5 Tactics and Methods That Will Secure Your Web Server
5 Tactics and Methods That Will Secure Your Web Server
How regular audits, SSL certificates, and isolated environments will help protect your web server from malicious attacks.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Protect your applications against today's increasingly sophisticated threat landscape.
Technology has its own myths and facts. The more advanced the technology, the higher the chance for certain challenges. With the advent of information technology and online presence there is a huge increase in hacking attacks on web servers. Considering this, it has become very important for businesses and organizations to understand the foundation of these hacking and malicious activities on your web server. Moreover, by learning about some facts and vulnerability of web servers, one can ensure full protection of their servers from attacks. Hacking attacks are painful and disastrous for any business online, thus it is prudent to secure your web server and the sensitive data on the server for safe functioning on your web applications. This article will review the importance of server security, how to secure your web server, and the functional advantages of server security. This article will strike the perfect balance on almost everything about securing your web server. Let us get started...
Server Security is of Utmost Importance
Today the web network servers and web applications are the most significant for the continuation of any business, hence extra care and maintenance of the web servers are quintessential. For instance, if your web server is arbitrated (despite of having a strong hosting server), then it is heartbreaking and painful. This can even breach the entire network and then it will be quite tedious to retrieve all the crucial documents, files, and data. It doesn’t matter whether you run a small business, a big business, or whether you own one server or multiple (depending on your business structure) – it is in any case prudent to safeguard web servers because server security is that one entity your entire network and business relies on.
Additionally, web servers are an integral part of any online business because they store all the confidential information, secret data, your emails, data from valuable resources, and all the other resources of your whole team. Moreover, the client’s data also depends upon your web server and the associated web applications. For your clients, the web server is a considerate source for all important communication and data transfer. Therefore, in case your server goes down or suffers security threats or hacks, then your entire business may languish.
Therefore, if you do not want to lose clients, business, output (productivity), and your essential files and documents, then go for web server security.
Methods and Tactics to Secure Your Web Server
Although securing a web server can be an intimidating job involving lot of operational exercises and specialist knowledge, it is not an impossible job. Rather, it is a technical task which consists of hours of research and an overindulgence of coffee. Let us see some of the methods on how one can secure web servers and gain optimum results:
Perform an Audit of the Website Regularly and Secure the Logs in a Safe Location
Activity logs and files are very important and a well-known fact amongst IT security professional. Most of the servers are public facing, therefore it is imperative to execute this task for all Internet-based services and solutions. Regular audits of the website are mandatory in order to detect any malicious activity, threats, or hacking alerts.
Always Protect Your Operating System and Keep Your Web Server Grounded
Often with the overburden of tasks at hand, the administrators miss out on the patching of operating systems and web servers. Thus, tools like Microsoft's Software Update Service (SUS) and RedHat's up2date service will come as saviors to automate this task. Moreover, security bulletins issued by Microsoft or CERT offer constant reminders for the same.
Try to Use Application Scanners
This practice is really crucial and affordable too. Use internally developed application scanner code to protect applications and web servers. This practice will detect all the possible threats that can happen to your web server. There are many free tools are currently available for code scanning, but these tools are usually not updated as per latest language-specific flaws in the latest updated languages. In some cases, attackers may test their attacks through free scanning tools.
Keep the Development, Testing, and Production Separate
Web applications, if in their early stages of development, tend to develop several vulnerabilities. They may lack input validation that allows for inappropriate handling and can result in a security breach. Therefore, applications like testing and development, when performed on a production server, can discover malicious activity. Hence, these applications should be done on servers isolated from the Internet.
Delete All the Unwanted Software and Extensions
Whether you are on the default Apache server or on Microsoft’s web server, at times while installing some number of pre-defined modules, some extensions are enabled or installed. These are actually of no use, but are installed to serve applications like ASP, ASP.NET, and the like. Immediately delete them as they can create an opportunity for malicious activity.
Role of SSL Certificates and Their Counterparts
SSL certificates are data files that are very small and digitally bind. When they are installed in a server, they protect the server and give secure connections by activating a padlock. Some other counterparts that offer online security services are keywords GeoTrust SSL, Comodo EV SSL Certificates, RapidSSL certificate, and much more. All these are perfect choices to get online security by providing digital certificates.
Let's See Some Benefits of Web Server Security
Flexibility to optimize performance while being stable.
More control over the server and precise dealings.
Web servers are always stored in a safe environment.
Unmatched performance and high-level of security.
Efficiency and ease of administration.
To conclude, always remember that security is a state of mind! A well-organized and technically nourished web server with all the essential data and digital certificates will prove to be a worthwhile investment. Certainly, by following the above-mentioned measures you can create a strong server foundation for your business.
Be secure and alert!
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.