Amidst the various threats on the internet today, it’s always a good idea for business organizations, publishers and webmasters to secure their server room. Physical threats may be the biggest doom for any System Administrators, but there are also threats that can be as risky – threats and attacks from within. Employees are the biggest source of the threats. According to a study carried out by IBM, employees are responsible for the 60% of attacks in companies. Corporate users do much of these unintentionally, more out of ignorance than out of arrogance. Employees just do the things they know how to, without even trying to learn the consequences of their actions.
There are several ways for protecting your servers from possible threats. Of primary importance is your vigilance and strong desire to learn about what happens in the internet world moving forward. In short, get to know as often as possible about the latest risks and what you can do to prevent attacks on your servers.
Ensuring that your server’s built-in firewall is properly functioning is another way to combat internet threats. Make sure as well that you have a network firewall attached to your server for best security. Experts advise that if everything works well within your server, you must close all ports not in use. These include ports for file-sharing, web conferencing and printing.
Declutter The System
Once your firewall is running well, the next important step to take is to harden the system. Hardening means removing software your server box does not need to accomplish its tasks. Unnecessary software applications such as games should be taken out if they’re not used to achieve the server’s primary objectives. Applications that do not support the server’s major role should be moved to another place.
Scan For Flaws
After you’ve completed the hardening process, it’s time to do some checks for possible weak spots. For the auditing process, there are software tools you can use for various types of platforms. They can analyze open ports and other possible weaknesses in your server.
Symantec has created a specialized software for servers called Data Server Security. Usually, server security software can be a high ticket product; at least $550 per year. This is understandable since they are really sophisticated and they are updated frequently. Besides, they are intended to corporations where the stakes are too high for flaws and the manufacturer has the responsibility of protecting a large number of computers, networks and other systems; hence its high price. However, discount coupons are available not only for simple users (e.g. for norton security or norton antivirus products) but for businesses as well. Software manufacturers, like symantec, offer discount coupons to their business clients which means that the cost of a server security software can drop dramatically with the right symantec coupon. There are available symantec promo codes online in technology blogs, forums and deal sites like Qetes and Retailmenot.
Moving forward, maintenance is very essential. It’s not enough that you’ve made the system secure and performing well because problems can always happen. The server needs to be regularly kept under control and devoid of viruses, worms and other forms of internet threats. Again, you may need to use some software for this purpose to keep track of server activity and alert you of suspicious activities including intrusion attempts. You have to understand that the updates being installed on the server can also contribute to problems with other software applications already running in the system.
Physical safety measures in any Server hosting facility includes the fire protection structures. These ensure that the facility and all the equipment therein are protected from fire and in case it happens, it ensures that the disaster is contained as soon as possible. These features include structures such as smoke and heat detection systems and alarm systems that will inform the staff at the facility, as well as those of the fire departments about the fire incident.
Sprinkler system and availability of fire extinguishers will also serve the purpose well. Other facilities have also gone a step further to include a clean agent fire suppression system, to increase redundancy and an additional layer of protection.
The other thing that data center should have is the access control to the server room and the facility itself. This includes the installation of external and outdoor walls and surveillance cameras to track the movement of individuals in and out the facility. The use of door and cabinet locks is recommended. Other facilities have also used card access procedures to ensure that only those holding authorized cards can enter and exit the different rooms in the center. The cards are for the same doors and the facility has ensured that there is a main door, through which the personnel will use to get to the equipment room. In addition to this, the security of the IT equipment should be reinforced. This means that the server room and rack level security should be established to prevent instances of sabotage, accidents and mistakes that may be performed by staff when they are in the process of suing the systems
It’s important to note as well to keep passwords in a safe place or better yet, change them every now and then to avoid possible intrusions. Don’t use very common words but using a mix of alphabets and numbers would be best. Adding symbols if you like will also be helpful.
Finally, don’t forget that protecting the physical infrastructure of your server is as vital as protecting its internal features. You need to make sure that your system is kept in a safe place whether it’s in your office or in another place. Experts advise that if possible, the walls of the server room should extend past the ceiling to avoid break-ins.