Performing Server Security Audits: Why and How

When it comes to server security, there are a lot of things that you need to worry about. Do I have the latest patches? Have I been targeted by an attack? Am I secure enough for my server’s role in the organization? If you’re not sure where to start, then this blog post is for you! Here we will discuss what server security audits are and why they’re important. We’ll also talk about how often these should be done and how they can benefit your server security.

What is Server Security Audit?

A server security audit is a process that looks for vulnerabilities and exposures on your server. These can include missing patches, outdated software, or any unauthorized changes to the server’s configuration. In order to perform these effectively, you have to know exactly what needs auditing. Otherwise, you might waste time chasing down false positives.

Why Is Server Security Audit Important?

There are so many benefits of conducting server security audits. They are important for your server’s health and can help you determine whether or not it needs to be replaced. Server security audits can do more than just check if everything is where it’s supposed to be, start early and keep going throughout the server lifecycle. Benefits of the security audit also include finding patches or unauthorized changes in configuration.

How To Perform Server Security Audit

The server security audit process is not frightening; however, it requires time and effort in order to be successful. Performing server security audits can be broken down into three simple steps:

1. Reconnaissance

Reconnaissance is the first step of a server security audit. It refers to information gathering on the target system. Reconnaissance is important because it can help you to determine if the server needs a security audit, what should be checked, or how frequently they need to be performed.

Reconnaissance on your server can be done in various ways like- ping sweep, port scan, etc. To check if unauthorized service has been installed, you could do a port scan and see what ports are open.

Reconnaissance, on its own, can be a very effective server security strategy for some organizations. However, it should only be used as a starting point and will never replace regular server audits in order to keep your server secure against new threats.

2. Scanning and Discovery

After the reconnaissance, you need to scan and discover what vulnerabilities are present. There are many server security audits available online which can be used for scanning purposes only – they’re not meant as a replacement for authentication or authorization measures that may be needed by your organization. While there are many server security audits available online, it can be difficult to find one that will help you with server security audits.

You need to make sure the server is scanned against known vulnerabilities and exposures as well as new ones. So if a patch has been released for web server software (like Apache or Nginx), then your tool should also check for those patches before determining whether or not they’re needed on your server. If any of these tools discover an issue like this, it may recommend removing the old version of the software too – which means running an upgrade script after everything else has finished scanning and checking.

3. Exploitation

Exploitation is a server security audit to exploit the vulnerabilities found. If you’re seeing any signs of an attack or penetration on your server’s logs, then run these tests as soon as possible because they may show that there are currently unauthorized users on your server. You should also check for malware infections too. If you detect any malware, then look at ways to remove it from the server immediately.

If after all this a test shows a vulnerability in a software package running on one of our servers we have three options: We can try to fix it ourselves by either contacting support from security experts or trying out workarounds found on the Internet. We could also try to upgrade that server if possible, which can sometimes fix vulnerabilities too.

Source: DNSstuff

How Often Should I Perform a Server Security Audit?

Server audits are no different from other IT processes in one big way: they need regular maintenance!  Server security audits should be done at least once every six months but more frequent assessments may be necessary on how active your server environment is.

However, you have to perform network scans at least once per week. This will ensure the validity of the firewall rulesets as well as identify any new hosts added into your environment without permission from IT staff.

Summing up..

Server security audits are a great way to help ensure that your business is running as efficiently and securely as possible. They’re also a good way to identify potential security problems before they become major issues. You should have one done on an annual basis, but if you’ve been hacked or had any other cybersecurity issue in the past year, it’s worth getting another audit sooner rather than later. With so many benefits of performing server security audits for both individuals and businesses alike, there really isn’t any excuse not to do them!