Server Security Frame

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- J.D. Meier, Alex Mackman, Michael Dunner, Srinath Vasireddy, Ray Escamilla and Anandha Murukan

Server Security



  • Accounts
  • Auditing and Logging
  • Files and Directories
  • Patches and Updates
  • Ports
  • Protocols
  • Registry
  • Shares
  • Services

Categories Explained



Patches and Updates

Patching and updating your server software is a critical first step. If you do not patch and update your server, you provide opportunities for attackers and malicious code.


If the service is necessary, secure it and maintain it. Consider monitoring any service to ensure availability. If your service software is not secure, but you need the service, try to find a secure alternative.


Avoid using protocols that are inherently insecure. If you cannot avoid using these protocols, take the appropriate measures to provide secure authentication and communication.


Accounts grant authenticated access to your computer, and these accounts must be audited. Configure accounts with least privilege to help prevent elevation of privilege. Remove any accounts that you do not need. Slow down brute force and dictionary attacks with strong password policies, and then audit and alert for logon failures.

Files and Directories

Secure all files and directories with restricted NTFS permissions that only allow access to necessary Windows services and user accounts. Use Windows auditing to allow you to detect when suspicious or unauthorized activity occurs.


Remove all unnecessary file shares including the default administration shares if they are not required. Secure any remaining shares with restricted NTFS permissions. Although shares may not be directly exposed to the Internet, a defense strategy — with limited and secured shares — reduces risk if a server is compromised.


Services that run on the server listen to specific ports so that they can respond to incoming requests. Audit the ports on your server regularly to ensure that an insecure or unnecessary service is not active on your server.


Many security-related settings are stored in the registry and as a result, you must secure the registry. You can do this by applying restricted Windows ACLs and by blocking remote registry administration.

Auditing and Logging

Auditing is one of your most important tools for identifying intruders, attacks in progress, and evidence of attacks that have occurred. Configure auditing for your server. Event and system logs also help you to troubleshoot security problems.

Web Server Security


Database Server Security


Personal tools