Essential Tips on How to Secure Your Linux VPS from Hackers

Essential Tips on How to Secure Your Linux VPS from Hackers

The internet is a dangerous place, and if you are running a Linux VPS, you need to be especially vigilant about security. Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities they can exploit, and if they manage to gain access to your Linux VPS, they could have access to your personal data, business data, and more.

Fortunately, there are a few essential tips you can follow to secure your Linux VPS and protect it from malicious hackers. By following these tips, you can ensure that your Linux VPS is as secure as possible and that your data and systems remain safe.

Understand Common Attack Vectors

Every type of software has its own security issues, but a large number of attacks are aimed at the operating system rather than specific application software. A Linux VPS uses Linux as the underlying operating system, so you need to be aware of the most common attack vectors for Linux systems.

If you understand these attack vectors, you can take steps to secure your Linux VPS from the most common threats.

– Rogue Users – This is a common problem in any system that allows user accounts. Sometimes, users try to log in with a different user account or with a root account. This can be dangerous if they are malicious and have the ability to do anything on the system.

– Rogue Services – Some Linux servers run services that are not required, but they are wide open to attack. This can be anything from remote login services to web servers.

– Rogue Devices – Many internet-connected devices have poor security that can leave the server open to attack.

– Malicious Code – Malicious code attacks can be either active or passive and aim to do damage to the system or data stored on it.

Use Secure Passwords

Passwords are the first line of defense for any system, and a hacked account is often the first step in a larger attack against your Linux VPS. Unfortunately, many people use weak or easy-to-guess passwords, which makes them far more vulnerable.

Fortunately, there are a few simple tips to follow that can help you create strong passwords that are also easy to remember.

First, use long passwords. Aim for a minimum length of 14 characters.

Second, use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Finally, change your passwords regularly. Ideally, you should change your passwords every 30 days.

If you manage a Linux VPS, you should follow these tips and make sure that you require strong passwords from your users.

Harden SSH Access

SSH is the most common method of logging into Linux servers, and it is enabled by default. Unfortunately, it also has several weaknesses that can be exploited by malicious hackers.

If you are running a Linux VPS and have SSH enabled, you should follow these steps to harden it and make it more secure.

First, you need to change the default port. You can do this by editing the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file and changing the port value.

You should also use the Two-factor authentication (2FA) to make it harder for malicious hackers to access your system. Finally, you should use an SSH key-based login rather than password-based login.

Install Server Firewall

Depending on your host, your Linux VPS may have an inbuilt firewall that can protect it against common threats. If you are using a cloud-based service, you may have an out-of-the-box firewall.

However, if you are running a Linux VPS server, you may need to install a firewall. There are a few different firewall options, but the most common is the iptables firewall.

You can install this firewall on your Linux VPS by editing the /etc/sysctl.conf file and adding the following lines: net.ipv4.ip_forward=1 net.netfilter.nf_nat_irc=0 You can then restart the server and the firewall will be enabled.

Disable Unnecessary Services

When you install Linux, you are given a wide range of services that are enabled by default. Some of these are useful, but many are unnecessary and open your system to attack.

Before you launch your server, it is a good idea to review the services that are running and disable the ones that are not needed.

You can do this by opening the /etc/init.d/services file and following the instructions.

You can also use a website such as What Ports Are Open to review the services that are running.

Ideally, you should disable as many services as possible. However, you can always enable them again if you need to.

Use Security Auditing Tools

Linux systems have a wide range of security auditing tools that can be used to monitor access to important files and systems.

These tools can be useful for discovering existing vulnerabilities in your Linux VPS and finding out how malicious hackers might be trying to gain access.

There are many different security auditing tools that you can use. Some of the most common are auditd, logcheck, and tripwire.

Update Software & OS Regularly

It is important to keep your Linux VPS up to date with the latest software and patches. New releases often include patches for security vulnerabilities, and it is important to install these as soon as possible.

You can do this by running the following commands. yum clean all yum update You can also set up automatic updates so that you don’t forget to install patches and updates.

Monitor Your System Logs

If a malicious attack occurs, you will know about it if you have enabled system logging. You should regularly check your system logs and make sure that they are not generating too much data.

You should also check the logs regularly and look out for anomalies such as failed login attempts. If you see any unusual behavior, you can use the logs to discover what has happened and who is responsible.

Conclusion

A hacked Linux VPS is a major security breach for any company or individual that uses the virtual server. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that can be taken to make the Linux VPS more secure.

These tips include understanding common attack vectors, using secure passwords, hardening SSH, installing a server firewall, disabling unnecessary services, and updating software and operating systems regularly. As long as you follow these tips, you can be sure that your Linux VPS is secure and protected from malicious hackers.


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Engineering Student of Airlangga University in Indonesia. Love to share knowledge