Commonly found servers run on a standard purpose OS. Many security issues can be avoided if the OS under the servers is configured correctly. Because manufacturers do not know the security requirements of each organization, server managers need to configure new servers to reflect the security needs of their organization and redesign them as those needs change. The recommended procedures here are designed to assist server administrators with server security configurations. Server administrators who manage existing servers should ensure that their servers address the issues discussed.
Strategies for protecting different OS are very different; therefore, this section covers the most common procedures in protecting multiple OS. Guidelines for setting up security and checklists for most OSs are publicly available; these documents usually contain stricter setting recommendations than the default security level and may contain step-by-step instructions for protecting servers. In addition, many organizations maintain their own guidelines that meet their needs. Other automated tools are also available for OS protection, and their use is recommended.
After planning the installation and deployment of the OS, as well as the installation of the OS, the following basic steps are required to protect the OS:
Patch and Upgrade Operating System
Once the OS is installed, using the required components or upgrades to fix known risks is essential. Any known vulnerabilities the OS must be fixed before you can use it to host a server or expose it to unreliable users. To adequately detect and fix this risk, server administrators must do the following:
Create, write, and apply the paste process. Find the dangers and episodes that work. Reduce the risk temporarily if necessary and if possible (until tracts are found, tested, and included). Include permanent corrections (patches, upgrades, etc.)
Managers should ensure that servers, especially new ones, are adequately protected during the upgrade. For example, a server that is not fully packaged or securely configured could be compromised due to threats if it is freely accessible while it is being loaded. When preparing new servers for use, administrators should do one of the following – Keep servers disconnected from the networks or connect only to a single “structural” network until all the tracts have been transferred to the servers via external band (e.g., CDs) and installed, and other steps stops listed in this section have been created. Either place the servers on a local area network (VLAN) or other part of the network that limits what hosts can do and what connections they can get to the host — allowing only those events needed to be painted and hosted. Do not transfer strangers to normal network segments until all of the stop steps listed in this section have been performed.
Normally administrators should not use patches on production servers without first checking themselves on another server configured in the same way because patches can cause unexpected problems with proper server performance. Although administrators can configure servers to download episodes automatically, servers do not need to be configured to install them automatically to preview them.
Hardening and Securely Configuring the OS
Administrators must take the following steps to secure and securely configure the OS server:
- Remove unnecessary apps, applications, and network protocols
- Configure OS user verification
- Configure app controls correctly
Also, in particularly high security cases, administrators should consider setting up the OS to operate as a bastion host. The bastion host has robust security controls and is designed to deliver the smallest possible functionality.
Remove or Disable Unnecessary Services, Applications, and Network Protocols
Ideally, the server should be a dedicated, single-purpose host. When setting up the OS, remove all unnecessary resources, applications, and network settings (e.g., IPv4, IPv6), and shut down any unnecessary components that can be removed. If possible, install a small OS configuration and add, uninstall, or disable network applications, applications, and protocols as needed. Most download documents or programs are incomplete to completely remove all parts of the service, so it is best not to install unnecessary resources.
Deleting unnecessary apps and apps is best done simply by disabling the configuration settings because an attack that tries to change the settings and activate the disabled service will not work if the operating components are completely removed. Disabled services can also be unknowingly opened with personal error.
Configure OS User Authentication
On servers, authorized users who can configure the OS are limited to a limited number of designated server administrators. Users who do not have access to the server, however, may range from a few authorized staff members to the entire online community. To enforce policy limits, if necessary, the server administrator must configure the OS to authenticate the potential user by requiring proof that the user has authorized such access. Even if the server allows unauthorized access to most of its services, administration and other forms of special access should be limited to individuals and groups. Enabling computer host authentication includes configuring OS components, firmware, and applications on the server, such as software that uses network service.
To ensure proper user verification is in place, take the following steps: Delete or Disable Unwanted Default Accounts. Disable Unused Accounts. Create User Groups and Accounts. Configure Automated Time Synchronization. Check the Organization’s Password Policy.
Install and Configure Additional Security Controls
OS generally does not include all the security controls needed to secure the OS, services, and applications. In such cases, administrators need to select, install, configure, and maintain additional software to provide non-existent controls. Required controls usually include the following:
- An anti-malware software, such as antivirus software, anti-spyware software, and rootkit detectors, to protect the local OS from malware and detect and eliminate any infections that occur. Examples of when anti-malware software can be useful include a system administrator that delivers infected media to a server and a network service worm that affects and infects the server.
- Hosted detection and detection software (IDPS), to detect server attacks, including DoS attacks. For example, one type of host based IDPS, file integrity monitoring software, can detect changes in important system files.
- Host-based firewalls, to protect the server from unauthorized access.
- Pools management or risk management software to ensure that risks are addressed promptly. Patch management and risk management software can only be used to operate patch or identify new risks on server OS, services, and applications.
When setting up security controls, server administrators should consider the resources that security controls will use. Server performance can slow down if you do not have enough memory and processing power of controls. Server administrators should also consider any network-based security controls, such as network firewalls and access systems, that can provide additional server security. If host-based security controls are too strong for the server or impossible, server administrators may need to compensate for using additional network-based security controls to protect the server OS, services, and applications. On most servers, network-based security controls are used in addition to the host-based security controls to provide additional layers of security.
Security Testing the Operating System
Occasional security monitoring of the OS is an important way to identify risks and ensure that existing security measures are in place and that security controls are properly configured (for example, the required cryptographic algorithms are used to protect network connections). Common methods for testing OS include vulnerability scanning and logging testing. Risk scanning usually involves using an automatic risk scanner to scan the host or group of network operators by application, network, and OS vulnerability. Entry check is a spy process designed to endanger a network using attacker tools and methods. It involves repeatedly identifying and exploiting weak areas of the network in order to reach the rest of the network, ultimately endangering the complete security of the network. Risk screening should be done periodically, at least weekly to monthly, and entry checks should be done at least annually.
Protecting your business from the ever-present dangers of cybercrime might seem overwhelming, especially if the running of your organization requires attention. Fortunately, it is now easier to maintain your server security with Kanoo Elite professional solutions and services, which provides more secure solutions with server security features. Kanoo Elite offers you the highest level of protection, allowing you to focus on your business, helping you protect your organization no matter what server you use.