Securing Plesk

August 29, 2019

It is very important to keep your server secure and safe to prevent unwanted access and from uploading malicious files that may harm your server and make your domain and I.P. reputation poor.

We can prevent these things from happening by following below steps

Step 1 : Restricting Plesk Administrative Access 

If Plesk admin password is compromised, then it would be very easy to upload malicious content to the server and it can damage the server and hosted domains.

So to prevent this from happening, we need to restrict the network which can log in to Plesk using Plesk admin credentials, this can be done using below steps

Preventing Admin Access from Specific I.P./Subnets

  1. Log in to Plesk using admin, go to Tools and Settings > Restrict Administrative Access(Under Security Section). 
  2. Click Settings and select “Allowed, excluding the networks in the list” radio button, and then click OK.

      3. Click Add Network and add the I.P. from which you want to prevent connection.

Allowing Admin Access from Specific I.P./Subnets

  1. Log in to Plesk using admin, go to Tools and Settings > Restrict Administrative Access(Under Security Section). 
  2. Click Settings and select “Denied from the networks that are not listed” radio button, and then click OK

      3. Click Add Network and add the I.P from which you want to allow the connection.

==================================================================

Step 2: Restricting Remote Access via Plesk API

Plesk API is used to interact with Plesk to perform various tasks remotely, such as creating/deleting subscriptions, creating/deleting accounts, etc.

All or particular connections via Plesk API can be prohibited.

The same can be done by editing panel.ini files, locations are below

For Linux : /usr/local/psa/admin/conf/panel.ini

For Windows : %plesk_dir%\admin\conf\panel.ini

To block all connections via Plesk API

[api]

enabled = off

To allow connection from certain I.P.’s via Plesk API

[api]

allowedIPs = IP_addresses

==================================================================

Step 3 : Setting the Password Policy

Keeping the same password or weak password for very long duration is like inviting unwanted access to the server.

So it is very necessary to keep the password unpredictable/complex as much as possible. To do so, we need to set up some password policy which can be done using the below steps

  1. Login to Plesk, then go to Tools & Settings > Security Policy (under “Security”) and then scroll down to the “Password strength” section.
  2. In  “Minimum password strength”, select the radio button corresponding to the desired password strength policy.
  3. Click OK.

The same will be applied to

  • Passwords used to log in to Plesk.
  • Subscription system users’ passwords.
  • Database users’ passwords.
  • Mailbox passwords.

==================================================================

Step 4 : Enhanced Security Policy

It is enabled by default on version 11 or later.

If you are updating Plesk from an older version then you can enable the same, but this process cannot be undone.

To enable this policy, go to Tools and Setting > Security Policy.

Enabling this feature will result in the following changes

  1. All the password stored in plesk database will be encrypted using the Plesk secret key.
  2. Important/Sensitive data like user password cannot be obtained using Plesk API
  3. Password recovery emails will no longer contain the password in Plain Text. A link will be sent for the same.

==================================================================

Step 5: Custom Handler Policy

By default, IIS handlers defined in customers web.config file, it can overrirde that are pre-defined in webserver level.

To disable this, go to Tools & Settings > Security Policy and select Prohibit the ability to override handlers via web.config.

Note: Doing this may increase the security but it may also make client applications to stop working properly.

Step 6: Securing Plesk and Mail Server using SSL/TLS

SSL certificates provide end to end encryption between client and server, which helps to protect sensitive data.

To secure Plesk and the mail server with a certificate from Let’s Encrypt:

  1. Install the Let’s Encrypt extension if it is not installed.
  2. Go to Tools & Settings > SSL/TLS Certificates (under “Security”).
  3. Click the + Let’s Encrypt button.
  4. Make sure that the email address in the “Email address” field is correct. This email address will be used to send important notifications.
  5. Click Install.
    At this stage, the certificate from Let’s Encrypt has been generated and used to secure Plesk automatically.
  6. To secure the mail server, click the [Change] link next to “Certificate for securing mail”.
  7. Select the “Lets Encrypt certificate (server pool)” from the drop-down list, and click OK.

Step 7: Ports that need to be allowed through firewall.

Below are the necessary ports that should be allowed through firewall in order to use plesk uninterrupted. Disallow ports other than the below.

Service namePorts used by serviceThe administrative interface of Plesk over HTTPSTCP 8443The administrative interface of Plesk over HTTPTCP 8880Samba (file sharing on Windows networks)UDP 137, UDP 138, TCP 139, TCP 445VPN serviceUDP 1194WebserverTCP 80, TCP 443FTP serverTCP 21SSH (secure shell) serverTCP 22SMTP (mail sending) serverTCP 25, TCP 465POP3 (mail retrieval) serverTCP 110, TCP 995IMAP (mail retrieval) serverTCP 143, TCP 993Mail password change serviceTCP 106MySQL serverTCP 3306Microsoft SQL ServerTCP 1433PostgreSQL serverTCP 5432Licensing Server connectionsTCP 443Domain name serverUDP 53, TCP 53Plesk Installer, Plesk upgrades, and updatesTCP 8447

Latest Blogs
This is a decorative image for: A Complete Guide To Customer Acquisition For Startups
October 18, 2022

A Complete Guide To Customer Acquisition For Startups

Any business is enlivened by its customers. Therefore, a strategy to constantly bring in new clients is an ongoing requirement. In this regard, having a proper customer acquisition strategy can be of great importance.

