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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

How secure is your dedicated server?

28 April 2021 by Laura Valentine

Despite the growth of cloud adoption, there remains a time and a place for dedicated servers. In certain circumstances – particularly those associated with legacy applications, demanding performance requirements and extreme data security standards – only physical infrastructure will do. 

Whatever your reason for reliance on dedicated servers, it’s important not to become complacent about securityIf your physical hardware is only a part of a larger hybrid solution, it becomes all too easy to focus your attention on cloud security 

So, exactly how secure is your dedicated server? 

Importance of server security 

In today’s ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape, protecting your business against sophisticated threats can be the difference between success and failure. A successful breach or attack can mean downtime, lost sales and damage to reputation.  

Database servers in particular can hold a wealth of personally identifiable information (PII), making them a goldmine for cybercriminals and a minefield for businesses. Post-Brexit, GDPR compliance remains essential, with very real financial repercussions in the event of an accidental or forced data breach.  

Harvested or stolen data can be sold on the black market or used to facilitate further waves of cybercrime. Your dedicated servers are easy targets for cybercriminals, and with attacks unavoidable, it’s imperative you have the right security in place.  

Location and physical security 

Your dedicated server is vulnerable to physical threats as well as virtual cyber threats. Fire, flood, natural disaster or hardware malfunction – there are a multitude of events with the potential to wipe out your infrastructure. You must ensure that your server room or data centre is designed to protect your hardware, with the correct cooling facilities and fire contingencies in place. A business continuity plan is essential, along with off-site backups. 

For those handling especially sensitive data or operating in areas that are highly political, malicious interference also becomes a concern. Physical attacks on data centres are not unheard of, and insider attacks on networks are a growing worry for many businesses. Ensuring that the location of your dedicated server is protected from intruders is just as important as cybersecurity.  

Meeting this level of physical and virtual security can be challenging and expensive. Working with a managed services provider (MSP) is an option for those without access to the resources in-house. 

When considering hosting your dedicated server with an MSP, you should consider: 

  • The location of their data centres: Are these in the UK? Dependent on your industry compliance standards, this is essential for data sovereignty. 
  • The number of data centres: Do they have multi-site availability to aid high-availability and disaster recovery? 
  • Physical site security: What measures are taken to protect the security of their data centres? Is there 24-hour surveillance and dedicated security personnel on site? 
  • Virtual site security: Look for certifications that match with your required compliance standards, such as ISO 27001 and PCI DSS compliance. 

Patching and updates 

It might sound obvious but carrying out basic server maintenance should never be overlooked. Something as simple as failing to carry out a software update could prove costly for your business.  

Software updates are frequently released by developers to fix any issues they spot in their code. Cybercriminals actively seek out these vulnerabilities and, if you haven’t updated, you leave your infrastructure wide open to exploitation.  

Dependent on the size of your business, the number of servers you have and the skill level of your IT team, keeping on top of patches and updates may be trickier than it seems. Often, this type of maintenance work can seem less appealing, taking up valuable time that your teams would rather invest in other, innovation-driving projects.  

Working with an MSP can provide the solution, with fully managed services often including server maintenance as standard. With the peace of mind that your server is always up to date, there’s one less thing for your IT team to worry about.  

Secure by default 

With maintenance and the physical security of your server taken care of, it’s time to circle back to cybersecurity. Adding resilience to your infrastructure requires a security strategy and a layered approach. From firewalls and DDoS protection through to SIEM software, you can build up levels of security as required.  

The cybersecurity skills gap means that many businesses lack the skills inhouse to correctly detect and mitigate security threats. Choosing an MSP with security expertise can help to bridge this gap. Look for a hosting partner that can build your infrastructure to be secure by default, and who can support you with creating a bespoke strategy to protect your business.  

How we can help 

UKFast’s dedicated servers are only ever housed in our UK-based, ISO and PCI-DSS accredited data centres, with 24/7/365 physical and virtual security. Our fully managed hosting solutions include server maintenance as standard, along with around-the-clock, award-winning support.  

Find out more about dedicated servers from UKFast.

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