I am trying to think of a way to secure Linux servers that are exposed to physical access. My specific platform are small form factor Linux servers on a PC Engines brand alix2d13 mother board. The small size presents an additional risk of removal from the premises by an attacker.
Assuming there is physical access to the server:
1) ROOT-PASSWORD: You connect a console cable to the server and you get a prompt for a password. If you don’t know the password you can restart the machine in single user mode and reset the password. Voilà, you get root access.
In order to secure the above you insert a password on the GRUB menu so when server is restarted in order to enter single user mode you have to provide the GRUB password.
2) GRUB_PASSWORD. If you shut down the machine, get the hard drive out and mount it on another workstation you will be able to browse the
/boot directory which contains the grub.cfg file inside which you can find the GRUB password. You can either change the GRUB password or delete it.
Obviously when we talk about big production machines most probably there won't be any physical access and apart from that, even if someone gets physical access to the server he won't shut it down.
What are possible solutions to prevent data theft on servers that are physically easy to steal?
The way I see it, one way or another access to the contained data can be obtained.