How to secure your Windows Virtual Private Server

 

When your Windows Virtual Private Server is on a live public network, the security of your virtual private server should be your utmost concern. When you derive the login information for your Windows Virtual Private Server, the first important thing will be to protect your Windows virtual machine. Below we have mentioned some steps for securing your Windows Virtual Private Server.

When your web hosting provider is installing a Windows OS, a default admin account is generated. Most Windows Virtual Private Server hosting providers will deliver a virtual private server with this default administrator account. This default admin account can simply become a victim of brute-force login strikes by bots. The simplest way to prevent this threat is to change default administrator account and create a new user with full admin rights. When you generate a new admin username, it should be not as easy like "admin", but random.

After changing the admin username to one that is more secure, the following step will be to set up a strong password for this freshly generated admin account. The password must be at least 10 characters long. It must be combination of capital-small letters, numbers and special characters. You should avoid using the same password twice and variations of the same password. Though, current trends also suggest changing some easily unforgettable words into a strong password.  Considering that you are very bad at memorizing complicated passwords, in place of writing them down on your monitor’s sticky note, you can consider password securing software such as Keypass.

To access the desktop of your Windows virtual private machine, you will have a Windows feature called Remote Desktop operating on default port 3389. Well, as it’s common and public known, the majority of remote desktop attacks are performed on this port. So, changing the default remote desktop port to some unidentified port will simply correct this problem and avert the abuse of server resources. When you change the Remote Desktop port, it is suggested to choose some random port number.

Also, you should confine unknown IP addresses to gain access to your Virtual Private Server. To achieve this, you should have internet connection with a static IP address. Standard home DSL or Cable or Wireless connections generally do not have a static IP address. You should be careful while you restrict IP addresses as you may lock yourself out.

In order to secure your Virtual Private Server, it is highly suggested that you install antivirus. Microsoft’s Security Essentials is an excellent and free option to start. It is an auto-updating antivirus program with the latest definition and provides real time protection to your virtual private server from almost all online security threats. Also, for your knowledge, Antivirus and firewall is not the same thing.

The default Windows firewall is a reasonably decent firewall which works fairly well in averting malicious software or hackers. It checks the info coming from the web and then depending upon firewall settings either blocks it or allows it to pass through to your Windows Virtual Private Server. It is highly suggested that you keep Windows firewall enabled and set your default policies to "Deny all" and only permit what you need.

Also, it is suggested that you run Windows updates as soon as possible. You should turn on automatic updating to install important updates automatically. There are many benefits form important updates like improved security, vulnerability patches, bug fixes, etc. Suggested updates are meant to address non-significant problems and enhance computing experience. Recommended Windows updates can also be downloaded and installed automatically. Optional updates are downloaded and installed at your choice, as you cannot set them to automatic. When you do not turn on automatic updating, make sure that you check for updates regularly.