So, if you are just starting your business, or planning to expand it, read on to learn more about this concept.

The problem with customer acquisition

As an organization, when working in a diverse and competitive market like India, you need to have a well-defined customer acquisition strategy to attain success. However, this is where most startups struggle. Now, you may have a great product or service, but if you are not in the right place targeting the right demographic, you are not likely to get the results you want.

To resolve this, typically, companies invest, but if that is not channelized properly, it will be futile.

So, the best way out of this dilemma is to have a clear customer acquisition strategy in place.

How can you create the ideal customer acquisition strategy for your business?

  • Define what your goals are

You need to define your goals so that you can meet the revenue expectations you have for the current fiscal year. You need to find a value for the metrics –

  • MRR – Monthly recurring revenue, which tells you all the income that can be generated from all your income channels.
  • CLV – Customer lifetime value tells you how much a customer is willing to spend on your business during your mutual relationship duration.  
  • CAC – Customer acquisition costs, which tells how much your organization needs to spend to acquire customers constantly.
  • Churn rate – It tells you the rate at which customers stop doing business.

All these metrics tell you how well you will be able to grow your business and revenue.

  • Identify your ideal customers

You need to understand who your current customers are and who your target customers are. Once you are aware of your customer base, you can focus your energies in that direction and get the maximum sale of your products or services. You can also understand what your customers require through various analytics and markers and address them to leverage your products/services towards them.

  • Choose your channels for customer acquisition

How will you acquire customers who will eventually tell at what scale and at what rate you need to expand your business? You could market and sell your products on social media channels like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, or invest in paid marketing like Google Ads. You need to develop a unique strategy for each of these channels. 

  • Communicate with your customers

If you know exactly what your customers have in mind, then you will be able to develop your customer strategy with a clear perspective in mind. You can do it through surveys or customer opinion forms, email contact forms, blog posts and social media posts. After that, you just need to measure the analytics, clearly understand the insights, and improve your strategy accordingly.

Combining these strategies with your long-term business plan will bring results. However, there will be challenges on the way, where you need to adapt as per the requirements to make the most of it. At the same time, introducing new technologies like AI and ML can also solve such issues easily. To learn more about the use of AI and ML and how they are transforming businesses, keep referring to the blog section of E2E Networks.

Reference Links

https://www.helpscout.com/customer-acquisition/

https://www.cloudways.com/blog/customer-acquisition-strategy-for-startups/

https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-acquisition

This is a decorative image for: Constructing 3D objects through Deep Learning
October 18, 2022

Image-based 3D Object Reconstruction State-of-the-Art and trends in the Deep Learning Era

3D reconstruction is one of the most complex issues of deep learning systems. There have been multiple types of research in this field, and almost everything has been tried on it — computer vision, computer graphics and machine learning, but to no avail. However, that has resulted in CNN or convolutional neural networks foraying into this field, which has yielded some success.

The Main Objective of the 3D Object Reconstruction

Developing this deep learning technology aims to infer the shape of 3D objects from 2D images. So, to conduct the experiment, you need the following:

  • Highly calibrated cameras that take a photograph of the image from various angles.
  • Large training datasets can predict the geometry of the object whose 3D image reconstruction needs to be done. These datasets can be collected from a database of images, or they can be collected and sampled from a video.

By using the apparatus and datasets, you will be able to proceed with the 3D reconstruction from 2D datasets.

State-of-the-art Technology Used by the Datasets for the Reconstruction of 3D Objects

The technology used for this purpose needs to stick to the following parameters:

  • Input

Training with the help of one or multiple RGB images, where the segmentation of the 3D ground truth needs to be done. It could be one image, multiple images or even a video stream.

The testing will also be done on the same parameters, which will also help to create a uniform, cluttered background, or both.

  • Output

The volumetric output will be done in both high and low resolution, and the surface output will be generated through parameterisation, template deformation and point cloud. Moreover, the direct and intermediate outputs will be calculated this way.

  • Network architecture used

The architecture used in training is 3D-VAE-GAN, which has an encoder and a decoder, with TL-Net and conditional GAN. At the same time, the testing architecture is 3D-VAE, which has an encoder and a decoder.

