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Host security

(also host-based security)

Host security definition

Host security is a term that includes a range of security tools that individuals and organizations implement and deploy at the host level of their computers. Organizations and individuals install host security tools on a single computer or server in order to protect the computer's or server's host.

An organization's or individual's host security practices also show what their servers do to protect against cyberattacks, how they minimize the impact that a successful cyberattack has on the system, and how they react and respond to attacks when they happen.

Host security works by employing a centralized-management function and an agent that work together to provide automated protection. It detects, responds to, and reports host-based attacks, vulnerabilities, potential risks, and other similar incidents.

See also: host-based firewall, hosts file

Host security best practices

  • Instal a robust host-based firewall that will monitor and control a server's incoming and outgoing traffic.
  • Create strong passwords on all the accounts on the network and using more unique usernames.
  • Instal patches for operating systems, hardware, and firmware.
  • Set up a process for log monitoring on the server or computer.
  • Disable accounts and devices that aren't used anymore.
  • Create backups of the system as frequently as possible.
  • Restrict access to services that can't be disabled.