Top 7 Practices to Secure Your Linux Server

Top 7 Practices to Secure Your Linux Server

Server security refers to the programs, devices, and procedures used to safeguard a company's server from intrusion and other online dangers. For the majority of system executives and cyber security teams, it is a crucial prerequisite.

Based on the robust default permissions structure of the operating system, Linux security is regarded as good. To maintain the security and efficiency of your servers, you must still follow the top practices.

Take the following actions to enhance the default setup of your Linux server.

1. Install only necessary packages

To preserve the operation of your server, you should only set up those packages that are required for operation by your company.

Many popular packages, including add user and base password, are preinstalled on Linux server distributions. Users have the option to set up extra packages during implementation, such as a DNS server, an Open SSH server, a print server, and a LAMP stack.

By using the built-in package management system, you can add more apps. Packages can be added to Personal Package Archives (PPAs), repositories made by Linux users, or retrieved from official repositories to access a wider range of applications.

However, the more programs you set up, especially from outside repositories, the greater the risk of introducing weaknesses into the system. Reduce the number of installed packages as much as possible, and occasionally remove anything unnecessary.

2. Turn off the root login

The superuser "root" that has heightened executive permissions is present in Linux distributions. Because cybercriminals can use this credential to gain access to the server, leaving root login enabled can pose a security risk and reduce the security of the resources hosted on the server. You should disable the login to improve server security.

Depending on the Linux distribution you are running, there are several steps to disable the root account. You should first set up a new user account and give it enhanced capabilities so that you can continue to administer the server and install packages. To ensure a safe server login, you can also give these permissions to an already-existing user.

3. Set up 2FA.

By having a password and a second token for the users to log in to the server, 2FA (two-factor authentication) significantly increases the safety of user access.

Secure Shell (SSH) and 2FA can be used together to make it necessary to enter another credential when entering into the server. The SSH protocol establishes a secure text-based connection to a distant server. Together, these increase the server's resistance to brute force attacks and unauthorized login attempts, which can enhance security.

4. Enforce strong passwords

Password security is important for users logging in to their computers. Executives, for servers, must also make sure that users are using strong enough passwords. They are far more able to withstand attacks thanks to this practice.

Requiring a minimal level of cryptographic security

You should use strong credentials that are at least 12 characters long and contain a random mix of alphabets, numbers, and characters. Consider using a password management solution that can verify a password's level of safety or generate one with enough complexity to enforce this policy throughout your company.

5. Routine or automatic updates

You shouldn't keep outdated, unpatched packages on your computer since they expose serious security holes that hackers could take advantage of. Make sure your server is updated frequently to avoid this issue.

In a rolling distribution cycle, many Linux distributions are updated with both short-term and long-term release versions. Your security personnel should decide upfront whether they want to use reliable or cutting-edge software on their computers and set up the proper updating procedures.

Many Linux distributions also come with tools for automating the updating process.

6. Activate a firewall

As the first line of security against unpermitted or malicious connection requests, every Linux server must be operating a firewall. A typical, fundamental Linux firewall is called UFW (uncomplicated firewall). To make sure that the firewall policy is appropriate for the operating environment of your company, you should inspect it.

These days, some operators are also at risk from DDoS attacks. Linux servers that are accessible through the internet can be hidden behind a proxy server that inspects and cleans incoming traffic to guard against DDoS attacks. In addition, open-source scripts are available for server-side installation.

7. Backup

Things can always go wrong, and packages can lead to complications with dependencies and other things. You must continue to have the option of rolling back server changes.

For each primary protected device, a reliable backup strategy should comprise making two copies, one of which should be stored offsite. For Linux servers, there are easier system rollback tools that can aid in automating this procedure and enabling more rapid disaster recovery (DR).


Linux may be the finest server for your corporation or small business because most versions come with a respectable security practice already set up. However, you should harden your Linux server by following the top 7 recommendations to greatly improve your defenses and reduce the likelihood that individuals may get unpermitted access.

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