11 Steps to Improve The Security of Your Offshore Dedicated Server
One of the webmaster’s primary responsibilities is to secure your website or web application on an offshore server. Unprotected dedicated servers are vulnerable to security breaches, which can result in significant consequences such as data loss and service disruption.
According to related security surveys, cyber-attacks are on the rise, with data breaches costing businesses nearly $4 million US dollars on average. Physical server security has never been more important than it is now. In this post, we’ll talk about security vulnerabilities and best practices for protecting your offshore servers.
Why is overseas dedicated server security important?
The physical servers are entirely yours and you can configure them yourself. Having complete control over your server is one of many physical server advantages, which is why they are so popular. However, it also means that setting up your physical server security system is your own responsibility. Here’s why cybersecurity is so important and what you can do to protect your server:
Protect your server from malware: Malware is software used to steal data. It is usually hidden and passed along with legitimate applications or scripts. Once it’s on your server, it will try to collect your information. The best way to protect your applications from malware is to choose a hosting provider that offers continuous vulnerability scanning and real-time server monitoring.
Avoid password leaks: One of the main reasons hackers breach physical servers is because of short and weak passwords. Creating passwords using random combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols eliminates the possibility of cracking in the first place. You should use different passwords for the control panel, FTP account, and mail service. Of course, it’s also a good idea to change them on a regular basis.
Protect your server against software vulnerabilities: Hackers might obtain access to your server by exploiting the software that is running on it. To prevent such security flaws, only install regularly updated software and ensure that it is running with the latest security patches.
Avoid DDoS attacks: Denial of service attacks use a flood of traffic and spam to overload your server. This is a significant cyber threat that can cost you both time and money. Choose a physical server package that includes DDoS protection to defend your website from DDoS attacks.
To protect your physical server from different vulnerabilities, the followings are 11 security measures you may consider.
1. Install security updates and patches
One of the most common weaknesses exploited by hackers is outdated software. As a result, most app developers provide security updates on a regular basis to address any vulnerabilities in their software’s security. If you choose not to download some of these fixes, someone may exploit the unpatched vulnerability. Never rely on out-of-date programs or services.
Even a slight delay in updating to the most recent security patches can be harmful. This is why you should check for software updates on a frequent basis. If you feel that installing security updates and patches on a regular basis is too time-consuming, you may consider a physical server hosting service.
2. Perform regular malware scans
There are several viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware that may compromise your system and steal sensitive data. Malware scans should be performed on a regular basis to safeguard your physical servers. Using antivirus software is a wise precaution since it detects and quarantines malware before it does harm.
Also use malware scanning software. The automated tools will protect you from security threats by scanning your physical server for all types of malware.
3. Use DDoS protection
The goal of distributed denial of service attacks is to bring down websites or possibly the entire server. Typically, a tremendous amount of traffic is sent to your server, causing it to crash. Their purpose is frequently to cause financial loss to the target business. DDoS attacks can make websites or online applications inaccessible to web users, therefore preventing them in advance is critical.
The only way to avoid these attacks is to use a DDoS-protected physical server. These servers include a DDoS shield that monitors all incoming traffic. Traffic will be routed away from your server if malicious activity is detected. At the same time, normal traffic is permitted to pass through, so your users will not be interrupted.
4. Only use secure networks
Use only secure connections when connecting to your physical server; while this may seem obvious, it is something that many people neglect.
Public networks are not secure, and logging in with your user credentials via the hotel’s open WiFi network may disclose your credentials. This is why you should only connect to trusted networks.
5. Change your SSH port
Many services run on standard SSH ports. Hackers know to target that specific port to compromise your physical server security. The SSH listening port is the most vulnerable. By default, it’s set to 22, so hackers use scanning software to find servers that haven’t changed the SSH port.
To prevent such scans or attacks, change your SSH port as soon as the server is deployed. It is recommended to change it to a port number higher than 1024. Most port scanners operate within a set range and rarely scan ports above 1024. This will make your SSH port elusive from most bots and automated scanners.
6. Create separate accounts for each user
Only system administrators can have root access to physical servers. Everyone else using the server should have their own user account with restricted access.
For example, not everyone should be allowed to install software that may contain malware. Such rights should only be granted to server administrators. Other users may have restricted access that just allows them to execute their tasks.
Administrators can have personal accounts as well. It is not a good practice to always log in with root-level access in case you forget to log out.
7. Implement a strict password policy
Weak passwords make your physical server vulnerable to brute force attacks. You should create strong passwords using random numbers, symbols, and lowercase and uppercase letters. Do not use easily guessed or personal info for your password. The same is true for any other user accounts you’ve created. Everyone should use a strong and unique password.
Furthermore, all passwords should be changed on a regular basis. This makes it nearly impossible for hackers to guess your password or break in. In addition, consider enabling two-factor authentication for your account. This way, your dedicated server will be protected from unauthorized access.
8. Secure your database
Databases store valuable information. Since cybercriminals are aware of this, they target vulnerable databases. To avoid database leaks, make sure it is SQL injection resistant. SQL injection attacks insert malicious SQL statements into a database, allowing them to manipulate data.
To ensure maximum security, limit everyone’s access to your database as much as possible. Keeping user permissions to a minimal will help you in accomplishing this. Delete any unused files and services as well, as experienced hackers might find ways to exploit them. Unwanted functions and services that continue to run may expose users and various communication links.
9. Backup your data
Always keep backup copies of important data, and always backup all data. Data loss may happen regardless of how many security precautions you put in place, whether it’s due to hacker attacks, hardware failures, or natural disasters.
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. You should create numerous backups on various types of media. A 3-2-1 data backup strategy is the best backup procedure you can adopt. i.e. Create at least three backups and save them on two separate storage devices.
For example, you may retain a backup on an office hard drive and another on a secure physical server. This is why Varidata always recommends customers to use RAID.
10. Remove any unused software
Unused software is a security risk. It’s easy to overlook the fact that if you don’t turn it on, it won’t get security updates. This is especially true for apps and services that you test once and then forget about. Hackers can obtain access to your physical servers and steal sensitive information by using unused software. Simply deleting unused software is the solution.
11. Rent a dedicated server
The easiest way to protect your physical server is to choose a dedicated server hosting service. The leased physical server is operated and maintained by the IT professional team in the data center.
Dedicated Server Security FAQs
1. How do I secure my physical server?
To keep your physical server secure, follow the best practices below:
Install security updates and patches
Perform regular malware scans
Use DDoS protection
Use secure networks
Change your SSH port
Create separate accounts for each user
Change your password regularly
Protect your database
Back up your data
Remove unused software
Rent a dedicated server
2. Are dedicated servers more secure?
Yes, dedicated servers are more secure than shared servers or VPS servers for web hosting. You are the sole user on a physical server, and you have complete control and responsibility for your security system.
A shared server, on the other hand, has multiple users, and it only takes one of them to let hackers in and compromise your security. When it comes to your data, every shared server user poses a security risk because you can’t guarantee that they’re all using appropriate security procedures.
3. Can a physical server be hacked?
Any server can be hacked and subjected to a variety of malicious attacks. You may, however, take precautions to protect your physical servers and avoid security breaches.
4. What is server hardening?
Server hardening is the process of enhancing server security by utilizing a variety of techniques that are considered network security best practices. The purpose is to minimize the chance of hackers penetrating the physical server’s security.
All in all, using cybersecurity best practices to safeguard your offshore dedicated server can save you a significant amount of time and money in the long run.