10 Security Tips for Linux VPS Hosting
What VPS hosting is and what advantages compared to other hosting services it provides
Opting for Linux VPS is generally quite a beneficial solution. VPS stands for virtual private server and it’s a type of hosting service that is based on sharing the capacities of one physical server among various customers. Sounds similar to shared hosting, but there is a significant difference – on shared hosting, there is no allocation of resources, so sometimes it becomes a mess causing the server tenants to lose performance, which isn’t great either from the point of performance, or security, or search engine optimization, and so on.
VPS in contrast to shared hosting solves all these problems by means of dedicating the resources to single users with the help of virtualization technology. That is, the server tenants get virtual servers that provide advantages very similar to ones of a dedicated server, but for a reduced price. You get more limited resources, but as much as you ask for. This makes VPS hosting an efficient, potent, and secure solution that will suit a great variety of customers.
If we talk about Linux, here we can also say that this operating system is great if you want to get a website with excellent performance and a great level of security. The first definition of Linux you would encounter in any article about it that it’s is a free and open-source operating system. Both these characteristics are simultaneously well-known advantages of this OS. The first one is evident – you save your money, that’s it. The second one is more subtle and can be broken down into numerous elements, but, in a nutshell, this open source nature has as a consequence a vast community of developers, various sources of support, and diverse distributions, each with distinctive features (which is great from the point of customizability – you can choose what suits you best), and a more notable difficulty to being hacked in comparison to proprietary software presented by Windows server.
However, albeit Linux VPS as such provides a decent level of security, the latter isn’t something you may give up caring about with Linux VPS. Instead of taking it for granted, it’s much more reasonable to apply additional security measures to ensure the highest level of safety to your website and the data it works with.
That’s why in the following article we would like to address thoroughly the ways of getting the most secure VPS possible by providing you with 10 security tips.
10 Security Tips to Protect Your Linux VPS
Look for a reliable hosting provider
Before you even purchase a Linux VPS, your choice of hosting provider may affect your eventual level of security badly. Therefore, you’d better study carefully the offers of the different hosting providers, comparing the security measures they offer, the availability of support the reliability of data centers they use, the reviews of customers… If you want our advice in this regard, we can offer you vps hosting debian by a reliable hosting provider HostZealot. They offer a broad selection of VPS in secure data centers across the globe, with 24/7 support and secure hardware, running on SSD and NVMe drives.
Change the default SSH port value
SSH is the port necessary to provide secure remote access to a server. Its default value is always 22, so sometimes hackers can abuse this feature to access your server on their own. To change it, just access the corresponding file with this command: /etc/ssh/sshd_config, and edit the corresponding line.
Use logs to monitor what is going on
The activities that are performed on the server – login attempts, successful and unsuccessful uploads, errors, and others – are saved into logs. The latter can be used by system administrators to find out, whether these activities are performed by a responsible person or by a stranger. Thus, monitoring server logs can help you detect a potential cyber attack, so don’t neglect them!
Turn off the ports that aren’t used
When you install Linux, various ports remain open, whether you need them or not. Each open port can be a potential way to hack your VPS, so don’t leave them open as long as you don’t need them.
To do it, first, run the netstat -a command to detect the open ports. Find the ports that are not required at the moment and disable them with the special command. For port 22 it will look like this, for example: iptables -I INPUT -p tcp –dport 22 -j DROP.
Apply GnuPG Encryption
To avoid anybody accessing your data when it is transmitted over the internet, you should apply all possible ways of encrypting it. We already have HTTPS that encrypts the data transmitted between the client and the website, but other data remains susceptible to eavesdropping. To save it, you can use asynchronous encryption provided by GnuPG application.
Use strong passwords
Simple as that. A weak password may be a serious breach of security even if everything else about it is fine. That’s why, don’t forget about taking care of your password, making it long enough – at least 10 to 12 characters, using diverse characters: numbers, special characters, both upper- and lowercase letters.
In case an attacker accesses your system, you can still make this situation safer by applying partitioning to the disk space, to divide the disk space they can immediately access.
To securely mount two partitions, use the following commands:
# mount -t tmpfs -o noexec,nosuid,nodev tmpfs /tmp
# mount -t tmpfs -o noexec,nosuid,nodev tmpfs /var/tmp
FTP is the protocol used to transfer data as it is. SFTP, instead, encrypts that data, both credentials, and flies.
Keep an eye on patches and updates
The developer’s community is working regularly on constantly fixing bugs and weaknesses of the system. So, to keep it always as secure as possible, it’s natural to install all patches and updates once they are released.
Turn off anonymous FTP uploads
Another default features that cn be a potential threat to your Linux VPS is anonymous FTP uploads. With this, strangers may fill your VPS with malware and you won’t even notice it. To disable this feature, open this file: /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf. Then, change the corresponding configuration to “NO”: anonymous_enabled=NO
Linux VPS is a wise choice that will provide you with a decent level of security on its own. However, it’ll never be redundant to apply some additional measures to maximize the security available, so we hope, that these tips were helpful. Thank you for your attention, take care!
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.