How Do I Disable TLS 1.0 and 1.1 on a Web Server?

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Scott Campbell

Are you concerned about the security of your web server? One important step you can take to enhance security is to disable outdated versions of the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, specifically TLS 1.0 and 1.1. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the process of disabling TLS 1.1 on a web server.

What is TLS?

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a cryptographic protocol that provides secure communication over the internet. It ensures that data transmitted between a client and a server remains confidential and integral, protecting it from eavesdropping and tampering.

Why Disable TLS 1.1?

TLS 1.1 are older versions of the protocol that have known vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by attackers to intercept sensitive data or launch man-in-the-middle attacks.

By disabling these outdated versions, you ensure that only more secure versions of TLS (such as TLS 1.2 or later) are used for communication with your web server.

Steps to Disable TLS 1.1

To disable TLS 1.1 on your web server, follow these steps:

  • Determine if TLS 1.0 and/or 1.1 are enabled:
  • To disable these protocols, you first need to check if they are currently enabled on your web server.

    1. Open your web server configuration file:
    2. <VirtualHost *:443>
          SSLEngine on
          SSLProtocol all -SSLv3
          SSLCipherSuite HIGH:MEDIUM:!aNULL:!MD5
          ..
      </VirtualHost>
      
    3. Look for the SSLProtocol directive:
    4. Check if the SSLProtocol directive is present in your configuration file. It specifies the supported protocols for SSL/TLS communication.

      SSLProtocol all -SSLv3
      
    5. Check if TLS 1.1 are enabled:
    6. If the SSLProtocol directive includes TLSv1 or TLSv1.1, it means that TLS 1.0 or 1.1 are enabled, respectively.

      SSLProtocol all -SSLv3 -TLSv1 -TLSv1.1
      
  • Modify your web server configuration file:
    1. Open your web server configuration file:
    2. <VirtualHost *:443>
          SSLEngine on
          SSLProtocol all -SSLv3 -TLSv1 -TLSv1.1
          SSLCipherSuite HIGH:MEDIUM:!aNULL:!MD5
          .
      </VirtualHost>
      

      Note that we removed TLSv1 and TLSv1.1 from the SSLProtocol directive to disable these protocols.

    3. Save and exit the configuration file:
    4. After making the necessary changes, save the file and exit your text editor.

    5. Restart your web server:
    6. To apply the changes, restart your web server using the appropriate command for your system.

      sudo systemctl restart apache2   (for Apache)
      sudo systemctl restart nginx    (for Nginx)
      
  • Verify the changes:
  • After restarting your web server, it’s essential to verify that TLS 1.1 are no longer enabled.

    1. Run a TLS test:
    2. You can use various online tools to perform a TLS test on your website. These tools will analyze the supported protocols and cipher suites.

    3. Check the results:
    4. The test results should indicate that only TLS 1.2 or later is supported, and TLS 1.1 are disabled.

Conclusion

Disabling outdated versions of the TLS protocol, such as TLS 1.1, is an important step in improving the security of your web server. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can ensure that only more secure versions of TLS are used for communication.

Remember to periodically review your web server configuration to stay up-to-date with the latest security practices.

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