How to enable fingerprint scanner support on Linux

Fingerprint scanners are becoming a thing on many laptops as of late. It’s natural that this technology makes its way to the PC, given that it’s worked so well on smartphones. When it comes to Fingerprint scanner support on Linux, it’s hit and miss. Not all hardware manufacturers ship Linux drivers, and the community doesn’t always pick up the slack. That said, if you have a fingerprint scanner that is supported with Linux, here’s how to use it on your Linux system.

Note: if your fingerprint scanner requires installing Linux drivers not included in the kernel, be sure to get them installed before attempting to use Fingerprint GUI.

Install Fingerprint GUI

Fingerprint GUI is the best tool available to access, configure, and enable fingerprint scanning on Linux. Although it’s the best tool available, no Linux OS currently ships with this application. As a result, you must manually install it before using it.

There are different ways to install Fingerprint GUI based on the Linux distribution you are using. To get it working, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow the installation instructions based on what OS you use.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu Linux, the best way to get Fingerprint GUI working is to use the third-party PPA that is available on Launchpad. To add this PPA, use the add-apt-repository command in the terminal.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fingerprint/fingerprint-gui

With the PPA added to Ubuntu, run the update command to refresh your PC’s software sources.

sudo apt update

Following the update, install any pending software patches with the upgrade command.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Finally, install Fingerprint GUI, and the related packages it needs to operate correctly.

sudo apt-get install libbsapi policykit-1-fingerprint-gui fingerprint-gui

Debian 10

Debian 10 users can use the Ubuntu 18.04 repository provided on Launchpad to get the Fingerprint GUI app installed. To add it, open up a terminal and use the add-apt-repository command.

Note: it isn’t known if Fingerprint GUI works on Debian 9. If you need this app, consider upgrading to Debian 10 first.

su -
add-apt-repository 'deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/fingerprint/fingerprint-gui/ubuntu bionic main'

After adding the software repository to your /etc/apt/sources.list file, it’s time to download the software key file, so that Debian can interact with the PPA. If you don’t do this, Fingerprint GUI will not install!

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv EFD5FA852F20733F

Assuming the key recovery command works successfully, the PPA will be ready to use on Debian. Next, run the update and upgrade commands to download the release file for the repo.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Finally, install the packages necessary to run Fingerprint GUI on Debian.

sudo apt-get install libbsapi policykit-1-fingerprint-gui fingerprint-gui

Arch Linux

On Arch Linux, getting the Fingerprint GUI involves downloading the program and compiling it through an AUR package. To install the AUR package of Fingerprint GUI, start by using the Pacman package manager to install both the Git and Base-devel packages.

Note: if you run into problems installing the Fingerprint GUI AUR package, be sure to read the comment section of the app for tips, tricks, and fixes to get it running.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Following the installation of the Git and Base-devel packages, use the Git tool to download the Trizen AUR helper app, to make installing Fingerprint GUI, and it’s many dependencies an easy process.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

Move the terminal session into the newly created “trizen” folder and install the Trizen application on your Arch Linux PC.

cd trizen
makepkg -sri

After installing the Trizen application on Arch, you’ll be able to use it to quickly install Fingerprint GUI, along with all of its dependent packages.

trizen -S fingerprint-gui

Fedora

Though Fedora proper doesn’t support Fingerprint GUI, the RPM Sphere software repository has it available for users of Fedora 29 and 30. To get it working, open up a terminal and use the dnf install command below.

sudo dnf install https://raw.githubusercontent.com/rpmsphere/x86_64/master/f/fingerprint-gui-1.09-3.1.x86_64.rpm

OpenSUSE

Fingerprint GUI is available to OpenSUSE users, so long as they’re using Tumbleweed. So, before attempting to install this package, be sure to upgrade to the Tumbleweed release.
After you’re done upgrading OpenSUSE, use the following commands to get the application working,

zypper addrepo http://widehat.opensuse.org/opensuse/repositories/hardware/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ hardware

zypper install fingerprint-gui

Configure Fingerprint GUI

Setting up Fingerprint GUI starts by opening up the application and clicking on “Devices.” From there, look for the “Fingerprint Devices” drop-down menu and click it to select your Fingerprint scanner device.

