Once you’ve purchased a VPS to store your data, run your apps, or act as a testing environment, the next step is customizing your server environment so that it works best for you. This can take the form of optimizing your Linux or Windows OS, and then using the VPS control panel you have available to install whatever apps provide the most functionality for your business.
What you also need to consider, however, is security. There is an inherent security risk with any stored data – locally or otherwise, and it is important that you take simple and immediate steps to ensure that your data is always protected and that you have a secure virtual private server.
The Prominence of Passwords
In order create a secure VPS server, the first thing you need to thing about are your passwords. You will need to configure an administrator password in order to access your portion of the VPS in general, and to make a secure VPS server even more secure, you may also want to have multiple passwords for different applications, or for portions of your data that are especially sensitive, such as development programs or testing environments.
You will also need to ensure that only those who need access have it. If you have too many users on your VPS and you do not track them carefully, it can be difficult to discover where a security breach is coming from.
When it comes to choosing a password for a secure VPS server, using a long string of random letters or numbers is not the best choice, despite the fact that it looks confusing and difficult to crack. Unfortunately, such a string will be difficult for you to remember, meaning it will have to be stored somewhere securely, so it cannot be accessed or obtained by unauthorized parties. It might be tempting to use a word or phrase that you can remember, but often a dictionary attack can defeat these types of passwords easily. If you go this route, make sure you use mixed case letters, numbers and special characters throughout, which will make it harder to crack, and can help ensure you have a secure VPS.
Upgrades and Firewalls
One of the most commons ways that a secure virtual private server becomes less secure is when a company allows their software and applications to lapse and not be properly updated. Often, patches and updates will contain code that will fix “holes” in their security, breaches that have only been found after extensive testing. Sometimes, companies will become attached to a particular version of software and not update so that it doesn’t change, but in order to keep a secure VPS secure, regular updates to apps and software are necessary.
This, of course, goes hand in hand with the use of firewalls. Even registered users need to be aware of what they are downloading and where it is coming from, and a firewall can help to protect you from some of the more obvious threats on the web. Even if a user can’t see the problem with a site or download, an up-to-date firewall provided by either your IT or the VPS provider can make sure that accidental downloads of corrupted materials don’t happen.
It is important to develop a set of secure VPS server best practices that involve password protection, limited access and the regular updating of programs. By creating these practices and refusing to deviate from them, you can enjoy both the function of a VPS and the knowledge that it is secure.