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How to Secure WebServer and Analyze WebServer Security

Created by - Dhnesh Dhingra ,

Dec. 7, 2020, 12:07 p.m.

Servers are the backbone of any application deployed on cloud. Before deploying on production, there should be some checklist that should be followed in order to secure the servers.

Below we would be discussing some practical configuration on the server side which would ensure your web-application is safe and secure. Points we would discuss below is not a complete to-do list but a solid base foundation that you can build upon.

Why Web Server Security:

This is a question which has mixed audience. Some of them does not belive if a Hack is possible unless they came across one. Others who invest a proper team on their product security and rightly so. Lets look at the reasons why its important

1. Can Not Compromise the Data :

“Torture the data, and it will confess to anything.” – Ronald Coase. Data is an asset. When your whole organization works on one thing, you must be concern about its security and privacy. Its like a small baby, you have to protect it as it will grow to a fruitful investment.

Data breach are real and it happens around 12000 a year according to Statistia.
A trusted and reliable IT Product must have adequate security to protect the data which the organisation is entrusted to process and utilize

2. Lots of Bots :

Bots are one of the most basic methods of torjan deployment. They are small in size but leave a major impact on millions of computer everyday. At the time of reading this, an average bot must have passed through this page looking for anonymous intrusion. Botnets are utilized to do Spread Out Denial-of-Service(DDoS) attacks, collect sensitive information, take down the service or allow the attacker to take access of the target machine. They can do the following :

  • Acquire financial information
  • Leave Spam
  • Launch DoS attacks
  • Open back doors on the infected computer
  • Capture and Scan Network packets
  • Exploit secondary passages on the contaminated System
  • Store passwords
  • Log keystrokes

To start with, the security for servers should be arranged in simple layers.

1. Web Application FireWall 

By Configuring a firewall one can totally prevent unapproved access to your servers and networks. They would act as a filter for data transmission between the server and the Internet.  All the communication and the messages , regardless of whether they are coming from an outer source or leaving the framework, are filtered through the firewall and in the event that they don't pass the predefined criteria or standards they are discarded. It has the ability to identify and block all the unwanted traffic.

2.  SSL - Secure Sockets Layer(SSL)

SSL - Secure Sockets Layer(SSL)  certificate is to protect server-client communication. Configuring this will ensure every message is encrypted in the communication. SSL helps in shielding the information from hackers and  by transforming them into the undecipherable codes. SSH Also ensures the website is alwasy safe from Cruel Attacks like MITM, Phishing attacks. All the payments process are passed through 128-bit SSL certificate with proper encryption.

No one likes Google's 'Not Secured' Warning on top of url bar. So lets remove it and Secure our Website with Ssl.

3.  SFTP :

SFTP is one of the safest and the only file transfer protocol whish assures protection against attacks at any point in the data transmission process.
This Protocol has not been compromised yet. SFTP is only slightly slower than FTPS, but they does not mean its does not mean the files tranfer is slow.

There are many benefits of using SFTP:

A user's  credentials weather its private/public key or passwords,everything is  verified during user authentication.

Host Identity Verification is processed through the server
The server is authenticated through host identity verification, a process that involves host keys.

SFTP ensures complete integrity by using SSH2 Message Authentication Code (MAC) .