After selecting a fingerprint device, click “Finger,” and choose a finger to add to Fingerprint GUI. Then, locate “Scan/Verify” and follow the instructions to scan your finger. Once the scanning is done, go to “Settings” and click the “Export now” button. This will export your scanned fingerprint.

With your fingerprint added to the Fingerprint GUI application, reboot your Linux PC, and you should be able to log in with your fingerprint!

Read How to enable fingerprint scanner support on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix Open File – Security Warning for all files on Windows 10

Windows 10 has various protective features that prevent users from running apps that may be harmful. When you run an EXE to install an app, you run into the Windows SmartScreen asking if you’re sure you want to run the app and allow it to make changes to your system. This is a normal level of protection and you really shouldn’t disable it however, if you see the Open File – Security Warning prompt for all files that you open, then your security settings have been set above the normal level.

If you’re getting the Open File – Security Warning for seemingly harmless files like images, there’s a simple way to fix it.

Open File – Security Warning

Open the Run box with the Win+R keyboard shortcut. Type the following in the run box.

inetcpl.cpl

This will open the Internet Properties window. Go to the Security tab and click the Custom level button at the bottom. This will open the second window on the right. This settings window has a long list of settings that change how security is managed on your system. Look for the ‘Launching applications and unsafe files (not secure)’ option. Select the ‘Enable’ option, and click Apply, then OK.

After that, you should be able to open normal files like PNGs, JPGs, PDFs, etc without encountering this prompt. When you run EXE files though, you will still get the same prompt.

This change doesn’t leave your system unsecured. It does lower the level of protection however it doesn’t make it completely vulnerable. With the ‘Prompt’ option, every single file that you download from the internet and open will show you the Open File – Security Warning prompt. When you download a file from the internet, regardless if you use Chrome or Edge, your file is first scanned. Chrome has its own virus scanner and once the file has been saved to your disk, Windows 10 scans it for viruses or anything malicious.

If you’re tempted to select the  Disable option, you should think twice about it. Setting it to Disable will lower your security settings considerably. You will still have other security measures in place but this is not an option you should select without seriously considering the consequences of it.

If you normally never see this prompt when opening files, and suddenly began to get it for all sorts of files, it likely means that your security settings were changed. This might have been done by a recent update or if you changed the default app for a certain file type.

Read How to fix Open File – Security Warning for all files on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to check the checksum of a file on Windows 10

Downloading a file used to be a risk. It can still be risky and you might still end up with malware on your system but there are more robust protections in place now. Both your browser and your OS scan items to make sure they’re safe to run. Another way to make sure you’ve downloaded a safe file is to check the checksum of a file.

Checksum values

No two people can have the same fingerprints. Similarly, no two files can ever have the same checksum values. If a file has been modified, its checksum value will be different from what it was before the modification was made.

When you check the checksum value of a file, you first need to know what its original value was. Normally, developers who are distributing software will provide it themselves on the download page for their product. Checksum is applied using MD5 or SHA. Some developers will generate Checksum values from both so that you can check whichever you want.

Check checksum value

Microsoft provides a tool called File Checksum Integrity Verifier utility that you can use to check the checksum value of a file.

Download and extract it. You will have to use it from the Command Prompt. Open Command Prompt and use the cd command to move to the folder you extracted the tool to.

Move the file that you want to check the checksum value for to the same directory as the one you extracted the File Checksum Integrity Verifier utility to and then run the following command to run the check.

Syntax

fciv.exe -both filename

Example

fciv.exe -both ReIcon_x64.exe

This will display both the MD5 and SHA checksum values. You can manually compare them, use a spreadsheet tool, or a simple difference checking tool.

