Skip to main content

5 Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Server's Security

Your web servers are the focal point of all your website's security; they are where all of your information gets stored and because of this they essentially constitute what your website is.
Thus, it's not surprise that you have to keep these servers as secure as possible at all times to protect not only your online presence but also your customers and anyone else who entrusts you and your site with their sensitive private information.

Luckily, keeping your servers secure isn't really that hard and it's certainly not expensive. With a few straightforward and relatively easy to implement steps, you can eliminate an overwhelming part of your chances of getting hacked, seeing your site destroyed or your information stolen. Let's go over a few tips and tricks now.

Buy Dedicated Web Servers from a Reliable Provider

You will almost certainly be hosting your website or sites on a commercial hosting provider's servers, and this is a good idea, since they will already have their own professionally designed security measures in place. Nonetheless, not all hosting providers are created equal and not all types of hosting are equally secure. For one thing, for extra security and traffic handling capacity, you're better off buying your own dedicated server space from reliable webhost. This will cost you at least 5 times more per month than regular shared hosting, but having your own servers also makes your security much more solid and your ability to cope with Denial of service attacks more robust.

Buy Secure Hosting

In addition to buying dedicated server space, you should also review the security features your host provides to its clients. These should include: up-to-date server apps like PHP, MySQL, Apache and others, strong internal firewalls within the webhosts systems, automatic backups, internal antivirus protection, DDoS (distributed denial of service attack) protection and SFTP (secure file transfer protocol), which allows you to securely move files to your servers (thus website) from another machine.

Regularly Update All your Server and Website Applications

Your server based applications will probably be automatically updated by your hosting provider, but you will almost certainly have your own list of third party applications working on your website and installed on your servers; update these regularly. These might include applications like Flash, JavaScript or Adobe Acrobat and they could also include third party website content management systems like WordPress and all of their associated plugins. At least once a week, go through all of these applications and make sure that the versions you're using are the latest available. Outdated apps are a hacker's chief attack vectors.

Use Secure Passwords

Your hosting cPanel, servers, MySQL, FTP and any other password protected parts of your server and website controls should all be protected by highly secure passwords that are at least 10 characters long and consist of randomized upper and lowercase characters, numbers and symbols all jumbled together. An overly simple password can easily be cracked by dictionary attack software that can run millions of word combinations per second. You should be particularly careful about also adding internal passwords inside your cPanel and servers that give different levels of access to different people if you have multiple site administrators accessing your website's servers.

Secure Your Personal or Work Computer

A convenient and often forgotten access point for attackers trying to get into your servers will be your actual computer. This machine will probably contain the desktop File transfer protocol (FTP) application which you use to transfer files and media to your website. If this is the case, keep this machine safe! Install strong and regularly updated antivirus/anti spyware software on the computer, limit access to it to trusted people and make sure that both the computer and the FTP inside it are both password protected and have automatic login disabled, forcing you to type in your passwords each time you leave them for more than a few minutes.

A hacker can easily sneak hack software and malware into this computer and use it to gain access to your actual web servers either through direct attack or simply by recording the passwords you type in to reach all your secured systems. Again, keep the computers you use to access your servers secure!

Use Your Own Web Server Protection Software

Aside from the protection offered by your hosting provider's security software, you should also set up your own defense systems by using third party server and website protection applications. A powerful security software package can offer your servers diverse protection against viruses, malware, Trojan horses, data thieves, spy bots and DDoS attacks, amongst other things. Some very reliable and highly affordable server/website security products include membership software services such as Incapsula or Cloudflare.

Encrypt your Data Files

As a last quick server security tip, we should also mention internal data encryption. While encrypting any sensitive information stored on your server won't actually protect the server itself from attacks, it will at least ensure that anyone who does manage to hack your system has unreadable files on their hands, thus blocking them form finding out what sorts of customer data and other information you've got stored.

About the Author: John Dayton is a leading expert on server security tips. When he is not writing, you can find him at home or working as a consultant to partners like LWG Consulting.

