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A Complete 7 Steps to Secure VPS

In this article, we will see a complete 7 steps to secure VPS today. These 7 steps you can take to improve VPS (Virtual Private Server) security.

Awareness is control, and a server can not protect without you knowing what the risks are. The questions which should be answered by an assessment include:

  • Which software is the server running?
  • How secure is the cloud platform?
  • Which software versions are installed, and do they have any known vulnerabilities?
  • What log-in and administration methods are used and are they secure: SSH, web control panels, and RDP all have potential weak-points
  • Which data is stored on the server and does it reside on secure cloud storage? Particular attention should be paid to sensitive personal or commercial data.
  • If a cloud server was compromised, how would you know? Automated malware and vulnerability scans can help.

The aim is to gain an understanding of possible security issues to fix and minimize them.

Use SSH key to login into the server

Also, the most technically skilled people make mistakes when it comes to passwords. They pick easily guessed passwords and often re-use passwords via websites and servers. Key-based logins are more stable and are not vulnerable to attacks by brute force and dictionary.

On Linux VPS, configuring SSH to use key-based logins is easy. With the ssh-keygen command, a key pair created on the server, and the public key is copied to your local machine using ssh-copy-id. Once the keys are in place, disable password logins by adding the following line to the SSH configuration file (the location of this file depends on your distribution):

Most common location is: /etc/ssh/sshd_config

PasswordAuthentication no

An additional step is disabling remote logins for the root account by editing the same file with:

PermitRootLogin no

Before doing the above task, create a non-root user first and follow the steps. Otherwise, you will get locked out of the server.

Stop Non-Essential Services

Any service running on a VPS constitutes a potential vulnerability to security. Bad actors are searching for systems with zero-day vulnerabilities or obsolete software to hack, so shutting down services that aren’t in use is more secure. Why run a mail transfer agent or a DNS service that you don’t need.

On modern Linux distributions with the Systemd service manager, use the "systemctl list-unit-files --type=service" command to determine which services are running. Use "systemctl stop $nameofservice" to stop a service. Before disabling a service, research what it does to ensure that you don’t disable something vital.

Encrypt Data at Rest

We concentrated on security features and techniques for the service to stop bad actors from breaching a server, but what if they manage to penetrate its defenses? The best VPS security has layers of protection, and encrypting confidential data into encrypted cloud storage keeps it protected even if the server is compromised.

There are two fundamental approaches to encrypting data in cloud storage solutions.

  • Encrypt sensitive data before you upload it.
  • Encrypt it on the server.

Most widely used databases are capable of encrypting data to a high standard. For example, MySQL offers field-level AES–256 encryption among other encryption techniques, and PostgreSQL offers a multitude of data encryption options.

Move data over SSL connection

Encrypting data on a secure VPS platform at rest is of little benefit if you send it unencrypted over the network. Ideally, users of the VPS should use end-to-end encryption, and all data traveling to and from the VPS should pass over an encrypted SSL connection.

SSL — more properly known as TLS — uses SSL certificates and public-key cryptography to establish a secure network point-to-point connection. You can either buy an SSL certificate from the certificate authority or get one from Let’s Encrypt for free.

Add backup solution

We don’t often think of backups in the security sense, but the last line of defense against data theft, malware, and particularly ransomware attacks, is a secure and automated, off-site backup. If you can easily delete the stolen data and recover it from a backup, an attacker can’t keep your data to ransom.

Regular server updates

The most common source of security breaches is out-of-date software with vulnerabilities. Updates may be annoying or even destructive, but they are much less trouble than a server that has hacked. At the very least, cloud users can track the security advisories from their distribution — for example, RedHat — and upgrade as soon as patches are accessible.

Secure Your VPS Control Panel

Finally, don’t forget about your account on the control panel. Make sure you have a unique password that is hard to guess because if an attacker gains entry, they will circumvent all of your security measures.

In this article, we have seen complete 7 steps to secure VPScomplete 7 steps to secure VPS. If you need any further assistance about securing your VPS or dedicated server, contact us our security team will help you.

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