Linux is already secure by default, right?

Linux Measures for starters

Most systems have confidential information that has to be shielded. We need to safeguard our Linux system to safeguard this information. But just how to harden a Linux system? We will pay this step. We start with physical security measures to prevent people from access the machine in the first location. Next is doing the setup the way, therefore we’ve got a base that is good. We will apply a set of security measures that are shared. Your server or desktop system should be protected Once we’re finished. Are you ready? Let us proceed with the actions!

Table of Contents server operating system

What’s system hardening?server operating system

Core fundamentals of system hardening

Principe of least privilege



System hardening steps

  1. Install security updates and patches Use strong passwords
  2. Bind procedures to localhost
  3. Implement a firewall Keep things clean Secure configurations
  4. Limit access
  5. Monitor your systems
  6. Create backups (and test!) Perform system auditing

Additional Assets tools

Linux is secure by default, right?

Among those myths about Linux is that it is secure, as it is not vulnerable to viruses or other forms of malware. This is true, as Linux uses the foundations of the UNIX operating system. Processes are split and a user is restricted in what she or he can perform on the computer system. Still, Linux is not perfectly protected by default. One of the reasons is that the Linux distributions that bundle the GNU/Linux kernel as well as the applications. They must choose between performance, usability, and security.

With the tough choices that Linux distributions have to create, you can be certain of compromises. These compromises result in a level of safety. That’s a myth that is definitely a. The Linux platform includes its fair share of functions, rootkits, backdoors, and ransomware. That is one of the reasons why it is necessary to do system hardening, security auditing, and checking for compliance with instructions that are technical.

Picture of items which are relevant to Linux platform hardening, auditing, and compliance.

There are lots of elements to Linux security, including Linux platform hardening, auditing, and compliance.

What is system hardening?

To enhance the security level of a system, we carry several types of steps. This might be the elimination of an present system support or uninstall some software components.

System hardening is the procedure for doing the’right’ things. The goal is to improve the system’s safety level. There are many aspects to securing a system correctly. The principles are similar for most operating systems. Hence that the system hardening process for Linux desktop and servers is special.

Core principles of system hardening

If we’d put a microscope on system hardening, we could divide the process into a few core principles. These include the principle of least privilege, segmentation, and reduction.

Principe of privilege

The principle of least privileges means that you give users and procedures the bare minimum of consent to do their job. It’s much like granting a visitor access. You could give access such as all sensitive locations. The other option is to allow your visitors to access a floor where they need to be. The decision is easy, right?


When read-only access Is Sufficient, don’t give write permissions

Don’t enable executable code in memory regions that are flagged as data sections

Do not run applications because the root user, rather utilize a non-privileged user accounts


The next principle is that you divide bigger areas into smaller ones. It has split into flooring, if we take a look at that building . Each floor may be further split into various zones. Maybe you is only allowed on floor 4, in the blue corner. If we interpret this to Linux security, this principle would apply to memory utilization. Each procedure can only access their own memory sections.


This principle aims to eliminate something which is not strictly needed for the machine to work. It looks like the principle of least privilege, however concentrates on preventing something. Should be stopped. Similar for unneeded user accounts or data that is no longer being used.

System hardening steps

Overview of hardening steps

Install security upgrades and patches

Bind procedures to localhost

Implement a firewall

Security configurations

Limit access

Create backups (and test!)

Perform system auditing Security updates and patches

Most weaknesses in programs are caused by defects in applications. These flaws we call vulnerabilities. Proper care for software patch management help with decreasing a lot of the risks. Of installing upgrades the activity often has a low risk when beginning with the security patches. Most Linux distributions have the choice to limit what packages you want to update (all, safety only, per bundle ). Ensure your security upgrades are installed. It goes without mentioning, before you implementing something, test it on a (virtual) evaluation system.

Depending on your Linux distribution there could be a way to apply security patches automatically, like unattended updates on Debian and Ubuntu. This makes software patch management! Use strong passwords

The most important gateway into a system is by logging in as a user using the password of that account. Strong passwords make it let malicious men and women walk in via the front entrance and challenging for tools to imagine the password. A strong password is made up of variety of characters (alphanumeric, numbers, special like percentage, space, as well as Unicode characters). Bind procedures to localhost

Not all solutions have to be available via the system. By way of example, when running a local example of MySQL on your web server, allow it only listen to a local socket or link to localhost ( Then configure your application to link via this speech, which is normally already the default option.

  1. Implement a firewall

Only allowed traffic should in an perfect situation achieve your system. To achieve this, implement a firewall solution like the nftables, or iptables.

When creating a policy to your firewall, consider having a”deny all, allow a few” policy. So you deny all traffic by default, then define what kind of traffic that you would like to allow. This is especially useful for traffic, to prevent sharing solutions you did not intend to share.

Differences between iptables and also nftables

  1. Keep things clean

Everything installed on a system which doesn’t belong there can only negatively impact your machine. It is going to also increase your backups (and restore instances ). Or they might contain vulnerabilities. A system is often a system that is protected and healthier. Hence minimalization is a method in the procedure for Linux hardening.

Actionable jobs include:

Delete unused bundle

Clean up old home directories and remove the users Secure configurations

Most programs have one or more security measures available to protect against several kinds of threats to the software or system. Have a look at the man page to get any options and test these options. Limit access

Simply allow access into this machine for licensed users. Does someone need access or are other methods possible to provide the consumer what he or she wants? Monitor your systems

Many intrusions are unnoticed, because of absence of monitoring. Employ system tracking that is normal and implement monitoring on safety events. By way of example, the use of the Linux audit frame increased detection levels of events. Create copies (and test!)

Often make a backup of system information. This can prevent data loss. More significant, test your copies. Having a backup is nice, but it is!

Backups can be carried out with existing system tools like tar and scp. Another option to spare bandwidth would be currently synchronizing data with tools such as rsync. If you want to use a program, contemplate Amanda or Bacula. Perform system auditing

Lynis (Linux/Unix auditing instrument ) screenshot

Screenshot of a Linux server security audit performed with Lynis.

You can’t properly protect a system if you don’t measure it.

Utilize a security tool like Lynis to execute a normal audit of your system. Any findings kept in a data file for analysis and are revealed on the screen. With a comprehensive log record, program actions that are next for additional system hardening and it allows to use all available data.

Lynis runs on almost all Linux systems or Unix tastes. It requires a standard shell. Root permissions are preferred, yet not needed.