To write guest posts for us, please follow the link below

Write Guest Articles for us


Popular posts from this blog

AMOLED display coming to Samsung Galaxy Tab range

This is a guest post by Erica about the arrival of AMOLED display to Samsung Galaxy Tab range.Samsung could be transplanting a seven inch AMOLED screen into an upcoming addition to its Galaxy Tab range of tablet computers.

You may have experienced an AMOLED display in a small portable device before as Samsung, Nokia and HTC have all used them in smartphones to date. However, the expense of producing AMOLED screens has prohibited them from appearing on larger devices like tablets, until now.

The seven inch Galaxy Tab was launched last year but an update with an AMOLED screen would be most welcome, cutting energy consumption and improving colours and contrast ratios across the board.

The rumours about this device state that it will run Android 3.0, feature a three megapixel camera on the rear, a two megapixel snapper on the front and have a display resolution of 1024x600 which is not bad for a device of this size.

The hardware powering the new Galaxy Tab will consist of a 1.2GHz processor w…

Building Blocks for Virtual Businesses : Key technological systems you must have to succeed in the remote business world

This is a guest post by Ripley Daniels about "Key technological systems you must have to succeed in the remote business world.

Whenever I tell friends I had a tough day at the office, they laugh at me. That's because they know I don't really have an office. I work very hard but I work for a company that is completely remote. Only a few of my co-workers ever go into an office at all and when they do, it's only for short periods of time. Our "office" is a virtual one. To us, the traditional office workplace is a thing of the past, alongside Tyrannosaurus Rex, the slide rule, and telephones where you stick your finger in a hole and turn a dial.
Unfortunately, none of this prevents me from having tough days. I still have them. But the reasons have nothing to do with the fact that my co-workers and I don't have a brick and mortar edifice that we can use to plan, strategize, hold our meetings, make presentations, discuss sensitive business topics, build relatio…

Top 5 Online Resources for College Students

Being a successful college student means that you have to manage your time well, meet multiple deadlines, prioritize tasks, and still enjoy the last few years you have before you officially become a grownup. If you're a college student who's having some trouble managing everything, the good news is that there are a number of online resources that will help you work and study more efficiently. Here are five of the most popular online resources that will make your life easier as a college student:

1. Infomine – Created by librarians at University of California, California State University, Wake Forest University, and other U.S. colleges, Infomine is an internet library of online research resources for college students and professors. Infomine provides you with access to scholarly journals, ebooks, databases, and many other online materials that are useful for research projects and papers.

2. – Managing your finances as a college student can be tough, especially if you…

10 Useful OS X Tips and Tricks

This is a guest post by Mariana Ashley about some useful OS tips.
For the most part, there are two types of computer users: Mac users and Windows users. Sure, there are other operating systems available, but for the most part we each own either a windows machine or an apple machine. In a previous post, Siju George presented 16 Useful Windows 7 Tips and Tricks. These tips are immensely useful for regular Windows users and for Mac users who are less comfortable handling a Windows machine. Because computer use is so fundamental to our society today, knowing the basics of both the Windows operating system and OS X (the Mac operating system) is essential. The following is a list of 10 basic tips and tricks for using OS X:

1. Right click on an open PDF in Safari (the web browser that comes with Macs) to get a context menu which includes the option to open the PDF in Preview.
2. Pressing Command and Q at the same time will close all applications when command-tabbing. This is the fastest way to…

5 Common Examples Of Website Design Mistakes by Business Owners

This is a guest post by Sachin about five Common Examples Of Website Design Mistakes by Business Owners . When most business owners think about website design, they think about a brochure online. Online shopping sites are making a lot of money with the use of web-based applications to sell products, collect payments an arrange delivery. The only work left to do is pack and send the boxes. Smart applications can even print out the labels, so the only thing left to do it stick them on the box. Unfortunately, in many cases, websites are replacing people. For those of us left with a job, we can be thankful that many business owners make the following mistakes when it comes to websites and web design.

Don’t have one. This is the first and biggest problem of most business owners when it comes to website design. They think they don’t need one. Who can ever really do with less business? The reason why they have not been getting business from online sources in the past is because they have not …