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Securing a Linux Server

How you can secure your Linux VPS

Being able to take control of your own Linux server is an opportunity to try new things and leverage the power and flexibility of a great platform. However, to keep any networked device, the server administrator must take appropriate cautious measure.

There are many different security topics that fall under the general category of Linux security and many opinions as to what an appropriate level of security looks like for a Linux server.

The main thing to take away from this is that you will have to decide for yourself what security protections will be necessary. Before you do this, you should be aware of the pros and risks. This should help decide on the balance between usability and security that resonate with your needs.

This article can help acquaint you with some of the general security measures to take in a Linux environment. This list will give insights to more resources and discuss the importance of component part of many systems.

Using SSH for remote login

Administration of servers where one does not have root access requires remote access. The best way to achieve this is by using the standard protocols known as secure shell (SSH).

SSH provides end to end encryption technology, SSH provides a mechanism for establishing a cryptographically secured connection between two parties, authenticating each side to the other, and passing commands and output back and forth.

Firewalls.

They are the easiest and most recommended security feature to set up. Acting as a barrier between your server internet and the general internet, they overlook the traffic and choose what to allow and what to block depending on a set of rules.

These rules are set by the administrator or user using network ports such that the genuine services are allowed while the unused ports are protected by the firewall.

A few of the very known you could choose and compare;

  1. Pfsense
  2. iptables
  3. ClearOS
  4. Monowall
  5. Zentyal Server

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)

IDSs collect information when the system is running normally and catalogs the configurations then store them. The configuration logs are run against the system to find any changes that might have been made to the system.

With the high growth of opensource programs being developed, however, subsequent increased development of more sophisticated IDS with the capability to detect any suspicious activities into and out of a system is being realized.

Some of the available are;

  1. Snort
  2. Security Onion
  3. Tripwire
  4. Aide
  5. Psad

Software download

While the majority of the users prefer to stick to the software from the official repositories for their distribution that offer signed packages. So, a VPS user can trust the software maintainer so they can focus on security from outside sources.

Alternatively, a server user can choose to use software from an unofficial outside source that may not provide any set security rules but should be aware of the risk they take when they choose to trust a third-party provider.

SFTP over FTP

FTP authentication packets are sent in plain text. Meaning the one monitoring the transfer can access the credentials which render FTP inherently insecure. FTP is recommended when running an anonymous, public, read-only download mirror as one of the few instances.

SFTP, on the other hand, is bundled in an SSH. It hence operates the same way as the Ftp but utilizing the protocols of SSH.

However, modern SFTP also allows compatibility with the traditional FTP.

Regular System Update

Software vulnerabilities realized and found over the usage time is in use are maintained and are then solved and the issues patched into the next update release. It’s thus recommended that software updates are carried out regularly to resolve the vulnerabilities on the system

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