Server Hardening is the process of enhancing server security through a variety of means which results in a much more secure server operating environment. This is due to the advanced security measures that are put in place during the server hardening process.

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Additionally, if you need assistance, Server Surgeon can help you with all aspects of managing and securing your web servers. Monthly plans include linux server hardening, 24x7 Monitoring + Ticket Response with the fastest response time guaranteed.
Information about the Server Hardening Industry:

* The term "hardening," in the general sense, implies taking a soft surface or material and making changes to it which result in that surface becoming stronger and more resistant to damage. That is exactly how server hardening impacts server security. Hardened servers are more resistant to security issues than non-hardened servers.

* In a time when nearly every computing resource is online and susceptible to attack, server hardening is a near absolute must to perform on your servers.

* The Internet has vastly altered the complexion of the server hardening industry over the last decade. Much of the applications and system software that is now developed is intended for use on the Internet, and for connections to the Internet.

* Many servers online today are attacked thousands of times per hour, tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of times each and every day. The best defense against such attacks is to ensure that server hardening is a well established practice within your organization or to outsource this task to an experienced & established server hardening agency.

Server Hardening, probably one of the most important tasks to be handled on your servers, becomes more understandable when you realize all the risks involved. The default config of most operating systems are not designed with security as the primary focus. Instead, default setups focus more on usability, communications and functionality. To protect your servers you must establish solid and sophisticated server hardening policies for all servers in your organization. Developing a server hardening checklist would likely be a great first step in increasing your server and network security. Make sure that your checklist includes minimum security practices that you expect of your staff. If you go with a consultant you can provide them with your server hardening checklist to use as a baseline.
Server Hardening Tips & Tricks:

Every server security conscious organization will have their own methods for maintaining adequate system and network security. Often you will find that server hardening consultants can bring your security efforts up a notch with their specialized expertise.

Some common server hardening tips & tricks include:

- Use Data Encryption for your Communications
- Avoid using insecure protocols that send your information or passwords in plain text.
- Minimize unnecessary software on your servers.
- Disable Unwanted SUID and SGID Binaries
- Keep your operating system up to date, especially security patches.
- Using security extensions is a plus.
- When using Linux, SELinux should be considered. Linux server hardening is a primary focus for the web hosting industry, however in web hosting SELinux is probably not a good option as it often causes issues when the server is used for web hosting purposes.
- User Accounts should have very strong passwords
- Change passwords on a regular basis and do not reuse them
- Lock accounts after too many login failures. Often these login failures are illegitimate attempts to gain access to your system.
- Do not permit empty passwords.
- SSH Hardening
--- Change the port from default to a non standard one
--- Disable direct root logins. Switch to root from a lower level account only when necessary.
- Unnecessary services should be disabled. Disable all instances of IRC - BitchX, bnc, eggdrop, generic-sniffers, guardservices, ircd, psyBNC, ptlink.
- Securing /tmp /var/tmp /dev/shm
- Hide BIND DNS Sever Version and Apache version
- Hardening sysctl.conf
- Server hardenining by installing Root Kit Hunter and ChrootKit hunter.
- Minimize open network ports to be only what is needed for your specific circumstances.
- Configure the system firewall (Iptables) or get a software installed like CSF or APF. Proper setup of a firewall itself can prevent many attacks.
- Consider also using a hardware firewall
- Separate partitions in ways that make your system more secure.
- Disable unwanted binaries
- Maintain server logs; mirror logs to a separate log server
- Install Logwatch and review logwatch emails daily. Investigate any suspicious activity on your server.
- Use brute force and intrusion detection systems
- Install Linux Socket Monitor - Detects/alerts when new sockets are created on your system, often revealing hacker activity
- Install Mod_security as Webserver Hardening
- Hardening the Php installation
- Limit user accounts to accessing only what they need. Increased access should only be on an as-needed basis.
- Maintain proper backups
- Don't forget about physical server security

Server Hardening Links & Resources:

Server Surgeon - - provides linux server hardening and 24x7 server management.

Hardening the Linux server -

Sample Hardening Policies

Hardening SQL Server -

Hardening your TCP/IP Stack Against SYN Floods -

Dynamic Net, Inc -

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