Tech freaks often tout Linux as the most secure operating system, especially when compared to mainstream proprietary operating systems like Windows and macOS. While that's largely true, Linux doesn't provide you with a secure environment by default.
The security of the Linux server largely depends on the methods you follow and the tools you have deployed on your system to help it withstand viruses, malware, and other malicious attacks.
Nothing is invincible; Because of this, it's handy to secure your Linux server with the best open source security tools on the market.
Open source network scanners and analyzers
A system administrator uses various tools to monitor, scan, and analyze various important network activities. You should only trust the most reliable and widely used open source software to activate the security parameters of your server.
Wireshark is an open source network monitoring program and has been considered one of the best packet sniffers and network protocol analyzers since 1998. It enjoys the incredible support of a large global community of software developers and network specialists. This support group provides updates in the form of the latest network advances, encryption methods, and security patches.
Because it is a powerful open source tool, Wireshark is more secure than any closed source network software in the face of increasing security threats. It is for this reason that large global corporations, large corporations, and government agencies rely on this tool to assist them with various forms of network troubleshooting and traffic monitoring. This includes capturing and reviewing the content of live packets and other important tasks.
Large server companies face the never-ending challenge of investigating their network packets and the various types of vulnerabilities lurking on their networks. While there are no short network utilities out there, few can match the efficiency and versatility that Nmap offers in terms of network security, auditing, and mapping.
Nmap, or Network Mapper, is an open source and completely free of charge tool for scanning vulnerabilities in a network. Network administrators can examine active devices, discover available hosts, identify open ports and immediately identify security problems on the resident systems.
If you want to monitor large and complex networks with numerous devices, subnets, or individual hosts, you can rest assured that Nmap is an ideal security tracking tool for any Linux server administrator.
Nmap's main tasks include analyzing raw IP packets, providing live host network details such as their ports, services, banners, and current version information. This tool allows you to identify every open port in a system and take the necessary action immediately.
Antivirus and malware scanners
While Linux distributions are more secure than other types of systems, you should not believe in urban myths like "Linux cannot be infected". These ideologies are exactly what they sound like – myths.
Linux server administrators need to take their system security seriously to avoid massive network downtime caused by the influx of malicious programs.
ClamAV is an open source anti-malware engine designed to scan viruses and malicious programs that attack the Linux platform. It offers a multi-threaded scanning utility that is ideal for real-time detection of a wide variety of attacks, each based on their signatures. Aside from identifying live threats, you can use ClamAV's inherent command line interface for system-wide on-demand scan and signature updates.
ClamAV doesn't come close to other proprietary antivirus tools, including those from reputable brands like ESET or BitDefender. Both companies offer an extensive list of features and pride themselves on being easy to use. On the other hand, ClamAV does its inherent job well; It's excellent open source antivirus software that comes without all of the fancy bells and whistles that its competitors offer.
In addition to attacks and malicious threats from external sources, Linux distributions often have internal security vulnerabilities such as rootkits, back doors and other local vulnerabilities.
Rootkit Hunter or Rkhunter is an open source scanning and detection program designed to find such risks. These risks include hidden files and programs, shady strings, incorrect permissions, and much more on your local Linux-based computer and server.
Intrusion detection is a difficult task for a Linux server. Systems must be equipped with these tools to perform real-time monitoring to look for hacker attacks.
Pre-surveillance can immediately block malicious attacks by closing the security loopholes before attackers can steal your valuable data.
Snort is the top trendsetter among the essential tools in every Linux system administrator's arsenal, and the best part is that it is free to download. Its Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is equipped with rules to detect malicious activity on the network by comparing it with a set of predefined rules.
Snort has three main use cases: a packet sniffer, a logger, or a full-time, system-wide network IPS tool.
In most cases you will use this tool as a packet filter; Nevertheless, it can recognize attacks based on their signatures, which Wireshark cannot. However, the efficiency of Snort's intrusion detection largely depends on the user's ability to establish rules that allow legitimate network activity while blocking the suspicious.
Nikto is a GPL-licensed open source scan tool that performs extensive tests on web servers. It can detect more than 6,700 types of malicious code, 1,250 out of date server versions, and even specific server problems within 270 versions.
You can use Nikto to review configuration items for servers that contain various index files. It tries to determine the installed web servers with their respective programs. The tool plugins are regularly updated automatically by the developer so that you always have the latest version.
You shouldn't use Nikto as a stealth tool as it cannot be used as such. It can test web servers in a short time; Note, however, that the Nikto log files are monitored by the server administrator.
Some of the best things are free, which makes them an absolute must-have. Each of the six open source tools mentioned above are free to download and offer some of the best security coverage for your Linux server.
However, while configuring the security of your Linux server, it is always a good idea to troubleshoot your server problems so that you can eliminate any inherent security problems the first time.
Use these 5 troubleshooting steps to troubleshoot Linux server problems
Get your Linux server up and running in minutes with these smart troubleshooting tips.
About the author
(10 articles published)
Wini is a Delhi based writer with 2 years of writing experience. While writing, she was associated with digital marketing agencies and technical firms. She has written content on programming languages, cloud technology, AWS, machine learning, and much more. In her free time, she enjoys painting, spending time with her family and traveling to the mountains whenever possible.
By Wini Bhalla
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free e-books, and exclusive offers!
One more step …!
Please confirm your email address in the email we just sent you.
Expand to read the full story