Perhaps one of the most important server tasks you can do is server hardening. Server hardening, which is also referred to as operating system hardening, is the process of making the server stronger and more resistant to security issues. Server hardening is an inexpensive and simple task to improve the overall operating system for maximum performance and to reduce expensive failures. You may not have heard much about server hardening, but it provides a wealth of benefits of which you may be unaware.
System Hardening is a Process
System Hardening takes security and diligence to another level. The process requires many steps, all of which are critical to the success of the hardening system. The more steps a user follows, the safer and more resilient the system will be.
- Use strong passwords, change them often, utilize symbols and various formats, and use different passwords for various sites and applications.
- Establish a password lockout policy.
- Restrict access to each computer and device.
- Disable the guest account and features.
- Limit idle time and sleep settings.
- Establish data encryption for all incoming and outgoing communications.
- Remove unnecessary software on the server.
- Perform regular security audits and patches.
- Remove undesirable binaries.
- Establish a comprehensive backup and recovery system.
- Install anti-virus software and updates, and firewalls.
- Remove unnecessary file shares.
- Rename system administrator to something not easily detected by a criminal.
- Restrict permissions to files, services, registry entries and end-points.
- Seek help from an IT professional.
Benefits of OS Hardening
The above tasks are just the tip of the iceberg as far as server hardening is concerned. Many more tasks must be completed, and each is more complex. For proper execution and to maximum protection, seek professional assistance from an expert. Once you harden your server, you will experience a wealth of benefits.
- Saves money in the long run
The less hardware and software running on the computer, the less money you will have to spend in the future for updates and on expenses to remove malware in the future. Hardening also frees up more space on the computer, which means you don’t have to buy more memory.
- Eliminates access points
Removing unnecessary files, software and file sharing reduces the number of access points a criminal has to the server.
- Improves performance
As we said before, hardening frees up disk space and memory, which is like removing the sludge from the computer. The computer will work quicker and more efficiently because it is not bogged down or struggling to operate with limited memory and space.
- Reduces holes in security
Hardening adds to the various levels of security to protect users and their servers. Hardening also removes disabled files and programs that are often forgot about and provide attackers cloaked access to the system.