Website & Server Security
Server & website security is a 24/7 job that involves your host or server, operating system, email server and applicable software. Efforts should be made to secure all elements of the website to prevent or minimize any intrusion. If you are using a hosting company you want to make sure they are proactive in securing their equipment and software.
All software should be updated if a new version has been released. This includes website apps and server software. Efforts should be made on servers to add or turn on firewalls and incorporate strict rules in your server's configuration. The mail server should also be tightened security-wise. Also, you want to make sure you have very strong passwords starting from root access all the way down to any users passwords on the website.
Protecting your server from attacks and probes is a never ending battle. Knowledge is key since server security covers many services that need protection. An excellent and free script is Configserver, a firewall. In addition to providing firewall protection you can provide some custom blocks.
If your logs show a persistent intruder, you can do a lookup and determine how you want to protect yourself from that crook. You can block IPs, range of IPs, or even block an entire country (even thought it may not be 100% accurate.) There are many other areas of security that the server needs such as turning off unneeded services or tightening server configurations, so knowledge is key.
Guides & Tutorials
Securing Apache Server
Securing Server OS
Loopkups / Checks
Server Firewalls & Blocks
Continuous efforts should be made at protecting your website from hacking and malicious software. Keeping apps updated, changing passwords, password protecting directories when applicable, these are only a few tips that can help protect your website. Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) such as Cloudflare can offer a layer of filtering that protects your website.
You should review your logs for suspicious activity and block those IPs that are causing trouble. Firewalls do a great job of blocking many bad IPs but more often than not you will need to manually block some bad entities. Also, identify your weakest link and take appropriate action whether it be a MySql database or wrong file or directory permissions.
To enhance your mail server's security, the use of anti-Spam software and DNS-based Blackhole Lists (DNSBL) or Real-time Blackhole Lists (RBL) are highly recommended. If you are using cPanel, you might have DNSBL pre-configured in your system. The lists compare your incoming email to a list of known spammers and take action on these emails depending on your settings.
Anti-Spam software such as SpamAssasin adds a layer of filtering to your mail server such as Exim that is then configured to block spam depending on your settings. As with other software, you must learn how to properly configure the software and how to set up cPanel to work with DNSBLs or RBLs.
- The Spamhaus Project - Provides realtime anti-spam protection for Internet networks
- How To - Using DNS Block Lists (DNSBLs) in Exim
Security of your mail server usually involves turning off features that are not needed and restricting the software from operating unrestricted in relaying email and from sending out large amounts of the same. To tighten your mail server you should know what type of software you are using under what operating system. With that in hand you can then find the "How Tos", tips and other articles on how best to make your mail server secure.