Top 10 Linux Server Hardening and Security Best Practices

Use the RPM package manager such as “yum” or “apt-get” tools to list all installed packages on a system and remove them using the following command. But, we’ve just scratched the surface of Linux Hardening—there are a lot of complex, nitty-gritty configurations. To learn more about how to harden your Linux servers for better security, check out these Linux courses.

This file should be kept empty so that nobody can do so from a terminal. Grsecurity is a set of kernel patches that can massively increase kernel security. These patches used to be freely available, but they are now commercial and must be purchased.

Physical security

In some industries, such as electronic commerce, the availability and trustworthiness of data can mean the difference between success and failure. Ordinary sandboxes inherently share the same kernel as the host. You are trusting the kernel, which we have already evaluated to be insecure, to confine these programs properly. A kernel exploit from within the sandbox can bypass any restrictions, as the host kernel’s entire attack surface is completely exposed.

An SSH key pair equivalently represents a 12-character password. In reality, the actual composition of an SSH key pair might be challenging to understand for a commoner, but it does the needful. The first step is to install the PAM component “pwquality”, short for password quality. This is used during the boot process, to unlock the disk (or volume). Most of the steps will work on Ubuntu versions before and after these releases.

Linux security and system hardening checklist

This restricts the unchecked traffic movement on your servers. Linux server hardening is the process of securing a Linux server by applying the latest security standard and configurations, linux hardening and security lessons as well as installing the necessary software. If you apply the right security measures, you can significantly reduce the chances of your Linux server ever getting compromised.

It also encourages good operational security practices on your part, such as operating as a non-privileged user and using sudo to escalate privileges only when absolutely needed. You will edit the main OpenSSH configuration file in /etc/ssh/sshd_config to set the majority of the hardening options in this tutorial. Before continuing it is a good idea create a backup of your existing configuration file so that you can restore it in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.

Secure OpenSSH

Therefore, a new user must be created with the relevant privileges to perform regular server operations. SSH banner warnings are necessary when companies or organizations want to display a stern warning to discourage unauthorized parties from accessing a server. Apart from being a Unix veteran, he’s also into network security, cryptography, and functional programming. He’s an avid collector of secondhand books and has a never-ending admiration for classic rock. Much more detailed information regarding services is available in the CIS benchmark documents. This list provides specific tasks related to the computing environment at The University of Texas at Austin.

Administrators who fail to patch their systems are one of the greatest threats to server security. This applies as much to inexperienced administrators as it does to overconfident or amotivated administrators. Are we looking at one server, or are we looking at our entire network and everything within the network?

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