Magento Server Security: How to Secure Your Magento Server

Magento Server Security: How to Secure Your Magento Server. Magento is an eCommerce platform that enables companies to create and manage online stores. The server is the environment where the actual Magento store runs. It hosts the eCommerce website and stores all the website files, including product catalogues, images, and themes. Basically, the server acts as the backbone of the eCommerce sites built with Magento.

Magento, being a widely used eCommerce platform, is a target of various security threats. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the security implications of a Magento server in order to maintain the store’s availability.

This article discusses various ways to secure your Magento server. Read on!

Magento Server Security: How to Secure Your Magento Server-10 Ways

1. Use a Secure Server

Choose a secure server tool. Currently, there are lots of SFTP servers in the market where you can install Magento. It is crucial to choose a server built with a security first approach.

Always choose a server designed for Magento. These servers are more likely to understand Magento’s specific requirements and offer optimized environments tailored for Magento’s performance and security needs. If you are choosing a third party, ensure the hosting provider offers robust security features including server monitoring, patching, etc. A secure server not only provides robust physical security but also ensures that the underlying infrastructure is hardened against cyber threats.

2. Deactivate Directory Indexing

Directory indexing allows users to view a list of files in a directory if no index file (like index.php or index.html) is present in your Magento server. When directory indexing is active, your sensitive files are at high risk of exposure to anyone who navigates to a particular URL. Deactivating directory indexing prevents unauthorized users from viewing the contents of directories. This is important because directories on a Magento server can contain sensitive files, such as configuration scripts, backup files.

By hiding the structure and contents of your server directories, you limit the information that potential attackers gather. This makes it more difficult for them to find and exploit vulnerabilities, as they cannot see the present files or directories.

3. Update Server to Latest Version

Server updates come with patches for known vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. By updating the server’s operating system and software, you protect your Magento server against these vulnerabilities. Ideally, you should automate the update process if possible. For manual updates, you need to maintain a schedule to ensure that you don’t miss any crucial updates.

4. Use TLS

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is an encryption protocol that encrypts data in transit between the Magento server and the client. This encryption makes data unreadable while in transit, ensuring malicious users cannot benefit from it. With TLS, you prevent sensitive information such as customer information and payment details from interception. 

To ensure your server is secure, you should add TLS certificates to protect your data. TLS allows the use of HTTP/2, a network protocol that also improves performance. After Implementing SSL/TLS, your store displays an icon in the browser address bar which indicates it’s secure. Besides, search engines like Google prefer secure sites and give the preference, which also improves rankings.

5. Use Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)

An IDS monitors network or system activities for malicious activities or policy violations and reports them to the administrator. After detecting an intrusion, the system automatically alerts. 

There are two types of IDS:

  • Network-based IDS (NIDS): Monitor network traffic for suspicious activity. They are placed at strategic points within the network to monitor traffic to and from all devices on the network.

If you are using NIDS, ensure proper positioning to monitor all traffic going in and out of your Magento server. For HIDS, install it directly on your Magento server. It should have access to system logs, and the ability to monitor process and file system changes. Besides, you should customize the detection rules to suit the Magento environment. This involves setting up rules to alert on known Magento vulnerabilities, suspicious access patterns, or file changes.

6. Review Server Logs

Server logs provide a detailed record of the server’s activities. By analysing these logs, you identify and address potential security threats before they escalate. Regularly reviewing server logs also helps detect potential security breaches and unusual server activity. 

Server logs provide a detailed account of all server activities, including access attempts, file changes, and system errors.  The best approach to server logging is by implementing automated log analysis tools. They identify and detect anomalies that might indicate a security threat. Besides, configure alerts for critical events, therefore increasing response times.

7. Restrict File Permissions

Restricting file permissions is key to securing your Magento server, as it prevents unauthorized file and directory access and modifications, thereby reducing security vulnerabilities. File permissions, defined for the file owner, group, and public, are based on read (r), write (w), and execute (x) rights, represented as 4, 2, and 1, respectively.

Typically, directories should have permissions set to 755 (drwxr-xr-x), allowing owners full access while restricting groups and others to read and execute only. Regular files like PHP should be set to 644 (-rw-r–r–), enabling owner read-write access, and read-only access for others. Highly sensitive files, especially those with credentials, need tighter permissions, such as 600 (read/write for owner only).

Specifically for Magento, the app/etc directory, containing vital configuration files, should not be writable by the web server, recommended at 700 permissions. The var directory (for logs, sessions, and cache) and the pub directory should be set to 750 for directories and 640 for files, allowing web server write access.

8. Restrict Access by IP Address

By restricting access by IP address, you prevent the public from accessing some key areas. For instance, allow only specific, trusted IP addresses to access certain sensitive areas of your server, such as the admin panel, while blocking all others. This way, you significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access. Especially vital for preventing brute-force attacks. 

Since the Magento admin panel is a common target for attackers, restrict access to this area by IP. Configure it such that only devices with approved IP addresses reach the admin login page. This makes it much harder for attackers to even attempt to log in. Even if an attacker manages to obtain login credentials, IP restrictions prevent them from accessing the admin panel.

9. Secure the Network Environment

Securing the network environment of a Magento server helps safeguard your eCommerce platform against various cyber threats. Implement a series of security measures to protect the network infrastructure and communication channels used by the Magento server.

First, configure network security settings to control traffic and block unauthorized access. Also,  implement virtual private networks (VPNs) for remote access. Additionally, consider segmenting your network to isolate the Magento environment from other parts of your network. This reduces the risk of cross contamination in case of a breach.

10. Configure Firewalls

Firewalls serve as a critical protective layer for your Magento server. They operate as the primary barrier, managing both incoming and outgoing network traffic based on established rules. Properly configured firewalls are key to blocking unauthorized access to your server.

There are two types of firewalls:

  • Network Firewalls: A network firewall operates at network level, providing the first line of defense. These firewalls are based on IP addresses, ports, and protocols.
  • Web Application Firewalls (WAF): A WAF specifically protects web applications (like Magento) by filtering and monitoring HTTP traffic between the web application and the internet. It helps defend against web-based attacks such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and file inclusion.

Correct firewall configuration is essential. Ideally, configure your firewalls to deny all traffic by default and explicitly permit only the traffic that is necessary. Ensure that essential ports for Magento, such as port 80 for HTTP and port 443 for HTTPS, are open, along with any other specific ports used by your application.

When utilizing a WAF, it’s important to tailor its configuration to the unique needs of Magento. Establish rules to ward off attempts to exploit both Magento and underlying PHP vulnerabilities. Regular updates of the WAF rules are also crucial to shield your Magento server against emerging vulnerabilities and security threats.

Magento Server Security: How to Secure Your Magento Server Conclusion

The above security measures help secure your Magento server against malicious access. Securing your Magento server is a continuous process as threats continue to evolve. Besides, perform regular backups and become compliant with legal and data protection standards. This strategy plays a key role in ensuring not just the security, but also the resilience of the Magento ecosystem.

Avatar for Dennis Muvaa
Dennis Muvaa

Dennis is an expert content writer and SEO strategist in cloud technologies such as AWS, Azure, and GCP. He's also experienced in cybersecurity, big data, and AI.

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