How to make your Virtual Private Server more Secure


Having a website shows presence of your business in the digital world and having a secure VPS provides credibility of your business in the digital world as customers are always able to find you anytime, anywhere in the world. Always remember that web hosting security is vital for the success of your website. While ordering or choosing a server for your website, Linux VPS are much more secure than others operating systems like windows because of Linux's security model. Linux default security is good but still have some weakness inside it. here are some tips to make your Virtual private Server (VPS) more Secure.

Configure Firewall

Configuring firewall is very important, especially when you want to block unusual traffic. Linux come with integrated firewall such as Firewalld and iptables. They come integrated within the Linux Kernel to block or allow traffic to protect your website from Distributed Denial of Service attacks. However, you can better your security by installing a ConfigServer Firewall, to get access to the control panel where you can manage your firewall setting for standardized logging, hostname verification, and spoofing protection. The most important thing you must configure whether for preinstalled or custom firewalls include the following: 

  • Defining a pattern for filtering traffic.
  • Choosing an IP address to allow or block access. 
  • Ensuring that ports that are non-essential during scan prevention remain closed. 
  • Auditing the firewall to ensure that configurations remain up-to-date. 
  • Performing regular update to guarantee that your firewall is ready for new security threats.

Use Strong password Policy

Weak passwords is one of the biggest threats to the security. Attacker can easily guess your password by doing brute forcing into your system. Always use strong passwords. Strong password policy contains both Upper Case and Lower Case Letters, Special Characters and Numbers. Also remember one more thing that your password should be of atleast minimum of 8 digits. Always change password at a regular interval of time. Also use the “faillog” command to set a login failure limit and to lock user accounts after repeated failed attempts to protect your system from brute force attacks.

Disable Root Logins

By default, every Linux VPS has “root” as a username, so hackers try brute force attacks to crack the password and gain access. Disabling logins from the username having “root” adds another layer of security, as it stops hackers from simply guessing your user login credentials. Instead of using a root user account, its better to use non root user account and also provide it the appropriate levels of authorization before you disable the “root” account. use sudo command to execute root level commands. There is file called sshd_config in the /etc/ssh/ directory, open it and finding the “PermitRootLogin” parameter. By default value is yes, change it to no and save it. You can also switch to SSH key authentication for advanced security.

Always update software to the latest version

As a new website owner, always remember that you are more equipped with modern security threats with the latest version software. Luckily, most OS updates are only a few mouse clicks away. You can consider automating your updates by using apt-get, Ubuntu, and cron jobs for Debian and CentOS, Linux, respectively. Also, remember to initiate server-side and Content Management System (CMS) updates whenever they are available. 

Use SSL Certificates

Remember to use SSL certificates because the primary purpose of this measure is to create a secure channel to exchange transfer information through platforms such as emails. You can guarantee that any information that passes from server to client remains private only if you have correctly installed and implemented SSL certificates.  

Monitor Your VPS Server Logs and Control User Access 

Always monitor your server log to stay in control of what is happening with your servers. You can set up an email notification to alert you about unauthorized events, traffic levels, user activities, the use of resources, and system or software errors. Managing your server helps you track system activities and consequently protect your project. You can further control user access to manage access and distribution of resources. You can enhance your VPS security by controlling who can access some resources and files. Start by setting up various file permissions by using tools like SELinux, with user-managements access. Therefore, you can now access your user interface to limit access to prevent access to sensitive projects on your VPS.

Use Anti-malware/ Antivirus Software

Besides having a secure firewall to protect you from unwanted traffic, also ensure that you have a solid  anti-malware and antivirus software to protect the data you upload to your VPS. This strategy act as a second defense mechanism to detect malwares and rootkits that passes the firewall.

Take Regular Backups

Too many people forget to take regular backups - and then they regret it when something goes wrong and they don’t have a copy of their data. No matter how careful you are, and no matter how secure your server is, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. Don’t take unnecessary risks by failing to take backups, and don’t rely on your host to do it either on behalf of you. Store copies of your data in different locations and consider using the cloud so that your backup can be accessed from anywhere.

Conclusion

Always remain vigilant to protect your project from new and possibly unprecedented threats. The best ways to stay alert include performing regular malware scans, checking security logs, disabling compilers, using a CDN, and anti-DDoS measures to protect from other kinds of attacks. While VPS hosting is powerful, due to its back end being your responsibility, you really need to think through all the choices and implementations you make. Especially, since you’ll only receive help with managed VPS hosting plans, which can be pricey. Also, conduct frequent backups to a secure separate server that allows easy access when you may want to restore the data in the future. Backing up data is the best way to roll-back even anything ever happens to your project.

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