Checksum does not match

In the event that the file you downloaded and ran the check for generates a different checksum than the one the developer provided, you might be dealing with a malicious or corrupt file.

If the file is corrupt, it’s likely because it didn’t download correctly. Try downloading it again. If the problem persists, it is entirely possible that the file that is available has been modified in which case, you should not use/run it. A mismatch in checksum value may also indicate a file that has been modified. This tends to happen with free or open-source apps that people try to re-distribute. They add in additional code that is meant to harm your system and bundle it into a trusted app.

The only way to stay safe is to always download apps from their official sources.

Read How to check the checksum of a file on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

SolarWinds Threat Monitor – REVIEW 2019 (Advanced Threat Detection and Monitoring)

One of the services often offered by Managed Service Providers (MSP) is security services. And for those MSPs offering this type of service, it’s nice to be able to support it all using a single integrated tool.

The SolarWinds Threat Monitor is one such tool. It is an integrated tool that provides several different security services and that specifically targets Managed Service Providers or large organizations.

SolarWinds Threat Monitor: REVIEW

Today, we’re happy to bring you our review of this great product. As you shall soon see, this is a perfect solution for those who want to accomplish a lot with as little software as possible. Generally speaking, using an integrated tool such as this one is way easier than using individual tools for each function.

We’ll start off our exploration by first introducing SolarWinds MSP, a division of SolarWinds specializing in tools for Managed Service Providers. We’ll then introduce the SolarWinds Threat Monitor which we’ll follow with a description of the tools most important and significant features. Next, we’ll briefly review some of the most important benefits of the tool to your business and have a look at what little we know about the product’s pricing before we conclude.

About SolarWinds MSP

SolarWinds MSP was born by bringing together SolarWinds, SolarWinds N-able, and LOGICnow, three major players in the MSP tools market.

Before the creation of SolarWinds MSP, LOGICnow, and SolarWinds N-able provided outstanding software such as Remote Monitoring and Management, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Remote Control, Help Desk, Mail, and Risk Intelligence, all aimed at helping Managed Service Providers make the most of their business potential. The two companies served their clients in complementary ways. One served small and mid-sized MSPs beautifully, while the other was perfect for mid-sized and large MSPs.

Noticing how well the two companies fit together, the smart people at SolarWinds, a leading provider of products designed to make network and system administrators’ lives easier, brought the two together to form SolarWinds MSP. The result is a scalable, end-to-end IT service management platform built for MSPs of all sizes—from the one-person shops all the way to 100+ employee powerhouses.

Introducing the SolarWinds Threat Monitor

As a managed security service provider, your customers expect you to safeguard their businesses from security threats no matter what they are and where they are coming from. The SolarWinds Threat Monitor empowers managed security service providers of all sizes by reducing the complexity and cost of threat detection, response, and reporting. You get an all-in-one security operations center (SOC) that is unified, scalable, and affordable all within one tool.

SolarWinds Threat Monitor - Main Dashboard

Benefit from a powerful security center to offer a better value to your client with an all-in-one solution created to watch threats, automatically react to incidents, and generate compliance reports. Try the SolarWinds Threat Monitor and find out how you can stand out among the Managed Service Provider crowd with a tool designed with Managed Service Providers in mind.

Centralized Cloud Security Monitoring

Watch for potential threats, process them and generate reports from almost anywhere and at any time.

Unexpected Simplicity

A powerful and intuitive cyberthreat engine to help you resolve issues quickly.

Shared Architecture

Efficiently provision and manage several clients from a unique user-friendly workspace.

Simple And Highly Scalable Deployment

You can easily modify the tool’s functionality as your clients’ activities grow.

Features Of The SolarWinds Threat Monitor

As an integrated security suite, the SolarWinds Threat Monitor is so rich in features that this post could be twice as long as it already is. There is so much to say about the product that we’ll have to limit ourselves the best and most important and significant features of the product. So, let’s see what the product has to offer in terms of features.

