Cyber threats are real and have been troubling websites, regardless of the size of the business. In recent years, the number of instances when personal and financial information is stolen from websites and misused has increased, making website security a topmost priority for most site owners. If you own a website and are hosting it on a Virtual Private Server Hosting plan, then we have a list of seven best practices that can help you secure your hosting server.
- Keep the software updated
Software updates are primarily focused on patching security loopholes in the software. Hence, updating it ensures that your server is protected against the latest cyber-threats. You can do this manually or automate the update process based on the operating system you use. Ensure that the OS, CMS (if any), and all software are updated to their latest versions.
- Change the default SSH login
If you use a Secure Socket Shell or SSH for connecting remotely to your server, then you need to protect yourself against brute-force attacks. Many hackers use SSH to gain access to your VPS by brute-forcing commonly used password combinations. Hence, you must change the SSH login and choose a highly secure password that is impossible to guess and not related to your personal life. You can change the password by locating the file sshd_config under the etc/ssh folder on your VPS. Ensure that you secure your SSH login.
- Configure a firewall
A VPS Server is not secure unless you configure a firewall to boost its security. While most Linux operating systems have a pre installed firewall, you need to configure it to your site’s requirements. You can also install a custom firewall if needed.
- Disable the username ‘root’
Most VPS Plans come with an account having the username ‘root’ and a secure password. This account offers root access or administrative rights on the server. However, hackers are aware of this username and usually try to hack into a VPS by using ‘root’ as the username and brute force to crack the password. Hence, if you deny all permissions to this username and create another username for root access, you can enhance the security of your VPS.
- Use SSL Certificates
An SSL certificate is the basic standard of website security today. It creates a secure channel between your server and the user’s terminal. Ensure that you use SSL for everything. Since implementing SSL requires some technical knowhow, it is recommended to hire a professional for the same.
- Prefer SFTP over FTP
Most websites use the File Transfer Protocol or FTP to transfer files between two terminals. However, while the FTP has an authentication protocol, it is not secure and can be hacked easily. Hence, if you are using FTP, then replace it with SFTP or FTP with SSH. This is a part of the SSH suite and can help create a secure FTP connection with a remote terminal.
- Backup regularly
We buy life insurance to safeguard against financial losses if anything was to happen to us. Backups are no different. While you might use the latest tools to secure your VPS, a backup is an insurance if every other strategy fails and your site gets infected or crashes. Ensure that you take regular backups of your VPS and create a safety net for your website. You can also opt for automated backup solutions like CodeGuard to streamline the backup process.
A VPS Server offers more control and freedom as opposed to most other hosting services. Hence, you need to be more careful with the security of the server. Follow the tips mentioned above and enhance the security of your VPS today!