Securing Windows Server – Even though there is nothing 100% secure, you still have chances to avoid threats with minimal effort. It is essential to understand that securing windows server is just as significant as any Linux box. But still, securing your Windows server isn’t always clear. Here are some guidelines that will give you a bit of inspiration on quick security wins for your Windows server.
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10 Easy Ways of Securing Windows Server
Here is a quick overview listing some easy ways to lock down Windows Server security and keep hackers and malware away.
Install only essential OS components
By default, Windows needs to install the full version of the OS. But instead, you can go for a minimal custom installation. Non-essential components should be left out. Hence it minimizes the attack surface and reduces the number of patches and updates essential for the maintenance.
Keep the ‘Admin’ account secure
The default user account in Windows Server is known as ‘Administrator’. Most of the basic force attacks aim at this account. An account lockout policy is applied to users so that admin users can not be locked out. The preeminent way to keep the admin account secure is to rename it to ‘Administrator’ username or anything else.
Therefore use an exceedingly strong password with numbers, mixed cases, and special characters. Make sure you don’t save it anywhere, which is not secure.
Focus on Setting up User Account Policies
If numerous users access your server, you need to set up User Account policies to secure the Windows server.
- Use a lockout policy.
- Enable two-factor authentication.
- Don’t allow an empty password.
- Don’t store your password with reversible encryption.
- Enable session timeout for any inactivity.
- Implement minimum password length as well as complexity.
Employ Principle of “Least Privilege“
Avoid possible security issues specifically for mishandling the access rights. Moreover, provide minimum rights to each user’s requirements for carrying out the duties. Then, set up Group Policy, or else you can use the Role Base Access Control (RBAC) component to identify access restraints according to your requirements.
Disable unnecessary network ports and services
- Disable remaining ports.
- Enable network ports for OS and installed components.
- Run the port scan for the system to confirm non-functional ports for proper protection.
- Disable unused network services (Bluetooth, wifi, etc.) to avoid unauthorized access.
Enable Windows Firewall and Antivirus
Use Windows Firewall to filter untrusted traffic. Moreover, a firewall is difficult to master. Make sure you never deactivate the firewall! The inconvenience of setting it up accurately is worth the effort.
Use Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption
Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption safeguards the operating system by booting the process and preventing unauthorized data mining. BitLocker Drive Encryption works in situations even when the server is not on! Hence it is a very effective tool to prevent hacking against malware.
Secure Remote Desktop (RDP)
Hackers often get entry using a secure remote desktop (RDP). In order to prevent unauthorized access, you can change the default RDP port from 3389 to a number in the range 10000-65535. If you are using a dedicated IP address to join, then you use an Advanced Windows Firewall Option in order to lock down RDP access for a specific IP address only.
Use of Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA)
Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzeris a free application for determining missing safety updates as well as vulnerable security settings in Windows. It provides detailed insights on vulnerable components and settings and also lists the possible measures to secure the server.
Keep Windows Updated!
And finally, you need to keep the Windows up-to-date. It is one of the simplest methods to assist and keep your server secure. You can configure Windows Update settings to notify you of any latest available updates.
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