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How to Secure your VPS (Checklist)

VPS solutions are rocking the web hosting stage right now and for a good reason too. Virtual servers are performing way better than the standard shared infrastructure, allowing the client to better scale system resources and optimize their website performance. On top of that, VPS platforms give you all the control and customization freedom of a dedicated server at a much affordable rate.

But what about security?

As hackers get more inventive, you can easily fall victim to one of their sneaky tricks — phishing, identity theft, malware, site hijacking — dangers are lurking at every corner.

 

So, our mission today is to learn more about VPS security and how we can improve it.

 

Let’s get right on it.

 

Is VPS secure?

 

The specific VPS architecture allows virtual server solutions to provide out-of-the-box security to client websites.

 

Unlike shared accounts, you get a dedicated set of resources (CPU, RAM, bandwidth), completely isolated from other clients on the same server. This is crucial as you no longer have to worry about vulnerabilities coming from neighboring accounts.

 

There’s one other key component — hosting support.

 

Depending on your technical knowledge and skills, you can find unmanaged and managed VPS solutions. Unmanaged hosts give you full control over the server environment, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’d be looking for some more professional assistance. That’s why, before you choose your virtual platform, you better check if you can properly secure it first.

 

Scala Hosting is one of those providers that gives you fully managed VPS solutions with first-class support. You can focus on the business side of things and let the host take care of things like OS installation, spam and malware filtering, software installation and updates, technical difficulties.

 

Having a reliable hosting partner is great, but VPS security doesn’t just stop there.

 

How to Secure Your VPS?

 

Here’s a checklist of the essential precautions you can take to make your website impenetrable:

 

  1. Set up a firewall

By default, the Linux kernel comes with a built-in firewall, and you want to ensure that one is enabled. It acts as a security wall between the user and your VPS. This security tool can save you a lot of headaches, especially during DoS and DDoS attacks.

You can check if your host offers a web application firewall (WAF), which will help you secure your software as well.

  1. Change SSH port and credentials

Secure Shell (or SSH) is a command-based tool for managing your website, often employed by web developers worldwide. By default, the SSH port is 22, and you can be sure that’s one of the first things hackers will be checking. Changing your default credentials with more secure ones can make their job significantly harder.

  1. Use secure passwords

Speaking of secure logins, over 8% of all website breaches occur because of weak usernames and passwords. Your credentials should be long and complex enough, containing upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols.

If you’re managing many websites on your VPS, you can utilize a password manager tool to store and retrieve your passwords safely.

  1. Utilize an SSL certificate

Gone are the days when security certificates were just an add-on you can easily go without. Today, HTTPS protection is imperative for almost any website, regardless if it’s an online shop, a business page, or a subscription-based community forum.

Activating your SSL certificate is a simple and straightforward procedure, and your managed VPS host can easily guide you through it.

  1. Configure user permissions

As a VPS admin, you have full control over user permissions — take advantage of that. Assign viewing and editing rights to your files and databases only to people you trust and reduce the risks of unauthorized access to a minimum.

  1. Monitor VPS activity

Every VPS server comes with an admin dashboard where you can monitor traffic activity and get valuable user insights at all times. Such security platforms often rely on predictive mechanisms and AI algorithms to effectively recognize and deal with suspicious activities.

Keeping a close eye on your monitoring tool is key for your VPS safety.

  1. Frequently update software and plugins

Another common doorway for unauthorized entry, you should regularly check if your core applications and installed add-ons are up to the latest security standards. Remove any software, theme, or plugin you’re not currently using and only stick to the essentials.

The best managed VPS hosts often include automatic updates, which definitely helps in that aspect.

  1. Don’t forget your backups

Regardless if your secured VPS hosting provider offers daily backups or not, you need to include this in your day-to-day activities. Use your control panel to back up your site data and keep it in a secure offsite location. This way, you will always have a working copy in case of an emergency.

 

Conclusion

 

As you can see, managing your own VPS platform comes with great benefits in terms of server power, scalability, and growth opportunities. The enhanced security is another undeniable advantage of virtual servers, but that one requires your active participation.

 

Nothing you can’t handle, though.

 

Just choose your hosting provider carefully and follow some ground rules, and you can set up a secured managed VPS in no time.

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