As the technology industry continues to grow, so too does the demand for secure, reliable, and cost-effective solutions. Dedicated Windows Server platforms help meet this demand by enabling businesses of all sizes to easily manage and scale server environments with a single administrative interface. They also provide an ideal solution for smaller organizations that lack the resources to install and manage physical machines. However, just as there are security challenges when creating a new environment, so too are the common pitfalls that IT pros must avoid when planning, implementing, and maintaining their dedicated server infrastructure. In this blog post, we discuss sdedome of the top security and privacy considerations for dedicated Windows Server environments.
Ensure the Environment is secure
servers are more sensitive than physical hosts. This means that if an intruder were able to physically access your server, they would be in a much less secure environment than if they were in your data center. How much? Well, according to analysts, one unauthorized person could physically access a server room containing up to 100 computers! And all that data would be far less secure. For example, an employee’s Internet Protocol (IP) address is not only visible but also traceable, meaning the employee’s data, including confidential information, could be exposed to prying eyes.
Minimize Data Exposure
In a dedicated server environment, it is crucial that sensitive data is protected from both internal and external threats. One way to reduce data exposure is to restrict access to only trusted users. This is known as access control and is a critical part of server security. Routinely assigning users access to only those areas of the server where they have been authorized to perform tasks is a strong data protection strategy. And, better yet, why not use encryption to further secure sensitive data? Encryption can further secure data at rest and in transit while improving its security when at rest through a virtual machine’s memory.
Communication protocols play an important role in server security. Protocols such as SMTP, POP3, SMTPS, IRC, Wii, Xming, etc. are all designed to be secure and reliable. If a hacker were to gain access to your email server, for example, it would be much less secure than if that server were protected by a proper email server software. Therefore, it’s important to use strong passwords and make sure that your communications are not only secure but anonymous as well. Avoid using the same login and password for numerous services, including your server hosting account. Doing so will not just increase your risk of being hacked, but will make it much harder for law enforcement to track your online activity.
Use Standard Protocols
Just as it is essential to use strong passwords to secure your server, so too is it important to use standard protocols to access your server. This includes using unique host names, using unique IP addresses and using unique security questions and answers (i.e. what are you really trying to do on the server?). Unfortunately, many IT pros are unaware of these basic security practices or choose not to enforce them. This is a significant security risk that leads to hacked servers.
Always use strong passwords
Strong passwords are a vital part of server security. The more specific your passwords, the less likely an intruder will be able to guess them. Achieving a sufficient level of security requires users to create passwords that are at least 12 characters in length, contain mixed letters and numbers, are traditionally printable and are not easily guessed. Users should also make sure that they are using unique passwords for each account. If a hacker were able to discover your username and password for a server hosting account, that information could be easily shared with other hosts along with your login credentials. Users should also be mindful of the possibility of keylogging, which can occur when a user is not actively typing in passwords. If a user is not actively logging in, their keystrokes are not being recorded. This can result in passwords that are easy to guess, such as the keyword search term “ham”.
Dedicated Windows Server environments bring a variety of advantages to the table, including reduced hardware costs and ease of use. However, due to the importance of securing each server, it’s important to remember that each server is unique. The best way to secure a server is to secure it from top to bottom. This can include designing security policies and using strong passwords and keystrokes. Depending on the level of risk that exists within your organization, you may wish to consider other forms of security, such as a firewall or load balancer. While we have covered some of the top considerations for dedicated Windows Server environments, you should also keep in mind that security is a moving target. While it is important to be conscious of possible threats, you should also be aware of how well your current security mechanisms are protecting your data.