Online business owners, take note: If you’re not sure what security measures are in place for your website or hosting account, then it’s time to do a server audit. Security breaches are on the rise and hackers are always looking for their next big target. Do yourself a favor and arm yourself with all of the information you need before they steal your company’s data.
What is a Server Security Audit?
A server security audit is a process of reviewing existing policies, procedures, and network architecture. You have to do this to ensure that your server (or servers) are secure from internal or external threats.
The server security audit is essential for server admins who are charged with managing server security. These server administrators must understand how these servers work together to make the server secure. They must also be able to identify server security vulnerabilities and know how to resolve them immediately.
A server security audit should be conducted as often as possible or at least once a year. The frequency of server audits will depend on several factors including the size of your business and the amount of traffic to your site. For server security audits on smaller sites, once a year is sufficient. On the other hand, larger websites with high traffic should have server security audits conducted quarterly.
Who Conducts Server Security Audits?
Unless you’re a server security genius, chances are that you’ll probably need to outsource this job. The good news is that there are server security experts in every country around the world. Conducting a server audit in-house can be quite an undertaking. It’s often difficult for business owners to find time after normal office hours or on weekends to monitor server activity. By outsourcing server audits, experts will have your systems tested and get back to you with their findings usually within 24 hours.
Why You Should Perform A Server Security Audit
With hacks becoming ever more common in today’s news headlines, conducting server security audits will help you identify potential vulnerabilities on both your server (hardware) and within your system (software). The sooner you identify them, the faster you can take corrective measures. Remember, it only takes one vulnerability to give hackers access to every aspect of your business.
Common Server Security Vulnerabilities:
- Malware is located on the server.
- Insecure server settings.
- Weak server passwords or none at all.
- Firewalls not configured properly or not operating correctly.
- Unencrypted file transfers
- Weak server passwords
- Outdated server software (such as Apache, PHP, MySQL)
Tips for a Server Security Audit:
- A manual and automated penetration test to identify vulnerabilities on your server hardware and within your server operating system.
- A security audit on your server’s applications and services.
- Vulnerability testing to identify server loads that can be optimized for peak performance.
- A vulnerability assessment to identify server software vulnerabilities.
- A server configuration review to make sure security settings are optimized.
- An audit of server user accounts (including server admins) and their permissions to ensure server security.
What to Do After You Conduct a Server Audit?
After server security audits have been completed, server admins need to review the server security audit report and server vulnerability report to identify server security issues that need to be fixed. Once server vulnerabilities have been identified, server admins should work with server hosting providers to resolve them as soon as possible. Finally, server admins should update server policies and procedures based on any changes required by the results of the audit.
What Should You Do If Your Server Has Been Compromised?
If your server has been hacked, resist the urge to make server changes until you’ve completed a server security audit and debriefed with your server security experts or take professional help from an external penetration testing provider.
While this may seem counterintuitive, there is a very real chance that any changes you make will impact an ongoing server investigation.
Be patient while investigations are conducted and proper actions are taken to ensure that the vulnerability that gave hackers access is eliminated.
The Importance of Maintaining Your Servers’ Security
While server security audits are important, server security maintenance is an equally crucial server security practice. Server admins must continually monitor server logs for unusual server access. They also need to ensure that all servers are patched with the latest server software updates and require multi-factor authentication (MFA) before anyone gets near them.
A server security audit is crucial for anyone with an online business – consider it mandatory. You can follow all server best practices out there, but if your server is not secure from internal or external threats it doesn’t matter. In today’s server security world, you need to think like a malicious server hacker in order to protect yourself from server attacks. Follow our tips and tricks above for conducting a server security audit that will help keep you safe online.
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