Threat Intelligence

The idea behind the threat intelligence built into the SolarWinds Threat Monitor is to help you make smart decisions. The threat intelligence is continuously updated from multiple sources so you always have the most recent information. It is designed to help you find and respond to threats across your on-premises and hosted data centers as well as your public cloud environments like Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS.

SolarWinds Threat Monitor - Threat Intelligence

Security Information And Event Management (SIEM)

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools are in a class by themselves. They offer protection against various types of threats by analyzing logged events from your devices. They go well beyond just reacting to specific events, though. SIEM tools correlate data from various sources and can analyze the trail left by an attacker on your devices, allowing you to locate and block it.

SolarWinds Threat Monitor - SIEM dashboard

It is particularly complicated in the context of Managed Service Providers as correlation has to remain within each client’s domain. The Security Information and Event Management features of this platform can give you a centralized view into near real-time log notifications from your customers’ networks. The tool collects log-file information from several disparate sources and helps you hone in on the most critical threats by rapidly assessing intent and severity.

Log Correlation And Analysis

The SolarWinds Threat Monitor is designed to help discover threats for you, enabling you to focus on real threats, not sifting through logs. The system will correlate logs from your customers’ systems in near-real-time and analyze them against multiple sources of continuously updated threat intelligence.

When it comes to providing security-related services like threat detection to their customers, Managed Service Providers face challenges when gathering and correlating log data. For instance, applications running on customers’ networks may have different log output formats. Additionally, existing text search tools can have limitations that could potentially lead to key log data being overlooked or omitted. Furthermore, manually gathering and correlating log data can be complex and time-consuming. Many MSPs don’t have the time or the in-house expertise to accomplish this which can lead to event logs piling up while potential cyber incidents remain undetected.

The SolarWinds Threat Monitor is designed to reduce complexity by automating the log correlation and normalization process. This can potentially help reduce time spent gathering and analyzing logs, so you can focus on identifying threats to your managed networks.

This feature alone provides many benefits such as:

Streamlined Management Via Log And Data Collection In One Tool

Network logs are less useful for understanding cyberthreats when kept in isolation. You can often only recognize attacks when logs generated across your managed networks are analyzed side-by-side. This tool was designed to automatically collect logs and data feeds from nearly everything on your managed networks—including networking equipment, firewalls, servers, and more and organizes this information into a single solution.

Actionable Insights Via Automatic Log Normalization

As a Managed Service Provider, you may be responsible for managing networks that generate thousands—if not millions—of events in a short period of time. Manually identifying, categorizing, and making sense of these can be challenging and costly due to the amount of incoming data. This tool automatically correlates and normalizes logs to help you better identify the relationships between ongoing events.

Help With Demonstrating Regulatory Compliance

Many organizations must adhere to regulations for networked systems and security. The SolarWinds Threat Monitor was designed to help you gather information during the log correlation process that can be used to assist in demonstrating a strong security monitoring policy, which could help in demonstrating regulatory compliance.

Greater Visibility To Your Customer

This tool was also designed to help Managed Service Providers provide additional value via strong reporting. They can send reports to stakeholders that itemize security-related events and threats identified within a specified period. These reports can also help demonstrate the steps taken to address the risks.

Network And Host Intrusion Detection Systems

This feature is designed to pinpoint unwanted traffic and software across your managed networks and systems. It will alert you to unusual traffic patterns on the network and malicious software on systems. Small- and medium-sized businesses have at least two crucial assets to consider—their networks and their customer data. Both are connected in terms of security compromises. If a network is breached, the attackers will likely have a direct line to valuable data. The SolarWinds Threat Monitor can spot anomalies and it is designed to sound the alarm only when needed.

SolarWinds Threat Monitor - Intrusion Detection

As an MSP, your customers trust you to keep their assets secure and help them avoid breaches. To keep that trust, you need a solution that, like the SolarWinds Threat Monitor, can help you proactively monitor your managed networks for malicious traffic and suspicious activity patterns as either of these could lead to a breach or threaten business continuity.

