How to Protect Dedicated Web Server from Common Security Threats

    Today, nothing is 100% secure, there are more security breaches than ever before. Paranoia about how to Protect Dedicated Web Server is perfectly justified. While there are always risks of breaching your dedicated web server, you can take the necessary security measures to ensure that it is secure and well-maintained.

    Hackers can remotely scan servers in order to find vulnerabilities. Once they have found a vulnerability, hackers can send data or commands to the server to exploit it. This will cause the application’s to crash and then allow the server to execute code.

    Dedicated web servers can suffer from the following types of security vulnerabilities:

    • Directory Traversal Attacks:
      This type of attack exploits security holes in the web server and allows the hacker to gain unauthorised access files and folders that aren’t publically accessible. Once the hacker has access, they can download sensitive data, execute commands on it, and even install malicious codes.
    • Denial of Service Attacks
      This type of attack can cause the web server to crash or make it unavailable for users.
    • Phishing
      This type of attack mimics the website and redirects users to the fake site. Users may be tricked into providing sensitive information such as credit card numbers and login details.
    • Defacement
      This attack involves the attacker replacing the website of the organization with a new page. It may contain the hacker’s name, images, background music, and messages.
    • Sniffing
      Unencrypted information sent over the Internet may be intercepted, and used for unauthorized access to web servers.
    • Pharming
      This attack involves the attacker compromising the Domain Name System servers or the user’s computer, in order to redirect traffic to malicious sites.
    • Domain Name System Hijacking
      This hacking attack changes DNS settings to point at the attacker’s website server. All traffic intended to go to the web server is redirected to an incorrect one.

    It is crucial that you secure your web server to reduce the chance of your business being hacked or breached. Your server security could be compromised and your website may become vulnerable to spam ads or user data being stolen from form submissions.

    Keep your web servers secure and protect yourself from potential threats. There are many ways you can protect your dedicated web server. It all depends on the severity of the security breach. Let’s take a look at the different security options you have to protect your server against different vulnerabilities.

    Ways How to Protect Dedicated Web Server from Common Security Threats

    The possibility of being attacked by someone else may not be eliminated permanently. These tips will help you to protect your dedicated web server. While there are other security measures that you can take to protect your server, but these are the most important.

    1. Consider a Managed Dedicated Server Option

    A managed dedicated server is the best way to protect your dedicated server. This service is offered by many hosting providers. Managed dedicated servers can be managed by an IT team that will maintain your databases and software, back up your data regularly (usually on daily basis), and monitor for suspicious activity. Managed hosting providers will take care of all aspects related to server security.

    This is especially true for businesses that don’t have the experience to manage dedicated servers or those that don’t have an IT department or administrative staff available to install updates, perform security audits, or do other important but time-consuming tasks.

    While upgrading to managed servers can have a cost, the time savings and overall cost can often be worth it.

    2. Log in Using Secure Networks Only

    Only use secure network connections when connecting to your dedicated servers to log into your hosting accounts. This is one of your most cost-effective and easiest ways to increase server security. Public networks are not safe, so your dedicated hosting security will be just as secure as the weakest link in the network.

    Your credentials may be exposed if your credentials are used to log in at a hotel’s WiFi open network. This could expose your log-in information which can put at risk the security of your server. You should only use trusted networks.

    Only use a trusted and secured network connection to log in to your hosting account. All other authorized users must follow this rule.

    3. Use DDoS Protection

    Nowadays DDoS attacks are increasing in frequency and magnitude. Distributed denial-of-service attacks are used to take down entire websites and servers. Your server is hit with a sudden surge of traffic, eventually causing it to crash. The server can’t keep up with the traffic and the site crashes. They are often designed to cause financial loss to the target business.

    DDoS attacks can make your website and web apps unaccessible for users. It’s important to prevent them. A dedicated DDoS protected server is the best way to defend yourself against these attacks. These servers have an integrated DDoS shield to monitor all traffic. If malicious traffic is detected, connection requests to your server are diverted. Your users will not experience interruptions because legitimate traffic is still allowed to pass.

    DDoS protection can generally be purchased in increments depending on how large the attack is. Some hosting companies offer basic DDoS protection that protects against these types of attacks for free.

    You can also purchase DDoS protection, e.g. from Clodufalre. Cloudflare DDoS protection protects websites, apps, and entire networks, while ensuring that legitimate traffic is not affected.

    4. Regularly Install Security Updates and Patches

    Hackers are able to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software. App developers often release security patches to fix security issues. Your dedicated web server could be at risk if you click “remind me later” every time you get notifications about security updates and patches.

