How to secure a server?

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Hi all,
I'm new to the computer security. Can you show me some starting point of
securing a server? What i read on most sites about security is that
updating the system is one of the best pratices. However, i find it quite
hard to do that on daily basis, especially when you have a server with
little or zero support such as Fedora 1/2/3 or Win2K. I also heard about
IDS but most of IDS systems require experiences of the admin to set up a
good database, which is impossible for beginner like me. How secure is a
firewall with good policy?
In case my server was intruded, what is the procedure to stop the attack,
secure the system and rescue the data?
If possible, please refer me to sources where i can learn more. I want
something detailed, not just general guidlines that can be found by google.

Thanks a lot.

Peter - A newbie.

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