This excellent tool provides sophisticated threat detection capabilities that are kept current with a global threat intelligence feed. It was built to help you easily analyze network traffic and identify advanced threats across on-premises and hosted data centers, as well as public cloud environments like Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS. It was truly designed to help you earn and keep your customers’ trust.

This is another feature of the product which provides extensive benefits such as:

Greater Visibility Into Network Intrusions

The SolarWinds Threat Monitor was built to help you determine the types and frequency of attacks against your managed networks. It can assist you in optimizing your security protocols to help safeguard your customers. In addition, this information can be helpful for creating risk assessment reports.

Increased Productivity

The tool was built to help improve efficiency by automating the complex processes of intrusion detection. The SolarWinds Threat Monitor deploys network sensors dedicated to detecting and analyzing threats and suspicious patterns to help you reduce wasted time running manual tasks.

Decreased Security Blind Spots

Just like when driving a vehicle, blinds spots should be avoided at all cost. When used in conjunction with the latest threat intelligence information, an intrusion detection solution can help you gain a more complete view of the evolving cyber threat landscape. This can, in turn, potentially make you better equipped to fight back against cyber threats.

Advanced Log Search

The SolarWinds Threat Monitor offers high-speed log search which can be of great help for post-incident forensic analysis. The tool will rapidly normalize, search, and analyze thousands of logs to help understand the nature of threats and attacks.

Automated Responses

This is another super-useful feature of the SolarWinds Threat Monitor. It helps you react faster by setting the system to automatically respond to threats. You can, for instance, automate intelligent action steps to help remediate security incidents, reducing the need for constant user interaction. This feature gives you a sort of set-and-forget advantage. It might require some extra configuration but your efforts will be well-rewarded when a security event is automatically addressed—and resolved—by the system.

Alarm Engine

Nobody—not even Managed Service Providers—want to spend much time sitting in front of a dashboard, waiting for something to happen. This is where the tool’s Alarm Engine can come in handy. It will let you set rules to help make sure you receive only relevant alarms. The SolarWinds Threat Monitor was designed from the ground up to alert you to only relevant threats. It will distinguish benign activity based on user-configured thresholds and rules and ignore it. In addition, the system will help you identify and summarize important events.

SolarWinds Threat Monitor - Alarms

Compliance Reporting

Many of your clients must be subject to various regulatory compliance requirements. Even your organization, as a Managed Service Provider, might be. The SolarWinds Threat Monitor can help you simplify your compliance efforts—and your clients’—with detailed reports. You can start with some of the many pre-built report templates which are available on the system or create and/or customize your own reports to help with your efforts in passing regulatory and compliance audits

Custom Branding

While this might not be the most useful feature of this platform, it certainly is one of the coolest. It allows you to custom-brand the tool’s interface with your own corporate image and logo. This is a simple measure but it goes a very long way into making your organization’s professionalism stand out.

Even more important than the custom branding of the tool’s user interface, the feature is also present in the tool’s reporting engine. This lets you deliver professional-looking reports that emphasize your organization’s service rather than the tool it’s using. It also helps reinforce the value of your services.

Log-Event Archive

Not all security events are of short duration. Some will last a rather long time and sometimes leave a trail of evidence. The SolarWinds Threat Monitor will archive log events for up to one year. This lets you easily view threats over time to help identify and troubleshoot short-term issues, spot patterns and longer-term trends so that you can begin forensic investigations after a breach.

Benefits For Your Business

Reduce Noise With Centralized Security Monitoring

As you are probably aware, there’s simply no silver bullet in cybersecurity. Any security strategy worthwhile requires an all-encompassing approach. This can present a challenge, however. As the security tools you need to manage increase, so does your overhead. The SolarWinds Threat Monitor was designed to give you a central command hub to help you monitor for threats, respond to them, and generate reports from anywhere at any time

Cover Your Customer Base With A Multitenant Solution

As a managed security service provider, your security solution must be able to handle multiple customers at multiple locations. The SolarWinds Threat Monitor was built from the ground up with managed security service providers in mind, helping you seamlessly cover your customer base from a single, centralized dashboard.

