What is a Server?

A server is a type of computer or device on a network that is capable of managing network resources. Servers are often dedicated, which means they perform only the server tasks and nothing else. On multiprocessing operating systems, however, a single computer can run several programs simultaneously. In this case, a server could refer to the program that is managing resources rather than the whole computer.

Types of Servers

Servers come in different types and each can perform different jobs, from serving email and video to hosting websites and protecting internal networks. Some key types of servers include:

Hack A server
  • Web server
    A web server delivers web pages. All web servers have an IP address and could also have a domain name. There are a number of commercial and public domain web server software applications.

  • Dedicated server
    This is a single computer in a network reserved for serving the requirements of the network.

  • Application server
    This is a program that handles all application operations between users and an organization's back-end business applications or databases. Application servers are generally used for complex transaction-based applications.

  • Cloud server
    Cloud servers make their services available on demand through the internet. Instead of a virtual server or single server, cloud servers are provided by multiple connected servers that comprise a cloud.

  • Proxy server
    This server sits between a client application, such as a web browser, and a "real" server to improve performance and filter requests.

  • Print server
    This is a computer that manages one or more printers.

  • Network server
    A network server is a computer that handles network traffic.

  • Database server
    This is a computer that processes database queries.

  • File server
    This computer and storage device stores files that can be accessed by all network users.

Web Server Vulnerabilities

As stated above, a web server is a program that stores files (mostly web pages) and allows them to be accessed via the internet or the network. A web server needs both software and hardware. Attackers mostly target vulnerabilities in the software to gain entry to the server. Here are some of the common vulnerabilities that attackers take advantage of:

  • Default settings: Attackers can easily guess default user IDs and passwords. Keeping such settings with their default values makes it easy for attackers to run commands on the server for exploitive purposes.

  • Misconfiguration of operating systems and networks: Specific configurations, such as permitting users to implement commands on the server, can be dangerous if the user fails to set a strong password.

  • Bugs in the web servers and operating system: Bugs detected in the web server software or operating system can also be exploited to gain unauthorized access to the system.

Types of Attacks Against Web Servers

  • Directory traversal attacks
    These attacks exploit bugs in the web server to get unauthorized access to folders and files that are not in the public domain. After gaining access, attackers will be able to download sensitive information, install malicious software, or execute commands on the server.

  • Denial of service (DoS) attacks
    Flooding a web server with requests could cause it to crash or become unavailable to legitimate users.

  • Sniffing
    Unencrypted data transmitted over the network may be intercepted and used to gain unauthorized access to the web server.

  • Pharming
    Unencrypted data transmitted over the network may be intercepted and used to gain unauthorized access to the web server.

  • Website defacement
    In a defacement attack, the attacker replaces the organization's website with a different page containing content created by the hacker.

  • Domain name system hijacking
    A DNS setting gets changed to point to the attacker's web server causing traffic sent to the web server to be redirected there.

  • Phishing
    A phishing attack impersonates a legitimate website and directs traffic to a fake version that tricks users into submitting personal information such as credit card numbers, login credentials, etc.

How to Avoid Attacks on a Web Server

  • Install firewalls to stop simple DoS attacks.

  • Use antivirus software to remove malicious software on the server.

  • Disable remote administration.

  • Employ a patch management strategy to install patches (updates that fix bugs in the software). Patches can be applied to the web server system and the operating system.

  • Remove all unused and default accounts from the system.

  • Change default ports and settings to custom ports and settings.

  • Secure the installation and configuration of the operating system and the web server software.

All of these measures will help prevent your web server from getting hacked, but it's essential for you to employ a reliable web server attack solution. Comodo cWatch Web is the only web security offering on the market that combines a complete security stack managed by human expertise all in a single solution. cWatch includes:

  • Malware Monitoring and Remediation: Malware detection scanning, prevention methods, and removal services allow organizations to adopt a proactive approach to help protect their business and brand reputation from malware infections and attacks. Websites are scanned daily to quickly identify and remove malware. If a threat is detected, email alerts are sent to Comodo's CSOC and the impacted organization with detailed instructions and next steps on how to quickly identify and eliminate the threat. cWatch Web stops threats even before they hit an organization's network though its advanced security analytics engine which monitors rising threats across the world and uses real-time data from web traffic to provide early warnings and indicators that help recognize and block malware delivery techniques, zero-day vulnerabilities, and new threats.

  • Secure Content Delivery Network (CDN): The secure CDN is a network of globally distributed servers designed to enhance the performance of web applications and websites by delivering content using the server closest to the user—and it's also proven to increase search rankings. Built on a foundation of security along with a fortified machine learning core, it can aggregate, study, and syndicate real-time threat data to and from Comodo's secure services.

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): Comodo cWatch Web is powered by an enhanced analytics-driven SIEM process that can evaluate event data in real time, providing security intelligence for early detection of breaches and threats, rapid incident response, compliance reporting, and log management. The Comodo SIEM does this by aggregating data from more than 85 million endpoints and 100 million validated domains and combines it with contextual information about assets, users, latest threats, and existing vulnerabilities, analyzing the data to generate actionable insights.

  • Web Application Firewall (WAF): The Comodo WAF eliminates application vulnerabilities and protects web applications and websites against advanced attacks like SQL Injection, Cross-Site Scripting, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). The WAF combines malware scanning, vulnerability scanning, and automatic virtual patching and hardening engines to block malicious bots and brute force attacks.

  • Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC): The Comodo CSOC is staffed with certified security analysts who monitor, assess, and defend websites, databases, applications, data centers, servers, desktops, networks, and endpoints for customers. The CSOC employs a modern facility and Comodo cWatch technology to identify and analyze threats, and then carries out the necessary actions needed to maintain optimal security.

  • PCI Scanning: Comodo cWatch Web provides online merchants, businesses, and other service providers handling credit cards online with an automated and simple way to stay compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). It makes sure payment cardholder information is kept secure with meticulous network and application scans to detect and fix vulnerabilities.