One of the most important components of utilising a VPS product is to ensure you keep the server secure; this protects your data, your clients data and our network. Exercising some basic common sense practices and adhering to those, will help keep you on top in the long run.
Keep your server software up to date
You need to ensure you periodically update your server software, and for any high or severe vulnerabilities conduct those updates immediately. Executing yum update on your VPS and completing a reboot periodically will bring you up to date on your CentOS operating system packages and kernel – if you’re running Ubuntu or Debian you’ll be looking to execute apt-get update && apt-get upgrade.
Remember that any custom packages or libraries for say ruby, perl, python, etc don’t automatically update, so you’ll need to manage those manually through their installation method/package manager. In addition, it is an absolute must to keep your web server (Apache/LiteSpeed/Nginx/etc) and PHP up to date; vulnerabilities and bugs exist in all of these systems, but they’re great at resolving those and as such you need to keep up with your software compiles.
We strongly recommend subscribing to a system administrator security mailing list such as SecList to receive important notices which may need actioning.
Review your firewall
Periodically review your firewall and it’s rule policies. Quite often things will change, IP’s which you provided access or ports you had open will no longer be required. Run through your firewall configuration and remove anything which is old and unused, but also review any new features which have been added and may be of use in protecting your environment.
Keep your website software up to date
Just like your server software, it is absolutely critical to keep your website software up to date. This refers to your WordPress, Joomla or whatever you may be running, and these need to be updated regularly to close any security vulnerabilities. Perhaps look into auto updating scripts to manage these for you.
If this whole process sounds daunting to you, it may be a good idea to invest in the services of a third party to handle this all for you. Where your VentraIP Australia VPS service includes cPanel, our technical support team can provide assistance through purchase of a management day pass (this will cover managing the server – but will not assist you at a script level).