How to Harden my Linux VPS Security?


How to Harden my Linux VPS Security?

Harden Linux VPS Security

Hardening your Linux VPS security is essential to protect your system from potential threats and vulnerabilities. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to harden your Linux VPS security:

  1. Keep your system up to date:

    • Updating your operation system, software, and packages is crucial to stay safe from security flows. 
      Enable a firewall:

    • To manage traffic, one can use Firewalld (for CentOS, AlmaLinux) or UFW (For Ubuntu, Debian).

  2. Disable unnecessary services:
    • Remove unnecessary services and daemons from your VPS to minimize the attack surface.

  3. Secure SSH access:
    • Require SSH root access and a non-standard port to prevent brute force attacks. Use SSH Keys instead of passwords.

  4. Implement strong passwords and user management:
    • Use stringent passwords for user accounts and regularly review user permissions.

  5. Enable SELinux or AppArmor:
    • Implement Mandatory Access Control (MAC) mechanisms such as SELinux (Security-Enchanced Linux) or AppArmor to limit processes and enchance system security.

  6. Regularly monitor system logs:
    • Establish logging monitoring tools such as rsyslog or systemd-journal to trace suspicious behavior or security incidents on the system.

  7. Enable automatic security updates:
    • Automate the installation of security updates to patch vulnerabilities without manual intervention.

  8. Encrypt data in transit and at rest:
    • Encrypt web traffic using HTTPS encryption and SSH for remote access.

  9. Regularly backup your data:
    • Keep a record  of your essential data and store it securely to prevent any potential breaches or loss.

  10. Enable intrusion detection and prevention systems:
    • Establish intrusion detection and prevention systems such as Snort or Suricata to track network traffic and identify potential threats in real-time. 

  11. Stay informed and educate yourself:
    • Stay abreast of the latest security trends, vulnerabilities, and best practices.

By following these best practices, you can significantly enhance the security posture of your Linux VPS, mitigating risks and safeguarding your valuable data and resources against potential threats and attacks.

To further enhance the security of your Linux VPS, you can implement additional measures such as changing the SSH port, controlling access using hosts.allow and hosts.deny files, and managing the firewall settings.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Change SSH Port:

    • Edit the SSH configuration file /etc/ssh/sshd_config using a text editor like nano or vim.

    • Locate the line containing Port 22 (default SSH port) and change the port number to a non-standard port (e.g., 2222).

    • Save the file and exit the editor.

    • Restart the SSH service to apply the changes:

      sudo systemctl restart sshd

  2. Control Access with hosts.allow and hosts.deny:

    • Edit the hosts.allow file to specify which hosts or IP addresses are allowed access to services:

      sudo nano /etc/hosts.allow
    • Add entries in the format service: IP_address or service: IP_address/Mask to allow access. For example, to allow SSH access from a specific IP range:


    • Edit the hosts.deny file to deny access to specific hosts or IP addresses:

      sudo nano /etc/hosts.deny
    • Add entries in the same format as hosts.allow to deny access to specific services or IP addresses.

  3. Managing Firewall:

    • Use the firewall management tool (firewalld for CentOS, AlmaLinux, or ufw for Ubuntu, Debian) to control incoming and outgoing traffic.

    • Allow the new SSH port through the firewall:

      • For firewalld:

        sudo firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=2222/tcp --permanent
        sudo firewall-cmd --reload

      • For ufw:

        sudo ufw allow 2222/tcp
    • Ensure that other necessary ports for your services are also properly configured in the firewall rules.

After implementing these measures, ensure that you can still access your VPS using the new SSH port from allowed IP addresses. Test the changes thoroughly before closing the existing SSH session to prevent accidental lockout. These steps contribute to a more robust security posture for your Linux VPS by reducing the attack surface and controlling access effectively.

Linux VPS security

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