13 Ways To Safeguard Your Dedicated Server

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With the advent of the digital world, data has become the new currency. If you are a business looking to improve your operations and provide an excellent connection to your audience, you will need to opt for a dedicated server instead of a shared one. 

Within a dedicated server, you will then need to safeguard your information and protect it from prying eyes and technical malfunctions. In order to do this, there are certain things you can follow. 

Below here, we are going to outline the top 4 ways that can help you safeguard your dedicated server and protect it from potential threats and vulnerabilities.

1. Implement strong access controls 

The first line of defense for your dedicated server is the implementation of granular access controls. Limiting access to authorized personnel helps prevent unauthorized users from compromising your server. 

securing your dedicated server

In this case, you can use strong, unique passwords and consider implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security. Doing this is not enough. You will need to regularly review and update user access permissions to ensure that only people who require server access for their roles have the necessary authority. 

By controlling access effectively, you create a strong barrier against unauthorized entry, thereby protecting your server from vulnerabilities. Along with this, you will need to get dedicated server hosting from a reliable provider like Liquid Web. They will offer managed dedicated server hosting plans that are completely secure and private. 

2. Ensure regular software updates 

Your server software is the backbone of its performance and security. Regularly update the operating system, server software, and applications to patch vulnerabilities and fix bugs. Outdated software is a common target for cyber threats, and timely updates ensure that your server has the latest security patches. 

You will need to implement a strong patch management strategy to automate the update process and minimize the possibility of vulnerability. Automated tools can be particularly helpful to ensure that your server stays up-to-date with the latest security updates. 

3. Deploy firewalls 

Firewalls protect your server against unauthorized access and malicious traffic. You will need to configure firewalls to filter incoming and outgoing traffic. This will allow only essential communication to take place. 

Additionally, consider implementing intrusion detection and prevention systems to monitor network and system activities for suspicious behavior. These systems can automatically respond to potential threats and prevent them from escalating into security incidents. 

4. Ensure regular backups 

In case any unfortunate event like a security breach or data loss happens, having strong backup and disaster recovery plans in place will provide you with safety. To overcome these issues, you will have to regularly back up critical data and configurations to ensure that you can quickly restore your server to a secure state. 

Disaster recovery and business continuity

Choose secure and geographically diverse backup locations to mitigate the risk of data loss due to physical incidents. Test your disaster recovery plans regularly to ensure their effectiveness and identify potential areas for improvement. A thorough backup and recovery strategy will help your business bounce back after unexpected setbacks. 

5. Choose a reliable hosting provider 

Your choice of hosting provider lays the foundation for the security and reliability of your dedicated server. A reliable hosting provider should offer strong security measures, including firewalls and intrusion detection systems. 

Additionally, look for providers that guarantee high uptime percentages and provide responsive support to address any security concerns promptly. It's important to research and compare multiple hosting providers by considering factors such as reputation, reviews, and certifications related to security and data privacy compliance. 

By selecting a reputable hosting provider, you can mitigate potential security risks and ensure the excellent performance of your dedicated server. 

6. Implement strong password policies  

Passwords serve as the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your dedicated server. Implementing strong password policies is very important for preventing cyberattacks and unauthorized login attempts. 

Strong passwords should be complex and consist of a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable passwords, such as common words or sequential patterns. 

These passwords are easily guessable by attackers and can compromise your security and privacy. You can also consider implementing password management solutions or multi-factor authentication to improve the security of user accounts and administrative access to the server. 

7. Use SSL encryption 

SSL encryption is essential for protecting data transmitted between your dedicated server and clients over the internet. SSL certificates encrypt sensitive information, such as login credentials, payment details, and personal data, preventing interception by malicious attacks. 

SSL VPNs

To utilize SSL encryption, you'll need to install an SSL certificate on your server and configure your web server software to enable HTTPS connections. Additionally, ensure that SSL certificates are properly configured and up to date to maintain the integrity and security of encrypted communications. 

You can also consider using reputable Certificate Authorities to obtain SSL certificates and regularly monitor certificate expiration dates to avoid lapses in encryption protection. By implementing SSL encryption, you can establish a secure communication channel and protect sensitive data. 

8. Monitor server activity 

Monitoring of server activity is important for detecting anomalies and responding to security incidents right away. Utilize server monitoring tools to track key performance metrics like CPU usage, memory utilization, disk space, and network traffic. 

Set up alerts and notifications to notify administrators of potential issues or unusual behavior. This will enable timely intervention and troubleshooting. You will also need to implement log management solutions to centralize and analyze log data from various server components. 

Consider employing machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to automate anomaly detection and predict possible security threats based on historical data patterns. 

9. Employ Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) 

Intrusion detection systems are important in identifying and responding to security threats in real time. Deploy network-based IDS to monitor inbound and outbound traffic. This will help in detecting and alerting administrators to suspicious behavior, unauthorized access attempts, and known attack patterns. 

IDS

Host-based IDS can complement network-based IDS by monitoring server logs, file integrity, and system activity for signs of compromise or malicious activity. Configure IDS rules and signatures to match known attack patterns and emerging threats, ensuring comprehensive coverage and timely detection of security incidents. 

It is also advised to integrate IDS with other security tools and incident response mechanisms to automate response actions, such as blocking malicious IP addresses or quarantining compromised systems. 

10. Limit access privileges 

The fewer privileges there are, the lesser the risk of unauthorized access. Restrict access privileges to only the necessary resources and functions required for users and applications to perform their designated roles and responsibilities. 

Implement role-based access controls to manage access permissions systematically, assigning users to specific roles with predefined sets of permissions based on their job functions. Regularly review and audit user accounts and permissions to identify and remove unnecessary privileges. 

This will reduce the attack surface and limit the potential impact of security breaches. Monitor user activity and privilege usage to detect unauthorized access attempts and enforce accountability and compliance with security policies and regulations. 

11. Utilize secure FTP 

When transferring files to and from your dedicated server, utilize secure file transfer protocols like SFTP or FTPS to protect data confidentiality and integrity. Secure FTP protocols encrypt data in transit, preventing interception by malicious actors. 

Configure your FTP server software to enforce encryption and authentication requirements. This will ensure that only authorized users with valid credentials can access and transfer files securely. 

server protect

Implement additional security measures such as IP whitelisting, user authentication, and file integrity checks to improve the security of FTP transactions and minimize the risk of unauthorized access or data tampering. 

Regularly monitor FTP server logs to track file transfer activities, detect suspicious behavior, and investigate potential security incidents. Consider implementing file transfer monitoring and auditing tools to automate log analysis and alerting. This will enable timely response to security threats and compliance violations.  

12. Enable Two-Factor Authentication 

Enhancing login security with two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection to your dedicated server, requiring users to provide a secondary authentication factor in addition to their passwords. 

Implement two-factor authentication for user accounts with administrative privileges and sensitive access permissions. This will help reduce the risk of unauthorized access and credential theft. 

Choose from a variety of two-factor authentication methods, including SMS-based codes, authenticator apps, or biometric authentication, based on your security requirements and user preferences. 

13. Educate users 

User awareness and education are very important in strengthening the overall security of your dedicated server environment. Educate users who have access to the server about security best practices, including password protection, phishing awareness, and data handling procedures. 

Educate Employees

Provide comprehensive training sessions and resources to educate users about the risks of cyber threats, the importance of maintaining strong passwords, and how to identify and report suspicious activities on their devices. 

Be sure to emphasize the significance of data confidentiality, integrity, and availability and the role that each user plays in protecting sensitive information and maintaining compliance with security policies and regulations. 

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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