Secure Shell or SSH is a security measure that was designed to protect websites from external threats. In the past, users would connect to their servers using Telnet. Now that servers a no longer just down the hall, SSH adds an extra layer of encryption to the transmission ensuring you will be able to connect to your equipment with little risk. SSH is much more secure than Internet protocols but there are ways to improve the security.
Install Brute Force Software
Web attackers utilize Brute Force Detection software to reveal your password and create havoc for those on the server. At the same time, the software can be used to neutralize attempts as soon as they begin.
Establish the Timeout Interval
Another important method is to set the timeout interval in the SSH configuration file. This will allow you to establish the amount of time users remain logged in. After that time the user will automatically be kicked out, even if they forget to logout. This keeps the server clean and prevents cyber criminals from sneaking into user accounts that are always logged in.
Restrict Root Logins
To further increase security, never allow root logins to your server. The system administrator should be the only individual with access to the root. There is never a reason to risk your root account by directly exposing it to the Internet. When these logins are restricted, hackers will have a difficult time gaining access even if they uncover the password.
Require Secure Passwords
As the system administrator, you have the ability to set the required password strength. Therefore, requiring a mixture of capital and lowercase letters with numbers is critical to protecting the accounts on your server. Furthermore, it is vital to demand the periodic change of passwords.
Quarantine Users in Chroot Directories
The final tip to a more secure server is to utilize chroot which restricts users to their own home directories. Linux server does have configurable permissions in place to thwart a regular user from deleting all files or some other crazy action. However, these users will still be able to see the files. Therefore, chroot completely restricts the viewing of files on the server.
Secure Shell security is an excellent layer to add to any server. At the same time, the aforementioned tips will make your server much more secure resulting in difficulty for attackers to access and take command of the equipment.