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No Web Server Is Unbreakable

When you think of protecting a web site, you might typically consider protecting the web server machine, using intrusion-detection techniques, and utilizing firewalls and other access-control mechanisms. While all of these protections are important, no web server is unbreakable.

By nature, web servers are large, complex beasts. They run CGI scripts that often lead to compromise, and often there are many user accounts in which users can post their own content, including scripts. The best way to protect a web server from compromise is to hire a top-notch administrator who watches the server closely. The administrator should keep a close eye on access patterns and monitor the logs carefully. Of course, when all is said and done, if hackers want to get in, they will. It's just a matter of how quickly you notice it. In addition, attacks may come from insiders with legitimate access to the web servers.

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