Your decision to use a dedicated server or a VPS likely stems from a desire to have greater access to resources, improved performance, and more control over your server environment. However, if you want to prevent cyber-attacks, you need to implement security features, some of which are unique to VPS and dedicated servers.
Cyber criminals work on the premise of stealing your sensitive data and then using that data to make money, steal your identity, or hold you up for ransom. Regularly scanning your dedicated server or your VPS can protect you from malware and ransomware.
That being said, VPS hosting and dedicated servers are a lot more secure than shared hosting. In fact, a hosting report by Hosting Data showed that shared hosting is the least secure hosting option as it puts your website at risk with its potential security vulnerabilities, making it easy prey when it comes to hacking attempts.
Protect Your Dedicated Server from Hacking
In order to protect your dedicated server from hacking, you have to understand the techniques that hackers use to gain access. One of the first techniques is a password breach.
Have a Vigorous Password Policy in Place
Your business is likely using a dedicated server because you can control what is on the server and you have control over the security. Still, hackers might be able to enter the hosting account and destroy the data using advanced techniques.
When your business requires a new dedicated server, immediately change all passwords. This is because your host may have default passwords they use on all their servers. This makes you less secure. In order to protect your password, use the following strategies:
- Create passwords using random combinations of symbols, uppercase letters, numbers, and lowercase letters.
- Avoid using words that can be linked back to your company, yourself personally, or your family.
- Change passwords frequently.
Protect Your Dedicated Server from Malware
It is relatively easy to install applications on dedicated servers. This is why dedicated servers run a high risk of malware. Malware is able to copy confidential databases and then allow others to access them. You can protect your dedicated server from malware by:
- Use a hosting provider that is constantly scanning your server for vulnerabilities
- Monitor your site for unexpected behavior
- Test software on an isolated device before uploading it to your server
Denial of Service Attack
A denial of service attack (DDoS) overwhelms your server with traffic. It wastes resources and damages the experience of real customers. You can protect yourself by having a robust firewall.
- A good firewall is dependent on you having a dedicated server with generous system resources and high-quality hardware.
- Only use a hosting provider that has a quality perimeter firewall. This will stop dangerous data well before it gets to your server.
Keep Your Databases Up-to-Date
You cannot ignore the importance of keeping your data up-to-date. This will help protect your dedicated server from a SQL injection. This is even more important if you work in an industry where you have access to or collect sensitive information about other people.
Some ways that you can keep your database secure and up-to-date include:
- Minimize the privileges database users have
- Get rid of unwanted data
- Prevent customers from interacting with the database unless it is absolutely required
Protect Your VPS Server from Hacking
If you are considering purchasing VPS hosting or you already have VPS hosting, the security choices you make are vital as they will dictate the availability, viability, and safety of the information you host there. The VPS hosting provider that you are using has a responsibility to keep your virtual server safe. However, there is a number of parameters that need to be considered on your end.
Keep cPanel and Plesk Secure
You can do a lot to keep cPanel and Plesk secure on your virtual private server.
- Use a Long Password: In addition to using a password that has special characters, it’s good to have a long password. For example, the password “timeisafireinwhichweburn” is going to be a lot harder for automated software tools to guess than a password like “Zh2#hr$.”
- Patch Your Software: cPanel and Plesk come with utilities that allow you to update the software by using their web interface. Or you can simply use SSH. Doing this guarantees that you have the up-to-date, best-performing patches and security fixes available. This way, you can protect your server from spam botnet.
- Use the Security Advisor Tool: Security Advisor is a tool that helps you stay secure. It includes things like extra firewall tools, checking for updates, and encrypting SSL certificates.
Close Unnecessary Reports and Get Rid of Unused Services
Take some time and examine the services and applications you have on your virtual private server. Ask yourself, are all of these things necessary in order for your VPS to function? If you are running unnecessary applications, you are making your server more vulnerable than it needs to be.
When it comes to ports, you should use IP tables to open the ports your VPS requires. Then set the default policy on the INPUT chain to drop. This way, any port that you have not specifically said you want to be open will be ignored.
Check for Common Security Threats
We are always on guard for the newest security threat out there. But some of the most effective security threats are those that have always been there. Protect your VPS by:
- Regularly reviewing security logs
- Use a DDoS protection provider like Cloudflare
- Disable compilers
- Use the latest version of Apache, but keep your version number obfuscated
If the security of your VPS or dedicated server is compromised, you can end up spending thousands of dollars. For this reason, if you feel that you are not up to the task of maintaining your servers, it is worthwhile to invest in professional help. Your reputation, your safety, and your well-being are more than worth it.
Were there any important tips that we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section below.