Hardening the Application Environment
Many web application servers are attacked every day. The best defense against such attacks is to ensure that server hardening is a well-established practice within your organization. All devices and software that are involved in deploying and supporting a web application, such as servers, firewalls, databases and others, must be securely configured. Some common server hardening tips & tricks include:
- Avoid using insecure protocols that send your information or passwords in plain text.
- Minimize unnecessary software on your servers.
- Keep your operating system up to date, especially security patches.
- Do not use default accounts and passwords.
- User Accounts should have very strong passwords.
- Change passwords on a regular basis and do not reuse them.
- Lock accounts after too many login failures. Often these login failures are illegitimate attempts to gain access to your system.
- Do not permit empty passwords.
- Unnecessary services should be disabled, especially remote-access unless carefully configured to control client access.
- Minimize open network ports to be only what is needed for your specific circumstances.
- Configure the system firewall. Proper setup of a firewall itself can prevent many attacks.
- Maintain server logs; mirror logs to a separate log server
- Limit user accounts to accessing only what they need. Increased access should only be on an as-needed basis.
- Maintain proper backups.
- Don't forget about physical server security.
Please refer to information about securing your specific web server and OS, which can generally be found online.
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