5 server security tips & best practices

A server is a powerful computer, providing one or more services to users on a particular network. It’s important to ensure protection of the data, content and assets stored on a web server and other business data which may be considered confidential. This is also known as server security (an area which our customers often ask us about) and what methods can be undertaken to enhance the security of their applications.

Why is server security important?

Securing web servers are vital to secure IT infrastructure as cybercriminals have been known to target servers due to the sensitive data they hold. As part of a businesses setup and deployment process, it’s important to ensure that robust and thorough security measures for systems and applications are built in to maintain a secure IT network. 

What can I do to enhance the security of my server?

Levels of cyber criminality have increased over recent months (more recently during the Covid-19 pandemic) with an increase in home working. Yet, there are a number of steps businesses can take to implement a stronger level of IT and its surrounding  security procedures. We thought it would be worthwhile taking a look at some of the steps you can take to keep your online applications safe and secure by improving the security of your server.

Test Server Security 

Testing server security allows you to identify any threats in the system and measure potential vulnerabilities that may occur as a result. It’s important that organisations regularly test the security status of their server to resolve any issues which could otherwise easily be exploited.

Firewall Protection

Firewalls are important for protecting what types of traffic is allowed in and out of a given server(s). Ultimately, it’s a form of defence that prevents unwanted access or suspicious activity that can block items that are considered dangerous based on a set of security rules. 

Use Strong Passwords

All those with access to your network should be implementing security best practice; including strong passwords and multi-factor authentication, which acts as an extra layer of protection to your online security. 

Implementation of the characteristics of strong passwords may include:

  • Creating a password longer than 12 characters.
  • Password complexity – utilise a combination of upper and lower-cases as well as as numbers and symbols.
  • Reset your password after a set period of time. 
  • Create a different password for each account.
  • Use a password manager to securely store passwords safely. 

Updates

Regularly installing security updates helps to patch security flaws and protect your server security from opportunistic attackers. It’s important to implement a system to minimise vulnerabilities being exploited, for example by assigning an individual or team to regularly check for applying server updates.

Back up your data 

It’s important to back-up your server data regularly to prevent data loss should your server be attacked, damaged or compromised. Have an effective back-up strategy in place to help reduce potential data loss and security breach. 

We hope this short article has given you a quick insight into server security and how you can enhance additional layers of protection to your online applications. If you have any concerns over the security of your server or would like any help or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help – 0161 464 6101.

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