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How to Secure a Server from Hacking: For Newbies

How to Secure a Server from Hacking: For Newbies

Securing a server from hacking is a crucial step in ensuring the safety and integrity of your data. In this guide, we will explore various techniques and best practices to protect your server from potential cyber threats.

1. Keep Your Software Up-to-Date

Regularly updating your server’s software is essential to patch any security vulnerabilities. Use the following commands to update your server:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Similar commands:

  • sudo yum update (for CentOS)
  • sudo dnf update (for Fedora)

2. Configure a Firewall

A firewall acts as a barrier between your server and potential threats. Use the following commands to set up a firewall:

sudo ufw enable
sudo ufw allow ssh
sudo ufw allow http
sudo ufw allow https

Similar commands:

  • sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=ssh (for CentOS)

3. Use Strong Passwords

Creating strong passwords is essential to prevent unauthorized access. Use the following guidelines when setting passwords:

  • Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Avoid using common words or personal information.
  • Make sure your passwords are at least 12 characters long.

4. Disable Root Login

Disabling root login adds an extra layer of security to your server. Use the following command to disable root login:

sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Change the line PermitRootLogin yes to PermitRootLogin no. Save and exit the file. Finally, restart the SSH service:

sudo systemctl restart ssh

5. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Enabling two-factor authentication provides an additional security measure for accessing your server. Use the following command to install the necessary packages:

sudo apt install libpam-google-authenticator

Follow the prompts to set up two-factor authentication for your user account.

6. Regularly Backup Your Data

Regular backups are essential in case of data loss or a security breach. Use the following command to create a backup:

rsync -avz /path/to/source /path/to/destination

Similar commands:

  • tar -czvf backup.tar.gz /path/to/source
  • scp /path/to/source user@remote:/path/to/destination

7. Automate Security Tasks

Automating security tasks ensures that your server remains protected without manual intervention. Consider using tools like Ansible or shell scripts to automate tasks like software updates, firewall configurations, and backups.

Useful Data Table:

Command Description
sudo apt update Updates package lists for upgrades
sudo apt upgrade Upgrades installed packages
sudo ufw enable Enables the firewall
sudo ufw allow ssh Allows SSH traffic
sudo ufw allow http Allows HTTP traffic
sudo ufw allow https Allows HTTPS traffic
sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config Opens the SSH configuration file
sudo systemctl restart ssh Restarts the SSH service
sudo apt install libpam-google-authenticator Installs Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication
rsync -avz /path/to/source /path/to/destination Syncs files and directories between source and destination

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