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2/23/2012 – Securing your cPanel/WHM server

Posted by Jamison on 23 02 2012.

The Internet today is fraught with hazards that require you to maintain a constant vigil with respect to your servers’ internal and external security measures. The constant threat of virus’, malware, DDOS attacks, and a multitude of intentional and unintentional threats is of great concern. While the methods for dealing with these threats could fill volumes, we have included some of what we think are critical to the security of your servers.


One of the most crucial security measures that we can take to secure our servers is also one of the easiest and least expensive to implement – passwords. Unsecure and weak passwords are one of the easiest ways for someone to break into our systems and cause an enormous amount of damage. Passwords should be at least eight characters in length and include a combination of letters and numbers.


Another common mistake that many webmasters and hosts make is a failure to secure their SSH. There are many instances that those who seek to gain access to your server will use port 22. It is a good course of action if you change this port to something less known.


There are two very important features that should be run on Apache servers – mod_security and suexec. For servers running PHP, it is recommended that PHP suexec be compiled as well. This added level of security keeps Apache and PHP secure, and if a malicious script is run, you will know who ran it.


It may sound more like common sense and it should go without mention, but one of your servers’ most important defenses to outside attack is its firewall. Ensure it is enabled. Another point that may sound more like common sense is to keep your operating system and applications up-to-date. Enabling your firewall, updating your software, and keeping your passwords secure, are some of the easiest security measures we can employ, yet these often seem so simple they are often overlooked.


There are many other security measures that we as web hosts can take to secure our servers from the hostile environment that is always seeking to gain access to our servers. One of the most important things for each of us to do is to remain diligent in our efforts. Our clients are counting on us to keep their sites online, and we are counting on them to continue their business with us.


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