan beyond 1024. This will conceal your SSH port from automated analyzers and bots.
8. Establish a Stringent Password Policy
Establishing a stringent password policy is crucial. Your dedicated server is vulnerable to brute force attacks if its password is weak. You should generate a secure password by combining random numbers, symbols, and lowercase and capital letters.
Avoid using simple or personal words as your password. The same holds true for all other user accounts you create. Everyone should use a unique, robust password.
In addition, all credentials should be changed at predetermined intervals. This makes it extremely difficult for hackers to predict or brute-force your password. Consider adding two-factor authentication to your accounts in addition to this measure. This will protect your dedicated server from unauthorized access.
Is Linux Server more secure than Windows Server?
Windows is more difficult to protect than Linux. Many IT experts, including RHCEs and MCSEs, consider Linux to be more secure than Windows.
However, one should not blindly accept that Linux is more secure than Windows. On both operating systems, you must:
- Restrict user access, service access, and network access.
- Create a backup/restore policy.
- Install and manage application-level security.
- Continuously install, configure, and repair the system, etc.
As you can see, both Windows and Linux administrators require comparable skill sets. Linux is inherently more secure than Windows, but it requires the same level of attention to security measures as Windows.
Linux was designed from the beginning as a multipurpose network operating system. For instance, IE or Firefox flaws can bring down an entire Windows system.
However, if the same flaw existed in Firefox, it would not bring down the entire Linux computer.
Under Windows, nearly any application-level flaw or vulnerability can be used to bring down the entire system and transform a computer into a zombie.
How Managed Dedicated Server Services Enhance Server Security
Managed dedicated server services offer several advantages over self-managed servers, including enhanced server security. With managed hosting, the hosting provider takes care of all the technical details, including server security updates, patches, and monitoring.
This ensures that the server is always up-to-date with the latest security measures and protected against cyber threats.
Managed hosting providers also offer 24/7 customer support, allowing you to quickly resolve any issues related to server security.
Additionally, managed hosting services often come with advanced security features, such as DDoS protection, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems, which provide an extra layer of security.
In short, managed dedicated server services offer a secure, hassle-free hosting solution that is ideal for businesses with high-security requirements.
All in all
Safeguarding your website from cyber threats requires maintaining the security of your dedicated server. By adhering to the expert advice provided in this article, you can maximize server security and protect your website from attacks.
Additionally, managed dedicated hosting services can increase the security of your server and provide you with peace of mind.
Don’t forget to implement security measures such as firewalls and backups, and to routinely update your server software.
By taking these measures, you can maintain the security of your dedicated web server and safeguard your online presence.