9 Must-Know Tips for Securing Windows Servers

Windows Server is among the most normally used operating systems for powering the servers. Due to the nature of the mathematical process that normally involves businesses, Windows Server security is critical for enterprise data .
By default, Windows Server has some security measures in rate. But, you can do more to ensure your Windows servers have sufficient defense against potential threats. here are a few critical tips for securing your Windows Server .

Update Windows Server
While it may look like an obvious thing to do, most servers installed with Windows Server images are without the latest security system and performance updates. Installing the latest security system patches is all-important in protecting your organization from malicious attacks.

If you have set up a new Windows waiter or received credentials to one, make certain to download and install all the latest updates available for your computer. You can defer the sport update for some time, but you should install security updates as it becomes available .

2. Install Only Essential OS Components via Windows Server Core

On Windows Server 2012 and above, you can use the operating organization in its core mode. The Windows Server Code Mode is a minimal initiation option that installs Windows Server without the GUI, which means abridge features .
Installing Windows Server Core has many benefits. The obvious one being the performance advantage. You can use the lapp hardware to gain operation improvements through unutilized OS components resulting in lesser RAM and CPU requirements, better uptime and boot time, and fewer patches .
MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY While the performance benefits are dainty, the security benefits are even better. Attacking a system with fewer tools and attack vectors is harder than hacking a fully GUI-based operational system. Windows Server Core reduces the attack surface, offers Windows Server RSAT ( Remote Server Administration ) tools and the ability to switch from Core to GUI .

3. Protect the Admin Account

The default user account in Windows Server is named Administrator. As a resultant role, most of the beast violence attacks are targeted at this account. To protect the account, you can rename it to something else. alternatively, you can besides disable the local administrator account all in all and create a modern admin report .
once you have the local admin score disabled, check if a local anesthetic guest account is available. local node accounts are the least fasten, so it is best to get them out of the way wherever possible. Use the lapp treatment for unused user accounts .
A good password policy that requires regular password changes, complex and drawn-out passwords with numbers, characters, and special characters can help you secure exploiter accounts against beastly power attacks .

4. NTP Configuration

It is authoritative to configure your server to sync time with NTP ( Network Time Synchronization ) servers to prevent a clock float. This is necessity as even a dispute of few minutes can break respective functions, including Windows login .
Organizations use net devices that use home clocks or rely on a public Internet Time Server for synchronism. Servers that are sphere members normally have their time synced with a domain restrainer. however, stand-alone servers will require you to set up NTP to an external source to prevent replay attacks .

5. Enable and Configure Windows Firewall and Antivirus

Windows Defender Firewall Windows Server
Windows Servers come with a built-in firewall and antivirus cock. On servers that do not have hardware firewalls, Windows Firewall can reduce the attack surface and provide becoming protection against cyber attacks by limiting the dealings to necessity pathways. That said, a hardware-based or Cloud-based firewall will offer more protection and take the load off of your server .
Configuring the firewall can be a messy undertaking and hard to master at first. however, if not configured correctly, open ports accessible to unauthorized clients can pose a huge security risk to servers. besides, keep a note of the rules created for its use and early attributes for future references .

6. Secure Remote Desktop (RDP)

If you use RDP ( Remote Desktop Protocol ), make sure it is not open to the internet. To prevent unauthorized access, change the default option larboard, and restrict the RDP access to a specific IP address if you have access to a dedicated IP address. You may besides want to decide who can access and use RDP, as it is enabled by default for all the users on the waiter .
besides, adopt all the early basic security measures to secure RDP, including using a potent password, enabling two-factor authentication, keeping the software up to date, restricting access through promote firewall settings, enabling network-level authentication, and setting an report lockout policy .
Related : top Remote Access Software to Control Your Windows personal computer From Anywhere

7. Enable BitLocker Drive Encryption

BitLocker Windows Server Enable
similar to Windows 10 Pro, the waiter edition of the operate system comes with a built-in drive encoding joyride called BitLocker. It ‘s considered to be among the best encoding tools by the security pro as it allows you to encrypt your entire hard drive even if the forcible security of your waiter is breached .

During encoding, BitLocker captures information about your computer and uses it to verify the authenticity of the computer. once verified, you can log in to your calculator using the password. When fishy activity is detected, BitLocker will ask you to enter the recovery samara. Unless the decoding key is provided, the data will remain engage .
If you are fresh to hard driveway encoding, check out this detailed template on how to use BitLocker in Windows 10 .

8. Use Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer ( MBSA ) is a release security tool used by IT professionals to help manage the security of their servers. It can find security issues and missing updates with the server and recommend redress steering in accordance with Microsoft ‘s security recommendations .
When used, MBSA will check for Windows administrative vulnerabilities such as decrepit passwords, the presence of SQL and IIS vulnerabilities, and the miss security updates on individual systems. It can besides scan an person or group of computers by IP address, domain, and other attributes. finally, a detailed security report will be prepared and shown on the graphic exploiter interface in HTML .

9. Configure Log Monitoring and Disable Unnecessary Network Ports

Any services or protocols that are not needed or used by the Windows Server and install components must be disabled. You can run a larboard scan to check which network services are exposed to the internet .
Monitoring login attempts is utilitarian to prevent trespass and protect your server against animal force attacks. Dedicated intrusion prevention tools can help you view and review all log files and send alerts if fishy activities are detected. Based on the alerts, you can take allow action to block the IP addresses from connecting to your servers .

Windows Server Hardening Can Reduce the Risk of Cyber-Attacks!

When it comes to your Windows Server security, it is always thoroughly to be on top of things by auditing the arrangement for security risks regularly. You can start by installing the latest updates, protect the admin account, use the Windows Server Core manner whenever possible, and enable drive encoding through BitLocker .
While Windows Server may partake the same code as the consumer edition of Windows 10 and look identical, the way it is configured and used is vastly different .

What Is Windows Server and How Is It Different From Windows ?
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Tashreef Shareef
( 139 Articles Published )

Tashreef is a developer and works as a technical writer at MakeUseOf. With a knight bachelor ‘s degree in Computer Applications, he has over 5 years of have and covers Microsoft Windows and everything around it. When not looking for a miss semicolon or churning out textbook, you can find him trying FPS titles or looking for new animated shows and movies .
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