How to Evaluate Web Server Security - 5 Steps to Ensure Your Web Server is Secure

26 May,2020

Cybercrime is becoming an increasingly bigger threat to businesses as more and more rely on their websites to generate customers. Unfortunately, hackers realize this and are becoming increasingly more sophisticated. In 2018, the average cost of damage rose by 29 percent. 

Hackers also attack for a variety of reasons. Some will do it for ransom and others will do it for backlinks. Many smaller businesses feel that they won’t be targeted because they don’t have much to offer, though this isn’t always the case. 

Many hackers attack a large number of websites at once rather than pinpointing a few to attack. A hacker will usually export a list of websites with a weak security spot, write a piece of code to infect them and deploy it to all of those websites. In the end, it’s usually the weakest websites that they get into. 

So here are some ways you can evaluate your own web server security to make sure that it is up to par.

Use Authentication Keys

Most people use passwords for authenticating passwords. However, if you want to be really secure, consider instead using security keys. The average authentication key is usually the equivalent of several hundred digit passwords making it much safer than the traditional password. This makes it much safer against brute force attacks by hackers. 

Disable Your Server’s Signature

When hackers are trying to get into your website, many of them will access sensitive information from your server’s signature. The server signature contains information such as your server name, and server version number as well as any error messages that they could use to exploit your website. You’ll also be able to find the module information and directory information on any 4040 pages. So be sure to disable this.

Disable HTTP Trace/Track Requests

Trace and Track are both legitimate methods to debug web server connections problems, but they could also compromise your connection. Hackers can use a cross-site scripting attack which essentially injects malicious scripts into trusted websites. They can then intercept session cookies, data, and traffic connections. 

Stay Up To Date

Keeping everything on your server up to date and regularly checking for weak spots is a best practice. This goes beyond just updating the server but updating the software as well. Any vulnerabilities in the software could act as a gateway to your server’s security as well.  Most vendors will alert you when system updates are available and you may be able to automate systems depending on your vendor.

Only Use Secure Transfer Protocol

If you’re going to be transferring any files to your server, be sure to only use File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This ensures that the ports leading in and out of your server do not become compromised by encrypting your data files and authentication. Note that FTP only protects your data while it is in transit and once it reaches your server, you should encrypt it again.

Conclusion

Server hacks are becoming increasingly common and it’s your responsibility to ensure that your server is protected. These are just a few steps you can take to ensure that your web server is secure and ready to prevent malicious attacks.

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