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Tackling the issues of servers

July 20, 2016 by in category News with 0 and 0

An online presence is arguably the most important type that exists today and as such it is important for businesses to use reliable servers. When developing a website, a server is necessary to host it. Various applications are also dependent on them and can encounter issues when they experience problems.

One such application that has been sweeping the world recently is Pokémon Go. Various players have gone ballistic over social media recently announcing their frustration over the servers apparently crashing for a second time. Players referred to it as “unacceptable” after they were met with the ‘failed login’ status message when they tried to play. The company’s servers also went down before after it was targeted by a hacker group. With the huge amount of players it comes as no surprise that the servers have struggled to cope with the staggering demand for the game.

If security is lacking in servers then hackers can enter and cause issues. Web servers in particular are in need of protection as they store content such as product information, pricing, contact information and other sensitive data that could be confidential. Small businesses tend to have a single physical server that performs numerous functions for the organization, such as email or website duties. In a situation like this, compromising a single server can expose the whole business to a hacker.

Security measures to protect servers do exist however. SSH keys for example are a pair of cryptographic keys that are used to authenticate to a server as an alternative to password logins. Because SSH keys tend to have more bits of data than a password, there is a considerable amount of combinations that a hacker would have to run through. This offers great protection.

Firewalls are known to practically everyone who owns a computer and are designed to block or restrict access to what shouldn’t be publicly available. They can help protect the more private servers that handle the database control panel for example. There are numerous security options available each with their own degree of security, meaning you can pick and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Overloading in web servers is also a common occurrence and can happen for a number of reasons. Excessive web traffic or in other words, millions of people trying to connect within a short time span, is probably the most common cause of overloads. Computer worms are capable of causing abnormal amounts of traffic too thanks to millions of infected computers. XXS viruses are similar as they cause high traffic due to millions of infected browsers or infecting servers themselves.

Anti-overload techniques can be implemented to help prevent the issue however. Network traffic can be managed by utilising firewalls to block unwanted traffic from bad IP sources or patterns. HTTP traffic mangers are also helpful as they can drop, redirect or rewrite requests that have bad them. Peaks in network usage can be smoothed down through usage of bandwidth management and traffic shaping.

When a website or application is being built, you want to make sure that the accompanying server is up to the challenge of hosting it. Adequate security against hackers and overloading can do wonders for the server and can help to keep everything running properly.

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