Securing your VPS is not as daunting as it sounds. Protection of your server is a crucial task, but one that can be implemented fairly easily. A VPS that deals with sensitive data or private information especially should be kept as secure as possible. We’ve put together some basic measures that you, as a server administrator, can take to protect your VPS.
Recommended methods for securing your VPS
The first step in securing your VPS is running an audit of your server to know what’s running on your system. An audit will also show where any vulnerabilities in your system lie. There are several resources available for both one-time auditing as well as regular automated audits. From your audit you can also determine if some services and applications are running when you don’t need them. Unnecessary applications that aren’t required for your VPS to function are only making your server more vulnerable. You can also make sure that any ports you haven’t explicitly stated as open can be ignored, by setting the default policy for the INPUT chain to “drop” in iptables. Since SSH is one of the daemons that will always need to be running on your VPS, it’s also a major target for hackers. You can secure your SSH configuration easily, by:
- changing the default port of your SSH configuration from port 22
- preventing root access for users logging into your server using SSH
- limiting logins to a selection of users
- disabling password-based authentication in favour of key pairs
- installing intrusion detecting software
It may seem obvious, but regular updates and backups are vital for a secure VPS. Using the latest versions of distros and server applications ensures that you have protection against new security threats, and regular backups act as a failsafe in case something were to go wrong. Be mindful that new and unexpected security threats can arise, and guard against common known threats and possible weaknesses in your system. A few security practices you can implement include running regular virus and malware scans on your server, monitoring your security logs, signing on with a DDOS protection provider, securing WHM, and disabling compilers. For more information about securing your VPS, contact VPS.co.za today.