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Server Security: Risks Associated With Running A Server And Ways To Protect Yourself

Server security is essential for any business that uses servers to store data or run applications. 

There are many risks associated with running a server, but there are also ways to protect yourself from these risks. 

This article will discuss the risks of running a server and ways to protect yourself from them.

What is a server, and why do you need one?

A server is a computer that provides data to other computers. Servers provide resources, such as file sharing, email, and web hosting. 

They may also offer features such as database management and printer sharing.

Most businesses need a server because it allows them to share data and resources with employees or customers. Servers can be beneficial for companies with multiple locations or remote workers.

While servers offer many benefits, they also come with some risks. For example, hackers often target servers due to their store sensitive data. 

As a result, it’s vital to protect your server, such as installing security software and keeping the operating system up to date. 

Read also: The Art Of Balancing Resources On A Server.

The risks of running a server

a). DDoS attacks.

What is DDoS?

DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. A DDoS attack is an attempt to make a system or network unavailable by bombarding it with requests from multiple computers, known as botnets.

Signs you’ve been hit with a DDoS attack:

  • A sudden spike in traffic to your website or server
  • The website or application becomes unresponsive
  • Slow performance of website or application
  • Errors when trying to access websites or applications

b). Data breaches.

A data breach occurs when an unauthorized person gains access to sensitive information. This can happen through hacking, phishing, or social engineering. Once the attacker has the information, they can sell it on the black market or use it for identity theft.

Data breaches can have severe consequences for both businesses and individuals. Businesses may lose customer trust and face legal action, while individuals may suffer from financial fraud or identity theft.

Signs you’ve been affected by a data breach:

  • Unusual activity on your accounts – such as unexpected charges or login attempts from new devices 
  • Emails or passwords that no longer work 
  • Receiving strange messages supposedly from friends asking for money 
  • Unexpected bills in the mail 
  • Getting calls from debt collectors for debts you don’t owe

c). Viruses and malware.

Malware is short for malicious software, any program created to harm your computer, steal your personal information, or both. 

Viruses are specific types of malware that can replicate themselves and spread to other computers. 

Once a virus infects one computer, it can quickly spread to others connected to the same network.

Signs you may have a virus:

  • Your computer is running slowly 
  • Programs are crashing 
  • You see pop-up ads even when you’re not browsing the internet 
  • Your homepage has changed without you changing it   
  • You’re getting strange error messages

d). Power outages.

A power outage is a sudden loss of electricity. This can be caused by severe weather, downed power lines, or problems with the electrical grid. Power outages can last for a few minutes or several days. 

This happens mainly if the server is not on a UPS system.

e). Hardware failures.

Hardware failures are usually caused by heat, dust, or age. They can also be caused by power surges or physical damage. Hardware failures can lead to data loss and downtime.

Signs of a hardware failure:

  • Strange noises are coming from your server 
  • The server won’t turn on 
  • Lines across the screen 
  • Blue screen of death 
  • The server is running slowly

f). Hackers.

Hackers are individuals who use their technical skills to gain unauthorized access to computer systems or networks. 

They may do this for malicious purposes, such as stealing sensitive data or causing damage to the system. 

Organizations can also employ hackers to test the security of their systems.

Signs you have got an intruder in your server:

  • Unexpected changes to your website 
  • New users appearing in your user database 
  • Suspicious activity in your server logs 
  • Strange emails are being sent from your email account 
  • Unauthorized access to sensitive data

Ways to protect your server

Now that you know how your server can be affected let’s discuss standard solutions. You can implement these best practices to protect your server.

Use a strong password.

A strong password is essential to the security of your server. Here are some tips for creating a strong password:

  • Use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Make your password at least eight characters long.
  • Avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or your name.
  • Don’t use the same password for all of your accounts.
  • Change your password regularly.

By following these tips, you can create a strong password that will help keep your server safe from hackers and other online threats. 

Use a firewall.

A firewall is a piece of hardware or software that helps to protect your network from unauthorized access. There are a few different types of firewalls, but the most common are packet-filtering and stateful inspection.

Packet-filtering firewalls work by looking at each incoming and outgoing packet of data and deciding whether or not to allow it based on a set of rules. Stateful inspection firewalls keep track of each connection’s state and ensure that only valid traffic is allowed.

Most routers come with a built-in firewall, but you can buy stand-alone devices or install firewall software on your server. 

No matter which option you choose, using a firewall is one of the best ways to help protect your network from attacks. 

Keep your server up to date. 

A recent study by Kaspersky showed that in 2021, every third (37.8%) of PC banking malware attacks targeted corporate users, representing a growth of almost 14% since 2018.

Of those companies, over 70% said they had to take their systems offline for at least some time to recover.

Don’t let your company be a statistic. 

Keep your server up to date with the latest security patches and software updates. It’s the best way to protect your data and keep your business running smoothly.

Limit access to your server.

To protect your server, it is essential to limit access to it.

There are a few ways you can go about doing this:

First, you can restrict access by IP address. This means that only authorized users can connect to your server.

Second, you can use a firewall to block all incoming traffic except for the specific ports that you want to allow.

Finally, you can encrypt all of your data so that even if someone does gain access to your server, they will not be able to read anything unless they have the proper decryption key.

Back up your data.

The best way to protect your server is by backing up data. By having a backup, you can restore your server to its previous state if something goes wrong. Here are three tips on how to effectively back up your data:

  • Use a reliable backup program: There are many backup programs available, so make sure to choose one that is reliable and has positive reviews.
  • Set up automatic backups: You won’t have to remember to run backups manually. You can schedule them to run daily, weekly, or monthly—whatever works best for you.
  • Store backups off-site: In case of a disaster, you’ll want to have your backups stored in a safe location that is not affected by the same event. This could be on a different server or in the cloud.

Conclusion: the importance of server security 

As more and more businesses move online, server security has become an increasingly important issue. 

A server is a critical component of any business’s IT infrastructure and must be adequately secured. 

There are several risks associated with running a server, which need to be considered when planning your security strategy.

One of the most significant risks is data loss or theft. If your server is compromised, sensitive data, such as customer records or financial information, could be stolen. 

This could devastate your business, so you must take steps to protect your data. 

Another risk is Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. These can render your server unusable, preventing you from being able to conduct business.

There are several ways to protect your server from these risks. And you can find the most effective ones discussed in this guide.

Read also: What Are The Benefits Of Using A Cloud Server?


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