Everybody says that Linux is secure by default and agreed to some extend.However, Linux has in-built security model in place by default. Need to tune it up and customize as per your need which may help to make more secure system. Linux is harder to manage but offers more flexibility and configuration options.


1. Physical System Security

Configure the BIOS to disable booting from CD/DVD, External Devices, Floppy Drive in BIOS. Next, enable BIOS password & also protect GRUB with password to restrict physical access of your system.

2. Disk Partitions

It’s important to have different partitions to obtain higher data security in case if any disaster happens. By creating different partitions, data can be separated and grouped. When an unexpected accident occurs, only data of that partition will be damaged, while the data on other partitions survived. Make sure you must have following separate partitions and sure that third party applications should be installed on separate file systems under /opt.

3.Minimize Packages to Minimize Vulnerability

Do you really want all sort of services installed?. It’s recommended to avoid installing useless packages to avoid vulnerabilities in packages. This may minimize risk that compromise of one service may lead to compromise of other services. Find and remove or disable unwanted services from the server to minimize vulnerability. Use the ‘chkconfig‘ command to find out services which are running on runlevel 3.

4. Check Listening Network Ports

With the help of ‘netstat‘ networking command you can view all open ports and associated programs. As I said above use ‘chkconfig‘ command to disable all unwanted network services from the system.

5. Use Secure Shell(SSH)

Telnet and rlogin protocols uses plain text, not encrypted format which is the security breaches. SSH is a secure protocol that use encryption technology during communication with server.

Never login directly as root unless necessary. Use “sudo” to execute commands. sudo are specified in /etc/sudoers file also can be edited with the “visudo” utility which opens in VI editor.

It’s also recommended to change default SSH 22 port number with some other higher level port number. Open the main SSH configuration file and make some following parameters to restrict users to access.

6. Keep System updated

Always keep system updated with latest releases patches, security fixes and kernel when it’s available.

7. Turn Off IPv6

If you’re not using a IPv6 protocol, then you should disable it because most of the applications or policies not required IPv6 protocol and currently it doesn’t required on the server. Go to network configuration file and add followings lines to disable it.

8. Monitor User Activities

If you are dealing with lots of users, then its important to collect the information of each user activities and processes consumed by them and analyse them at a later time or in case if any kind of performance, security issues. But how we can monitor and collect user activities information.

There are two useful tools called ‘psacct‘ and ‘acct‘ are used for monitoring user activities and processes on a system. These tools runs in a system background and continuously tracks each user activity on a system and resources consumed by services such as Apache, MySQL, SSH, FTP, etc. For more information about installation, configuration and usage, visit the below url.

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