    You could be vulnerable if you don’t download a few patches. Don’t rely on old programs or services. Instead of waiting for the prompt, I recommend checking for updates every day. These updates are quick and easy to install, but they provide much-needed protection and peace of mind.

    You may notice a faster page-loading speed and less need to search through “useless” files. A managed dedicated server is a good option if you feel the burden of installing security updates or patches on a daily basis.

    5. Perform Regular Malware Scans

    Security software and malware are constantly at war. Both sides are constantly improving and creating new ways to protect themselves.

    There are many viruses, trojans and worms that can damage your system and steal sensitive information. Regular malware scans are a good way to protect your server. Anti-virus software can be a smart precautionary measure. It can detect and isolate malicious software before it causes damage.

    These security scanners can be performed using tools that identify Malware, Rootkits, Viruses, and other malicious behaviors. These tools can be used to run system scans on a regular basis, e.g. You can also mail reports to your email address every night using these tools. These automated tools protect you against security threats by scanning your server for any type of malware:

    6. Change Your SSH Port

    Many services can be run using a standard SSH port. Hackers are able to identify that port and breach the security of your dedicated server. The most vulnerable port is the SSH listening port. It defaults to 22. Hackers use scanning software to find hosts that haven’t changed the SSH ports.

    Change your SSH port immediately to prevent brute force attacks. Although it is possible to change the port to any port, it is best to change it to one that exceeds 1024. Port scanners scan within a set range and rarely scan beyond 1024. This will protect your SSH port from automated scanners and bots.

    7. Schedule Regular Data Backups

    Regular server backups will ensure that you are able to quickly restore data and recover it if security is compromised. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hacker attack, hardware failure or natural disaster. It is a simple and effective way to protect your site against long-term damage from an attack or data breach. You can then restore files and site data quickly in case your data is lost or compromised.

    You should backup your server data at least once a week. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Multiple backups should be made and stored on different media types. At least three backups should be made and saved on at least two different storage devices located at different locations.

    8. Create Separate Accounts For All Users

    Only the system administrator should be granted root access to the dedicated server. Each user should have their own account with limited privileges. Software that could end up as malware should not be installed by everyone.

    Software installation permissions should be granted only to the server administrator. Other users can only have limited access that is necessary to their job.

    Logging in with root access is also not a good idea in the event that you forget to log off of your admin account.

    9. Create Separate Environments for Development, Testing, and Production

    It is common to test and develop on production servers, which is a bad idea. Many web applications in the early stages of development will have security flaws that can easily be exploited with free online tools.

    By keeping development and testing servers isolated from the internet and not connecting to sensitive data, you can reduce the risk of a security breach.

    10. Always Use Strict and Secure Passwords

    Your dedicated server is vulnerable to brute force attack if your password is weak. Strong passwords should include symbols, random numbers and have atleast 8 or more characters length. Your password should not be easy to guess, or contain personal words. This applies to any other user accounts that you create. Everybody should have a strong, unique password.

    All passwords must be changed at least once a day. Hackers will find it difficult to crack your password or gain access by changing your password regularly. You can also add two-factor authentication to your accounts. Your dedicated server will be protected from unauthorized access.

    11. Install a Firewall

    A firewall serves two purposes: to reduce unwanted network connections and allow legitimate traffic to flow freely. Firewalls can be an important addition to your infrastructure as they can isolate servers and computers from the Internet, providing security and privacy.

    Software-based firewalls can be set up quickly and managed easily. They will protect your web servers against unauthorized communication or intrusions. A firewall is one of most effective ways to protect your site and server from attacks.

    12. Segregate and Monitor Server Logs

    Your server logs should be kept separate and checked regularly as part of your security testing. Log file entries that are unusual should be examined as they may indicate attempted or successful attacks.

    13. Remove Unused Software

    Unused software can be a security risk. It is easy to forget about and won’t get security updates if it’s not being used. This is especially true for programs and services that you only test once. Hackers could exploit unutilized software to gain access to your server and steal confidential data. You can simply uninstall unused software.

    14. Restrict File Uploads

    It can be dangerous to allow website visitors to upload files on your website. Because any file can contain a script that exploits vulnerabilities in your website, it could be uploaded to your website.

    Sometimes, file uploads are required due to the nature of your website. You might ask users to upload photos of your products to their reviews. You should treat any uploads as a threat in this instance. It could be set up to store any files uploaded in a separate folder or database.

    If cyber criminals have a hard time hacking your server, they will move on to others that haven’t used the security techniques we discussed. Your server should not be on this list!

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