A LAMP stack is a collection of applications that work seamlessly together to create a powerful open-source web server. The application stack is not only completely free, but also unbelievably powerful and highly customizable, both of which make it a popular choice for developers.
Why is it called LAMP?
- Linux is the base operating system used on the server.
- Apache is the most popular web server used today, powering about 37% of all websites.
- MySQL (or MariaDB) is a relational database application that is perfect for storing website data.
- PHP is a highly adaptable scripting language that is especially suited to web development.
One of the best things about a LAMP stack is its ease of deployment. The one-click application is our recommended deployment method, but if you want to give it a try yourself you can:
How to secure a HIPAA-compliant LAMP stack
Any LAMP stack that will host or process Protected Health Information (PHI) must adhere to the administrative, physical, and technical safeguards of HIPAA to ensure the confidentiality of data uploaded or made available through a website or application.
Linux – Hardening the Operating System
If you are a relative newcomer to Linux, Atlantic.Net recommends you let our one-click LAMP application handle the deployment for you. However, if you want to take the plunge and try it yourself, here is what you need to do:
- Update the operating system monthly
- Utilize the built-in hard drive encryption tools
- Only use very strong passwords, and never reuse passwords throughout the LAMP stack
- Only use sFTP encryption to transfer files to and from the webserver
- Update file permissions so that no user can change or modify files
- Ensure no system services or applications run as the root user
Apache Security Tips
- Keep Apache up-to-date
- Configure Apache to increase DDOS (denial of service) protection level
- Set strict chown, chmod, and chggrp permissions on ServerRoot Directories; this will reduce the ability of a hacker to run arbitrary code
- Enforce TLS certificate encryption using mod_ssl, ensuring you use a strong cipher suite and OCSP stapling
- Implement dynamic content security
- Protect system settings with .htaccess restrictions
- Protect access to service files
MySQL Best Practice
The database is where many users will save protected health information. There are strict regulatory compliance rules regarding the masking and de-identification of data, as well as encryption.
- Invoke MySQL Enterprise Data Masking and De-identification routines
- Data must be encrypted at rest
- Enable SELinux for mandatory access controls to protect the MySQL daemon
- Implement MySQL plugins to authenticate users and restrict access by user, password, and approved IP address
- Enable MySQL Enterprise Audit plugin to enable standard, policy-based monitoring and logging of connection and query activity executed on the 8MySQL servers
PHP Best Practice
PHP is a popular programming language used by websites to display enhanced content. PHP can either run as an Apache plugin or as a standalone CGI binary. No HIPAA legislation relates directly to PHP; instead, PHP must adhere to access and transmission security, and the browser connections must be secure.
- Ensure PHP is kept up-to-date
- Use PHP to hash and verify all passwords entered by users; BCrypt is included with PHP 7 onwards
- Use PHP to enforce a user registration system and prevent access to unauthorized users
- Use PHP to protect against Cross-site scripting (XSS) and Request Forgery XSFR
Ready to get started with setting up a HIPAA-Compliant LAMP Stack? Choose Atlantic.Net for a one-click LAMP installation that will set you well on your way to a HIPAA-Compliant LAMP Server – get started today!