VPSWala Blog

How To Secure And Firewall A VPS Server?

January 12, 2024, Written by 0 comment

So you signed up for a super fast VPS server. Nice! But before building your online empire, it’s critical to lock that thing down tighter than Fort Knox. Server hacks can melt faster than ice cream in July.

This simple guide shows exactly how to firewall and secure VPS servers for non-techies. Protect your creation from prying eyes and naughty ninjas ransacking your hard work!

VPS Server Security 101

Think of securing a server like guarding your home. Physical barriers keep thieves away. Locking doors prevents sneaky intruders from swiping the family jewels. Similarly, firewall software forms a virtual barrier blocking nasty traffic targeting your servers.

Without basic security measures, VPS servers stay wide open for brute force attacks. Malicious bots scour the internet, probing weak points to exploit. Don’t let script kiddies ambush your servers like sitting ducks!

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to lock down servers tightly. Once fundamental firewalls are in place, specific software offers additional protection.

Below are crucial steps for an airtight firewall and security foundation on VPS servers:

Step 1: Harden SSH Access

SSH allows remote “command line” access to administer servers. This power can connect legit users…or attackers! Limiting SSH helps prevent unauthorized access.

Here are common methods for hardening SSH access points:

  • Change Default SSH Port – Hackers target well-known ports. Moving to a non-standard one curb scans.
  • Limit Users – Remove unnecessary accounts or those with direct remote access.
  • Disable Password Authentication – Require public-private key pairs instead. This uses cryptography to verify identities.
  • Enable SSH Logging – Tracks access attempts to help identify malicious actors.

These simple SSH hardening tips drastically reduce exposure from automated botnet attacks constantly seeking open doors.

Step 2: Update Everything

Maintaining current versions of all software is crucial. Developers constantly release security patches improving older code vulnerabilities. Updates and upgrades close backdoor access left inadvertently.

Don’t ignore update alerts! Running outdated applications leaves major weaknesses for enemies to strike. Routinely upgrading mitigates this:

  • OS Patches – Update VPS operating systems patches as released. Signup for provider notifications.
  • Application Updates – Upgrade PHP, CMSs, plugins, themes, etc. Subscribe for newsletters indicating new versions.
  • User Permissions – Review rights ensuring only authorized access for those needing it.

Staying on top of updates takes a bit more effort but prevents avoidable disasters later on.

Step 3: Install a Firewall

Firewalls filter incoming and outgoing traffic similar to a home security system determining whether to allow guests getting buzzed in. Server firewalls analyze connections and block suspicious ones based on rules.

Linux server OSes have built-in firewall apps like IPTABLES and UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall). These work well securing VPS servers with basic policies like:

  • Default Deny – Blocks all traffic unless explicitly allowed
  • Allow Common Services – Permit traffic from expected ports like SSH, HTTP/HTTPS, etc.
  • Stealth Mode – Hides ports not in use helping deter scans
  • Limit Open Ports – Only run essential network services
  • Track Attempts – Logging helps identifying attack sources

Advanced configurations further filter by protocol, IP, geography and other attributes pinpointing shady activity.

Step 4: Limit User Accounts

User accounts represent major vulnerabilities – especially those with elevated privileges. Strictly limit each user’s permissions and access.

For server security:

  • Provide basic users minimal OS rights to operate their sites/apps
  • Keep the “root” account disabled by default requiring techs take deliberate action for use
  • Require strong passwords changed periodically
  • Configure passwordless admin login using private keys
  • Use 2-factor authentication for servers allowing it
  • Disable abandoned accounts
  • Centralize account activity logs to simplify auditing

Scrutinizing user accounts reduces inside threats alongside dealing with external risks.

Step 5: Additional Server Protection Layers

Once fundamental firewalls and user policies are enacted, further options exist for protecting servers:

  • VPN Access – Route remote login attempts of supported protocols through VPN tunnels adding encryption and identity verification.
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF) – Cloud proxy filtering investigating HTTP/HTTPS traffic for suspicious patterns indicating attacks.
  • IPTables Scripts – Custom complex rules strengthening filtering of traffic reaching the server.
  • Rootkit Scanners – Detect malware or other software hooked into systems aiming to escalate privileges or send data externally.
  • File Integrity Monitoring – Track changes detecting altered configurations or new binaries suggesting a system compromise.
  • Intrusion Detection Systems – Signals suspicious network events for investigation.
  • System Hardening – Custom configurations following benchmarks to further minimize vulnerabilities.

Top providers offer many security add-ons compatible with VPS infrastructure allowing progressively greater protection aligned with trust levels required.

Key Takeaways

  • Essential VPS security requires enabling firewalls, keeping software updated, and limiting user account permission levels.
  • Start with basic server hardening then build up extra layers of sophisticated protection as needed.
  • Ongoing maintenance updating everything coupled with monitoring for suspicious activity maintains robust security over time

Frequently Asked Questions

What are common VPS security threats?

Top risks include DDoS floods overwhelming systems, exploits penetrating software flaws granting excessive privilege escalation and malicious user accounts stealing data or resources.

What happens if my VPS gets hacked?

Potential impacts span from corrupt files, stolen sensitive information, ransomed data access, hijacked computing power directing more extensive attacks, and ultimately total site destruction losing everything outright.

Can my hosting provider help secure VPS servers?

Many hosts offer managed security services hardening servers appropriately and providing active monitoring and responding to issues around the clock as part of overall maintained VPS plans. Otherwise self-administrators fully shoulder responsibility alone.


VPS servers enable efficiently powering online applications with dedicated resources in isolation from other users under admin control. But with great power comes an equal responsibility to properly configure firewall protections limiting intruder access.

Invest time upfront learning essential server security foundations through SSH access controls, event tracking, restricting user permissions, and enabling basic firewall software. Progress by adding advanced capabilities until reaching sufficient protections aligned with the sensitivity levels involved.

In closing, VpsWala makes VPS hosting smooth for builders of all skill levels. Beyond lightning-fast dedicated resources, all infrastructure layers incorporate strong security foundations with available add-on defenses compatible providing progressive protections as scenarios demand. Our expert techs eagerly guide new users on properly wielding server capabilities while avoiding unnecessary risks. Ultimately, VpsWala aims to empower developers to build their dreams with convenient, friendly, and secure VPS cloud services.

vpswala Admin

Savita Sathe is an experienced writer and editor with over 10+ years of professional experience creating engaging content across industries. Whether it's blogs, whitepapers, website copy, emails, social media posts, or more. She develops effective hosting and tech content that helps brands connect with their audiences and achieve business goals.

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