VPS Administration — 10 February 2011
VPS Security Keeps Your Virtual Server Private

So you have finally gone through all of the tedious steps to set up your virtual private server for your business and learn how to administrate it properly. Your web site is up and running and your business is thriving. All of a sudden, everything stops working because some 4chan troll felt like earning his stripes at the expense of your web site. The importance of protecting your virtual private server can hardly be overestimated — the security is what keeps your virtual server private. What did you think that P stood for, anyway?

Here are the basic steps to protecting your VPS environment from malicious attackers.

  1. Strong passwords matter.

    Your passwords should all be at least 8 characters long and contain at least one, and preferably more, special characters (shift plus a number) to minimize threats. These precautions apply not only to the root passwords, but also to any user account on your virtual private server, Hypanel account passwords included.

  2. Server updates are very important.

    From the first time you log in to your SSH, you should update your server. Many templates in use when developing your operating system are probably not the most up to date versions. The latest VPS security fixes are undoubtedly on the latest versions of your OS. Although I do not personally recommend an automatic update program, as these can also be hacked, you should find some way to frequently update your system on a regular schedule.

  3. Disable any programs that are unneeded.

    VPS security depends on reducing what is known as the attack surface of the server on which you are working. Consider the analogy of a burglar trying to hit the lock on your door with a sniper rifle. If the lock is big, it is more likely that the shooter will hit it. If it is small, the attacker is less likely to break the lock and break in. Some VPS hosting solutions do this automatically, but it is best to customize your daemons and programs yourself. No one knows what you need to use more than you.

  4. Change the default ports.

    Many default VPS hosting solutions are easily hacked because the malicious users have memorized the ports being used for access and programs. To maximize VPS security, change your default ports. Changing the VPS hosting default ports will stop many bots who will simply brute force the defaults until they fall.

  5. Update scripts often.

    Many hackers want root access, but they can also sneak in through script vulnerabilities as well.

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