Linux Tactic

Secure Your SSH Connection: Basic Hardening Techniques

Securing your SSH connection is crucial to safeguarding your data and ensuring the safety of your system. SSH is short for Secure Shell; it is a protocol used to establish a secure and encrypted connection between two devices.

Unsecured SSH connections put your personal and business information at risk, so implementing basic SSH hardening techniques is essential. In this article, we will discuss the basics of SSH hardening.

We will cover disabling password-based SSH login, the risks and precautions involved, and disabling password-based authentication. We will offer practical tips and solutions to ensure that your SSH connections are secure.

Basic SSH Hardening:

Disabling Password-Based SSH Login:

Password-based authentication is one of the most common ways to log in to an SSH server. With this method, users enter a username and password to access a server, but it is also a significant security risk.

Passwords can be weak, and hackers use brute force attacks to gain access to your system. To reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your system, it is essential to disable password-based authentication and choose key-based authentication.

Key-based authentication is a safer way to connect to an SSH server as it requires a private key and a public key. The private key is known only to the user and is securely stored on their system.

Risks and Precautions:

While using password-based authentication, it is essential to choose a strong password. A strong password should be at least 12 characters long, use upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.

It is also essential to use a different password for each service. Additionally, implementing fail2ban, a software application that bans IP addresses after a certain number of failed login attempts, can enhance security.

Key-based authentication, on the other hand, is much more secure. However, it is essential to take proper precautions when using it.

First, generate your SSH key-pair on a trusted device, such as your personal computer. Avoid generating keys on public computers where your keys could be stolen.

Secondly, avoid using your SSH keys on random computers where you cannot control who has access to the computer. Finally, restrict the use of your keys to prevent unauthorized access.

Cloud server providers like AWS allow you to manage your SSH keys to avoid locked out scenarios. Disabling Password-Based SSH Authentication:

To disable password-based authentication, you need to edit the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file using a terminal-based text editor.

Open the terminal and navigate to the /etc/ssh directory. Then, enter the following command to edit the sshd_config file:


nano sshd_config


Find the line that reads “PasswordAuthentication yes” and change it to “PasswordAuthentication no.” Then save the changes and exit the editor. Finally, restart the SSH daemon using the following command:


systemctl restart ssh


Your SSH server will now only accept key-based authentication. Final Thoughts:

SSH hardening is an essential aspect of securing your system.

By disabling password-based SSH login, implementing key-based authentication, and taking necessary precautions, you can protect your data and mitigate security risks. In conclusion, protecting your sensitive information using basic SSH hardening techniques is critical.

Following these simple steps can prevent attempts to compromise your system and secure your data. In conclusion, securing SSH connections is crucial to safeguarding your data and ensuring the safety of your system.

Disabling password-based SSH login and implementing key-based authentication can prevent unauthorized access and mitigate security risks. Additionally, using strong passwords, fail2ban, and taking precautions when using SSH keys are essential to ensure your system’s safety.

By following these simple steps, you can protect your sensitive information and prevent attempts to compromise your system. Always remember to prioritize security to keep your system safe.

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