CompTIA® Server+ Exam Notes : Server Hardening Techniques

4. Security

4.1 Server hardening techniques

Hardware hardening

There are several ways of hardening your server computer. These include disabling unneeded hardware and physical ports/devices:

1. BIOS password - Ensures that only authorized persons have access to change or view BIOS settings.

2. Disable WOL (Wake on LAN) - Ensures that the computer is not started remotely and compromised (say, by scanning for open ports, guest login, etc.)

3. Setup boot order - Ensures that a hacker is not using a USB drive to start the computer, and later gain access to the resources on the server.

4. Chassis locks / intrusion detection - Ensures that a hacker doesn't have access to internal components such as hard drive and can't change the physical settings.

Wake-on-lAN: Network administrator needs to maintain (update software etc.) the client computers often. In the past, they need to go to the client computer to power it ON. But with Wake-on-LAN, it is possible to remotely and automatically power up the client computers for necessary maintenance. It is important to set up password protection for Wake-on-LAN features.

Anti-virus package: This is a program that checks the files for any virus infection. Upon detection of any virus, it typically warns the user of the existence of such virus and prompts for further action. It is important that servers are equipped with appropriate AV software for protection against malware.

Proxy server: Proxy server is used for accessing the public Internet from a private IP address. It basically translates the IP addresses from one to another, and allows several users with private IP addresses to access the Internet using one or more public IP addresses. A proxy server may be used to hide the internal network from external attacks.

Fire Wall: A fire wall is typically used for preventing unauthorized access to internal resources of a company.

Chassis intrusion detection: The chassis intrusion switch is used to ensure that the computer remains shut down when the case is open. Sometimes, it will also prevent booting of the computer (even after the case is closed) to warn that there was an intrusion.

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