With the recent news of data breaches, it’s no wonder that server security is on everyone’s mind. It can be hard to know what measures you need to take in order to protect your business. So we compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about server security audits.
1. What Is A Server Security Audit And Why Should I Have One Done On My Company’s Servers?
A server security audit is a review of your server’s policies and procedures, hardware, software, and physical environment. It allows you to identify vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by a hacker or malware program.
Source: Astra Security
2. Can Server Audits Be Done Remotely?
Some server security audits include video surveillance or remote access. However, most do not require direct physical access to the server in question. A server sits on its own network. It frequently does not have unique access requirements such as user IDs and passwords that might give away encryption keys or other valuable information about an organization’s internal network layout and design. With this in mind, it is possible for a company to hire an outside consultant with minimal risk of exposing sensitive information through a server security audit.
3. How Long Does A Server Security Audit Take?
A server security audit can vary in time from a few hours to several weeks, depending on the needs of your organization. Short server audits are usually conducted by experienced server administrators who want to ensure that they have not missed anything important before going live with a new server software version or hardware update. These types of server security audits are also excellent for allowing an organization’s employees to work with a consultant familiar with their company’s systems and processes without compromising sensitive information.
4. Do Server Security Audits Cost Money?
Yes, but it is possible to negotiate the price if there is no pre-existing contract between you and the server auditor you’re working with. Server security audits typically range in price from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on scope and time required.
5. Can Server Security Audits Be Used For Anything Other Than Server Security?
Server audits are often done with the purpose of server security in mind. But many server auditors can also help detect fraudulent activity within a company’s financial department or website traffic patterns that might indicate unauthorized access. Some server auditors have even helped insurance companies determine whether or not they should cancel policyholders.
6. What Is Server Hardening?
Server hardening refers to steps taken by an individual, group, or organization with the intent of strengthening server security. We take these measures to close any gaps left open through errors in system design or server administrator negligence. You can do this by disabling server features not required to run the server’s core functions, blocking access to unauthorized programs or features, and limiting server functionality based on its intended audience.
7. What Are The Benefits Of Having A Server Security Audit Performed?
Server security audits allow server administrators to detect server security gaps. Some gaps may have been left open due to mistakes in server design or negligence on the part of server administrators. Once server security audit tools have been run on a server, server administrators can choose from several strategies for closing those gaps. Closing security gaps will reduce the risk of unauthorized access from hackers and server-crashing server exploits.
8. What Types Of Server Security Audit Tools Are Available?
There are several server security audit tools including server configuration and automated vulnerability scanners. The server configuration and server vulnerability scanners will be run by server administrators. They detect server security gaps along with several additional types of vulnerabilities. For example, server configuration and server vulnerability scanners will check for missing OS patches, weak passwords, default usernames and passwords, open ports that could allow entry through a firewall, server hardening strategies, etc.
9. Is It Possible To Audit Servers Remotely?
Yes, server security audits can be performed on remote servers by server administrators using server security audit tools. The server administrator would need to have at least read-only access into the server that they are trying to secure in order for server security audit tools to work. It would be easier to perform server security audits remotely. Server administrators have access to a server’s command center or server console, which allows them direct access to the server’s desktop without having to remote in.
10. How Often Should Server Security Audits Be Performed?
Server administrators should run a server audit at least monthly. Server vulnerability scanners can be run on a server at will to identify new server security gaps that server administrators may have missed the last time their server was audited. As server hardware and server applications change, so do server security vulnerabilities.
The gist of all this is that if you want to know the best way to protect your servers, it depends on what you need protection from. We recommend doing a server security audit regularly. Good luck!