Server Security

Maintaining a secure server demands that every aspect of the server be reviewed and configured with security in mind. This multi-faceted approach to securing a server is known as “defence in depth” because each security measure that is implemented adds an additional layer of defence.

All of the security measures linked to below will contribute to the security of your server. They can be implemented individually or collectively as they will all work together with each supporting and strengthening the others.

The title of each section below links to its documentation page.

Server Security

These security best practices are concerned with setting up and maintaining a secure host server.

Selecting a server, OS and web server

These are amongst the first decisions that will affect how you manage the server and the services that will run on it.

Automated Security Updates

The linux operating system is composed of many thousands of software packages. They all receive important updates and security patches regularly via the system's package manager. It is important that security updates are applied as they become available and the easiest way to do this is via an automated process.

Server status review

An important skill to acquire is to be able to rapidly review the status of your server in terms of its CPU, RAM, disk usage, running processes and other metrics. Problems, including security issues, will often manifest in abnormal usage patterns that are immediately obvious once the tools outlined in this guide become familiar.

Server security review

A server compromise will often be detectable with some simple and rapid checks explored in this guide. With practice, these checks can be run whenever a server is logged into in a few seconds. Along with the checks outlined in the "Server status review", a server can be rapidly evaluated with these ubiquitous command line tools.

Active server security

A static security measure is something like a standard firewall. It is configured to allow or disallow certain connections and this configuration does not change until an administrator modifies it. Active security programs will react to threats by self-modifying and automatically block detected threats in real time.

Active local firewall

The first security application that should be setup on any server is a firewall. The Memset firewall is an excellent service and has the benefit that it is hosted on independent hardware.

However, a local firewall such as the one described in the guide; ‘’’CSF’’’, will actively monitor for attacks such as port scans and SSH password guessing and block any attacking IP's. CSF also works in conjunction with the other active security tools described below to firewall out attackers that they have identified.

Web application firewall

A web application firewall works rather like a standard firewall however what is filters are the incoming web page requests and blocks those requests that have been deliberately crafted to break or compromise a website.

Memset security tools

Memset offers a suite of security tools that should be taken advantage of to maintain the maximum security of your server. If you would like to discuss how Memset's security suite can benefit you get in contact with the technical sales team on +44 (0)1483 608010 or Sales@Memset.com.

Apache DOS hardening

Your website can be taken offline by an easy to launch Denial Of Service attack. This guide shows you how to install and configure a simple Apache module that will mitigate most DOS attacks that do not consume all off your server's bandwidth.

Backups

Backups are one of the most important systems for protecting your data and ensuring continuous service to your clients. Data can be lost through malicious action, administrative mistakes or hardware failure. Working backups will make restoring your system swift and painless.

Secure CMS documentation

If you are running a Content Management System or CMS on your server Memset provides addition documentation for securing and backing up these types of websites. Documentation is provided for Drupal, Joomla, Magento and WordPress in addition to general security information applicable to all CMS’s.

Last updated 24 May 2017, 08:11 GMT