Reinforce Your Value With Custom Branding

What your customers need from you is to keep them secure. Yet, one of the challenges with cybersecurity is that when you do your job well, customers don’t hear from you often. The SolarWinds Threat Monitor was designed to help remind your customers of your value by enabling you to custom-brand the tool’s interface and its reports.

Onboard New Customers Quickly With Simple, Scalable Deployment

It shouldn’t take you too long to set up a threat monitoring solution. And when you want to expand your business, onboarding should also be quick and hiccup-free. The SolarWinds Threat Monitor was built to be easy for Managed Security Service Providers of all sizes to set up and to scale. In a nutshell, the tool is automated threat hunting that’s designed to accommodate both your and your customers’ growth.

Licensing and Pricing

Pricing for the SolarWinds Threat Monitor starts at $4 500 for up to 25 nodes with 10 days of index and goes up from there based on the number of nodes and retention period. You can contact SolarWinds for a detailed quote customized to your specific needs. And if you prefer to see the product in action, you can also request a free demo from SolarWinds.

Bottom Line

The SolarWinds Threat Monitor was designed to hunt threats and automatically correlate logs in real time from your customers’ ecosystems, analyzing them against multiple sources of continuously updated threat intelligence. It was created by a Managed Security Service Provider for Managed Security Service Providers and for any security-minded service providers.

The platform was built from the ground up to be fast, scalable, flexible, and most of all, to deliver efficiency when dealing with security events. Threat intelligence, alarms, and log correlation work, via a set of multi-conditional rules, helping remove noise and providing actionable notifications in real time. Extensive alerting keeps you ahead of threats and comprehensive reporting helps meet compliance requirements.

For a Managed Security Service Provider or a Managed Service Provider looking to grow their business, SolarWinds Threat Monitor is the cloud-based platform that can help you detect, respond to, and report on security events for your customers’ networks. In simpler terms, it gets the job done and this is what is most important.

Read SolarWinds Threat Monitor – REVIEW 2019 (Advanced Threat Detection and Monitoring) by Renaud Larue-Langlois on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

7 ways to improve the security of a Linux server

For a long time, Linux has had a reputation of security through obscurity. Users had the advantage of not being the primary target of hackers and didn’t need to worry. This fact is no longer valid, and in 2017 and 2018, we saw large swaths of hackers exploiting Linux bugs and glitches, finding tricky ways to install malware, viruses, rootkits and more.

Because of the recent flood of exploits, malware and other bad things hurting Linux users, the open source community has responded by beefing up security features. Still, this isn’t enough, and if you’re using Linux on a server, it’s a good idea to look at our list and learn ways you can improve the security of a Linux server.

1. Make use of SELinux

SELinux, AKA Security-Enhanced Linux is a security tool that is built into the Linux kernel. Once enabled, it can easily enforce a security policy of your choosing, which is a must for a rock-solid Linux server.

Many RedHat-based server operating systems come with SELinux enabled and configured with pretty good defaults. That said, not every OS out there supports SELinux by default, so we’ll show you how to turn it on.

Note: Snap packages require AppArmor, an alternative to SELinux. If you choose to use SELinux, on certain Linux operating systems, you may not be able to use Snaps.

CentOS/Rhel

CentOS and RedHat Enterprise Linux both ship with the SELinux security system. It is pre-configured for good security, so no further instructions are needed.

