Back to the Basics #7: OS Security

The security of your operating system can be very complex. It is a large collection of software that has direct access to your hardware. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain an ongoing security policy for protecting your server’s OS.

The following items should be at the top of your server OS security list:

  • Kernel updates – The kernel is the core of your OS, and an exploit in it can bring your server to its knees. Keep the kernel updates and secure
  • Vulnerability scan – Scan your dedicated server regularly for potential security holes.
  • Password strength – It sounds trivial, but weak passwords are often the culprits in security breeches. Make sure your password is strong and enforce strong passwords among your users.
  • File system security – Your server’s file system can be an open door for attackers if you do not make it difficult for hackers to gain access to directories such as /tmp.
  • File permissions – If a user does not need access to a particular file, it should be off limits. Files should be readable or writable only for the users who need them.

Your operating system is only as secure as you make it, and your server will only be secure when your OS is properly protected.