Help protect your server from on-site attacks

Updated: July 22, 2009

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard

Physically Secure the Computer That is Running Windows Small Business Server 2008 from On-Site Attacks

All networks are vulnerable to on-site attacks, which may include, but are not limited to, the following: starting the server from a floppy disk and reformatting the hard disk; opening the computer case and removing the hard disk drive and then reading information from it; or replacing keyboards with those that can help monitor everything you type, including passwords. Physically securing the server can help restrict these on-site attacks.

To help physically secure the server

  1. Keep a tape backup in a secure off-site location. Store any on-site tape backups in a secure place.

  2. Lock the CPU case and ensure that the key is protected. Make a backup key and keep it in a safety-deposit box off-site.

  3. Limit physical access to the server, preferably by placing it in a locked room and issuing keys only to users who need physical access to it. The server should be bolted down or secured to a rack. Alternatively, use a cable lock.

  4. Ensure that the password is not written near the computer (for example, under the keyboard).

  5. Protect the server with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). UPS equipment helps protect the server from a temporary power loss, which can cause server failure or file corruption.

  6. Set a password for the system BIOS. For more information about setting a BIOS password, see the server manufacturer's documentation.

Do Not Use the Computer That is Running Windows Small Business ServerĀ 2008 as a Workstation

Using the server as a workstation increases the surface area for attacks. The surface area for attacks increases because you need to install client applications on the server. If there is a security-related issue for any client application, the server is vulnerable to attack until a security update is installed. If a user other than a network administrator logs on to the server, the chance increases that the user will accidentally delete critical information or an application.

Using the server as a workstation affects the performance of the network. When the server is used as a workstation, the server must spend processing time servicing the requests from locally installed applications, which slows down responses to network requests.