Ubuntu server

Ever since Karmic Koala, Ubuntu has made it very easy to enable the SELinux security tool. To set it up, enter the following commands.

sudo apt install selinux

Debian

Just like on Ubuntu, Debian makes it very easy to set up SELinux. To do it, enter the following commands.

sudo apt-get install selinux-basics selinux-policy-default auditd

After you’re done installing SELinux on Debian, check out the Wiki entry on the software. It covers a lot of need-to-know information for using it on the operating system.

SELinux manual

Once you’ve got SELinux working, do yourself a favor and read up on SELinux manual. Learn how it works. Your server will thank you!

To access the SELinux manual, enter the following command in a terminal session.

man selinux

2. Disable the Root account

One of the smartest things you can do to secure your Linux server is to shut off the Root account, and only use Sudoer privileges to accomplish system tasks. By shutting access off to this account, you’ll be able to ensure that bad actors cannot get full access to the system files, install problematic software (like malware), etc.

Locking the Root account on Linux is easy, and in fact, on many Linux server operating systems (like Ubuntu) it’s already shut off as a precaution. For more information about disabling Root access, check out this guide. In it, we talk all about how to lock Root account.

3. Secure your SSH server

SSH is often a serious weak point on many Linux servers, as many Linux admins prefer to go with the default SSH settings, as they’re easier to spin up, rather than taking the time to lock everything down.

Taking small steps to secure the SSH server on your Linux system can mitigate a good chunk of unauthorized users, malware attacks, data theft and a lot more.

In the past on Addictivetips, I wrote an in-depth post all about how to secure a Linux SSH server. For more information about how to lock down your SSH server, check out the post here.

4. Always install updates

This seems like an obvious point, but you’d be surprised to learn how many Linux server operators forgo updates on their system. The choice is understandable, as every update has the potential to screw up running applications, but by choosing to avoid system updates, you miss out on security patches which fix exploits and bugs that hackers use to breech Linux systems.

It’s true that updating on a production Linux server is a lot more annoying it will ever be on the Desktop. The simple fact is that you can’t just stop everything to install patches. To get around this, consider setting up a planned update schedule.

To be clear there’s no set science on update schedules. They can vary depending on your use case, but, it’s best to install patches weekly, or bi-weekly for maximum security.

6. No third-party software repositories

The great thing about using Linux is that if you need a program, so long as you’re using the right distribution, there’s a third-party software repository available. The problem is that a lot of these software repos have the potential to mess with your system, and malware regularly shows up in them. The fact is, if you’re running a Linux installation dependent on software coming from unverified, third-party sources, problems are going to happen.

If you must have access to software that your Linux operating system doesn’t distribute by default, skip the third-party software repositories for Snap packages. There are dozens of server-grade applications in the store. Best of all, each of the apps on the Snap store receives security audits regularly.

Want to learn more about Snap? Check out our post on the subject to learn how you can get it going on your Linux server!

7. Make use of a firewall

On a server, having an effective Firewall system is everything. If you have one set up, you’ll avoid a lot of the pesky intruders that you’d otherwise come into contact with. On the other hand, if you fail to set up an effective Firewall system, your Linux server will suffer severely.

There are quite a few different firewall solutions on Linux. With that in mind, some are easier to understand than others. By far, one of the simplest (and most effective) firewalls on Linux is FirewallD

Note: to use FirewallD, you must be using a server OS that has the SystemD init system.

To enable FirewallD, you’ll first need to install it. Launch a terminal window and enter the commands that correspond with your Linux operating system.

Ubuntu server

sudo systemctl disable ufw
sudo systemctl stop ufw
sudo apt install firewalld

Debian

sudo apt-get install firewalld

CentOS/Rhel

sudo yum install firewalld

With the software installed on the system, enable it with Systemd.

sudo systemctl enable firewalld
sudo systemctl start firewalld

Conclusion

Security issues are more and more common on Linux servers. Sadly, as Linux continues to get more and more popular in the enterprise space, these issues are only going to be more prevalent. If you follow the security tips on this list, you’ll be able to prevent a majority of these attacks.

Read 7 ways to improve the security of a Linux server by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter