Dedicated servers may be more secure than web hosting servers, however it does not mean that they are impervious to security risks. These security risks can range from various issues such as malicious attacks by hackers and viruses to hard disk crashes and data corruption. While dedicated hosting providers will leverage advanced security tactics to ensure the safety of your data, dedicated server clients should be aware of some of these tactics to establishing a secure dedicated server. We have listed some important steps to securing your server:
The first step when acquiring a new dedicated server is to change your passwords. Your host may have set a default password, which increases the risk of your password being vulnerable to hackers. We recommend changing your passwords every quarter. Follow these guidelines to increase password security:
- Try to avoid dictionary terms
- If permitted, use a combination of letters, numbers, symbols and mixed cases
- Choose passwords that will be difficult for a hacker to guess
- Try not using words that are connected to your personal identity
A good security measure on dedicated servers is to get rid of any unnecessary services. The less services you have running, resulting in fewer server ports being exposed, will greatly reduce the risk of attack. For example, if you aren’t using FTP, just disable it. If you do use it, ensure that you do not send passwords via FTP because they are sent in plain text and are easy targets for hackers. SSH (secure shell) is much more secure than FTP.
Install a Firewall
A firewall is either a software or hardware solution that can detect intruders and control which ports on your server are open. A good firewall can detect hacker attempts and notify you while they are going on. A firewall is important for a dedicated server because even though a dedicated server is stand-alone, it still can be vulnerable to outside attacks.
Virus Protection Software
Viruses can be spread from a colleague’s infected computer to yours via email messages through their address book or they can be spread from an infected server to look like it is coming from a colleague’s email address. Both of these methods may cause serious harm to your server and to your clients, so it is important that you take the necessary steps to prevent viruses from infecting your server. There are various types of software that provide antivirus solutions such as SmarterMail and McAfee.