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#LearnedIT: IT Security Foundations - Protecting Our Server


Hi again, same course, different submenu.

Let's play a game -  Based Upon the Menu, How Much Do I Remember? I did take Sever 2008/12 during my time in college and found it one of the more fun aspects!

Hardening the Server -
Put it behind a correctly-configured firewall if it's facing the internet. Correctly configured means the proper rules are established regarding access (think 'allow tcp any any') , and ports on the server should be closed if they're not being used unless, again, it's properly configured. Use ACLs to allow one computer located in an area you know is safe and has limited web access to configure the server. 

Run auditing, and don't give any one person more permissions than they need. Principal of least privilege! 

Train your users.

Lisa Bock, our author,  doesn't get as deep as I do, but helpfully reminds us that the physical server should be in a secure, monitored environment to ward off intruders and also overly cool or hot (or humid) weather conditions.

So, how servers survive in Florida is beyond me.




Essential file services (Sharing, web, database) should be on different servers.
Applications shouldn't have direct access to a server, and should go through a proxy - and of course, clear it with us, your Network Administrator, before installing or using any applications.

All in all - I grade myself a fair. Could be better. But that's why we're here. Learning!


Next is Hardening - Updates and Patches -
If you can, test patches and updates in an test environment. See how long it might take, if it disables or modifies any important features for your server. Disable nonessential applications and services, have anti-virus, and don't randomly install freeware. Turn off automatic updates, especially if they come from Microsoft.

What does Lisa say now? Mostly what I said! Whoo! Including;


  • Conduct risk assessments.
  • Also, remember use long and complex passwords.
  • Check for Service Packs.


Third - Protocol Good Practices.
All I have is encrypt things.

Sure enough the first point is 'Use HTTPS'.


  • Secure Shell with Telnet or PutTTY, which I have used!
  • Utilize Network Time Protocol
  • Find a type of software that can encrypt FTP transfers. 

This is a URL you can use to access your file server (not secure)! The layout looks really different than in the 90's, I remember a bunch of hyperlinks in courier.

She tells us how the turn off Telnet capabilities, and it's at this point where I paused and went to my Windows 10 Machine to check, and happily, I had already turned it off.



Our final task? The Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer -
It identifies security issues and makes sure all patches and updates are in place.


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