  • Training used

The degree of supervision used in 2D vs 3D supervision, weak supervision along with loss functions have to be included in this system. The training procedure is adversarial training with joint 2D and 3D embeddings. Also, the network architecture is extremely important for the speed and processing quality of the output images.

  • Practical applications and use cases

Volumetric representations and surface representations can do the reconstruction. Powerful computer systems need to be used for reconstruction.

Given below are some of the places where 3D Object Reconstruction Deep Learning Systems are used:

  • 3D reconstruction technology can be used in the Police Department for drawing the faces of criminals whose images have been procured from a crime site where their faces are not completely revealed.
  • It can be used for re-modelling ruins at ancient architectural sites. The rubble or the debris stubs of structures can be used to recreate the entire building structure and get an idea of how it looked in the past.
  • They can be used in plastic surgery where the organs, face, limbs or any other portion of the body has been damaged and needs to be rebuilt.
  • It can be used in airport security, where concealed shapes can be used for guessing whether a person is armed or is carrying explosives or not.
  • It can also help in completing DNA sequences.

So, if you are planning to implement this technology, then you can rent the required infrastructure from E2E Networks and avoid investing in it. And if you plan to learn more about such topics, then keep a tab on the blog section of the website

Reference Links

https://tongtianta.site/paper/68922

https://github.com/natowi/3D-Reconstruction-with-Deep-Learning-Methods

This is a decorative image for: Comprehensive Guide to Deep Q-Learning for Data Science Enthusiasts
October 18, 2022

A Comprehensive Guide To Deep Q-Learning For Data Science Enthusiasts

For all data science enthusiasts who would love to dig deep, we have composed a write-up about Q-Learning specifically for you all. Deep Q-Learning and Reinforcement learning (RL) are extremely popular these days. These two data science methodologies use Python libraries like TensorFlow 2 and openAI’s Gym environment.

So, read on to know more.

What is Deep Q-Learning?

Deep Q-Learning utilizes the principles of Q-learning, but instead of using the Q-table, it uses the neural network. The algorithm of deep Q-Learning uses the states as input and the optimal Q-value of every action possible as the output. The agent gathers and stores all the previous experiences in the memory of the trained tuple in the following order:

State> Next state> Action> Reward

The neural network training stability increases using a random batch of previous data by using the experience replay. Experience replay also means the previous experiences stocking, and the target network uses it for training and calculation of the Q-network and the predicted Q-Value. This neural network uses openAI Gym, which is provided by taxi-v3 environments.

Now, any understanding of Deep Q-Learning   is incomplete without talking about Reinforcement Learning.

What is Reinforcement Learning?

Reinforcement is a subsection of ML. This part of ML is related to the action in which an environmental agent participates in a reward-based system and uses Reinforcement Learning to maximize the rewards. Reinforcement Learning is a different technique from unsupervised learning or supervised learning because it does not require a supervised input/output pair. The number of corrections is also less, so it is a highly efficient technique.

Now, the understanding of reinforcement learning is incomplete without knowing about Markov Decision Process (MDP). MDP is involved with each state that has been presented in the results of the environment, derived from the state previously there. The information which composes both states is gathered and transferred to the decision process. The task of the chosen agent is to maximize the awards. The MDP optimizes the actions and helps construct the optimal policy.

For developing the MDP, you need to follow the Q-Learning Algorithm, which is an extremely important part of data science and machine learning.

What is Q-Learning Algorithm?

The process of Q-Learning is important for understanding the data from scratch. It involves defining the parameters, choosing the actions from the current state and also choosing the actions from the previous state and then developing a Q-table for maximizing the results or output rewards.

The 4 steps that are involved in Q-Learning:

  1. Initializing parameters – The RL (reinforcement learning) model learns the set of actions that the agent requires in the state, environment and time.
  2. Identifying current state – The model stores the prior records for optimal action definition for maximizing the results. For acting in the present state, the state needs to be identified and perform an action combination for it.
  3. Choosing the optimal action set and gaining the relevant experience – A Q-table is generated from the data with a set of specific states and actions, and the weight of this data is calculated for updating the Q-Table to the following step.
  4. Updating Q-table rewards and next state determination – After the relevant experience is gained and agents start getting environmental records. The reward amplitude helps to present the subsequent step.  

In case the Q-table size is huge, then the generation of the model is a time-consuming process. This situation requires Deep Q-learning.

Hopefully, this write-up has provided an outline of Deep Q-Learning and its related concepts. If you wish to learn more about such topics, then keep a tab on the blog section of the E2E Networks website.

Reference Links

https://analyticsindiamag.com/comprehensive-guide-to-deep-q-learning-for-data-science-enthusiasts/

https://medium.com/@jereminuerofficial/a-comprehensive-guide-to-deep-q-learning-8aeed632f52f

Build on the most powerful infrastructure cloud

A vector illustration of a tech city using latest cloud technologies & infrastructure