When it comes to web hosting websites, many individuals and companies alike go for Virtual Private Servers. Completely understandable – It’s a separate, flexible environment with all the dedicated resources one might need for an affordable price. Although VPS providers already offer pretty secure services and users usually take matters into their own hands when it comes to protecting their systems, there are several server Windows and Linux VPS server vulnerabilities that are often overlooked by many.
SQL Injection Attacks
Here, hackers exploit web application codes to gain access to the server’s database. All they have to do is just insert malicious commands to the URL. By doing this they can steal or alter sensitive, private data and even vandalize the page. The result? Devastating financial and client losses.
You Can Prevent Them With A Few Things:
- Parameterized API for data access. SQL parameters are values added in a controlled manner to a SQL query. By using an API designed to avoid special characters and symbols, one can ward off possible malicious commands. Just taking away the ability to use delimiter characters like (‘) or (“) greatly minimizes the risk of SQL injections.
- Firewall (WAF). A Windows/Linux VPS server can make good use of web application firewalls as these validate URLs before they’re executed. An appropriate WAF will have an internal database with exploits, their fingerprints, and block hackers.
Another great thing website owners should do is convert to HTML. These types of pages aren’t dynamic, and non-database sites are immune to these kinds of attacks.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
It’s a client-side attack as it doesn’t target the server but the browser. Malicious code is used to gain access and control of sensitive content, user data & sessions, or even the web browser itself. Then traffic is redirected to other bad pages. XSS can exploit any web environment: servers, scripts, web applications, plugins.
Users Can Protect Their Windows Or Linux VPS server In Several Ways:
Vulnerability Scanning. This kind of software functions like an anti-virus and searches the server for threat surfaces.
Retrospective Attack Simulation. You can simulate an attack on your server to see if you can gain access to it. With this, you can spot exploitable areas that need to be improved.
Escaping Code. Certain strings of code can be forced to be read as plain text by the web browser. This way, if an attacker leaves malicious code it will be interpreted as plain text and not executed as a script.
Insecure Direct Object References
Insufficient authorization checks lead to this issue. A simple thing like an unprotected JPEG file can result in the hacker gaining admin access to the server. They just need to modify a simple parameter that points to an object on the system.
It’s Strongly Advised To Implement Proper Access Control Schemes:
- Tiered Access Control. Incorporate a role-based tiered access restriction system that acts on the “least privilege” principle to avoid unwanted access.
- Protected Folders, Encrypted Database Keys. Encryption of all data points, references is crucial. Password protect folders and directory structures to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive content. These database keys should be stored in encrypted file formats and only authorized users should have access to a Windows or Linux VPS server’s database files.
- Randomly Generated Parameter Postfix. It is appended to a file name and refers to a web object. When manipulation is detected, the source IP address gets blocked.
Users should also consider getting intuitive monitoring tools and log-data management services. These will greatly help in detecting any possible vulnerabilities created by insecure object references.
Missing Function-Level Access control
The server not verifying access rights or incorrect configuration causes this vulnerability. It’s not enough to hide restricted functions or all links to the URL. The hackers can simply guess the probable parameter values, typical locations, and brute-force access.
It’s Generally Recommended To:
- Use authentication mechanisms.
- Implement tiered-access control systems.
- Avoid assigning per-user permissions.
- Deny access by default.
For proper Windows and Linux VPS server protection, one can use three types of access control strategies:
- Vertical access control. Standard users are prevented from accessing admin functions.
- Horizontal access control. Users are prevented from accessing private data of other users of the same privilege level.
- Business login access control. Abuse of privileges linked to business objectives is prevented.
Great protection results in a website that users trust and are not afraid to use. It’s not enough to just rely on antivirus programs and firewalls for security – webpage owners must take matters into their own hands, implement the right tools and ensure that their system isn’t susceptible to these vulnerabilities. When exploited, these result in disastrous consequences, but they can be avoided.