Secure Web Hosting is a crucial element in the online development of your business.

Whether you run a small business or an important brand, when it comes to security, it is essential to understand why it is a crucial topic.

In this digital era, the interaction of companies with customers has become predominant in the online environment through websites and blog sections. Therefore, it is not surprising to see the time and the huge financial commitment invested in the development of the digital business segment. Entrepreneurs have managed to create websites that can not only boast an attractive web design but also optimize them for Ecommerce, plus various other essential features of the site.

A lot of work is involved in building the site, starting with content creation, image editing, graphics, competitor analysis, and content arrangement based on a specific structure to improve page SEO, social media posts, and various other elements that lead to forming a successful brand. You invest time, energy, money, creativity for years to achieve the desired result.

But what would it be like to see one day that everything you invested has disappeared in the blink of an eye due to insecurity?

The key to a successful online business is security. A website with secure web hosting presents the basis of a business with great potential for continuous development without being compromised by the lack of security of web hosting.

Why should hosting security be your TOP priority?

The reason why Secure Web Hosting is important is the security of your business and the data of your customers. Growing a business is based on mutual trust between the site and its visitors. The site collects specific information that it stores, and the user visits the site to get the information they want. If one party violates this trust, the other party could suffer losses, which could be avoided by using secure web hosting.

There are multiple protection methods that you can use yourself for a minimum of site security as well as SSL certificate, using the strong password as well as updating the CMS platform up to date. Unfortunately, these are insufficient in case of stronger attacks and that’s why it would be good to start to inform yourself about web hosting on a secure system.

As in any other field, the quality varies from one seller to another. Just because you were guaranteed first-class security that doesn’t mean that offer couldn’t be a scam. Although initially, it seems budget-friendly, it is possible that in time you will discover that it is not what you wanted in the first place and it will need more work and money to recover what you have lost.

If you have chosen a site that works on the “eat as much as you can for a dollar” system, it would be illogical to expect a high level of security. In some cases, it even happens that the IP address of the site is blacklisted and thus the site is unindexed from search engines. In some modern browsers, access to the site is restricted due to the fact that it is blacklisted.

Understanding the risks involved

Hacking

Security has become an increasingly common problem on the Internet over time. Weekly articles go around the world about how certain businesses have been hacked. Therefore, it would be prudent to consider the option of secure web hosting.

Losing income 

Lack of security can lead to various problems regardless of the business area in which you operate, and thus can affect your earnings. If your site closes, the customer will no longer be able to view the products or services you offer.

Search engine rankings

If errors occur regularly on loading your site and the search engines try to access pages from it without success, this will have a negative impact on the ranking of your site in the search engines and thus will lead to a decrease in site traffic.

Malware attacks

Malware is a term used to describe a wide range of malicious programs. Malware can be represented by worms, rootkits, Trojans, ransomware, cyber threats. It is usually installed on the system without the user’s knowledge or approval, exploiting the security vulnerabilities of the site. A malware attack can cause you to lose data on your site. Without secure web hosting plus a regular data backup service, there can be large losses of money and time investigated on the site.

Things you should take into consideration for a Secure Web Hosting

Access restrictions

Web hosts should restrict access, allowing only trained and authorized technicians to administer the site/server and delete access from users who no longer work in the company.

SSH (Secure Socket Shell) or its equivalent should be used when you want to connect to the server. As an extra precaution, password-protected RSA keys can be used.

A host can also make a whitelist of authorized IP addresses to work on-site maintenance. Customers can do or change this through the control panel included in their accounts.

Connections from the user’s root should be disabled to prevent unauthorized people from accessing this entering point. Equivalent permission can then be given by authorized administrator authentications.

Network monitoring

A Web Host should regularly monitor the network for infiltration or unauthorized activity. This helps prevent server compromise.

SSL, SFTP and Firewall

SFTP– if you have ever uploaded files to your hosting account, you may be familiar with the term FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Use the FTP client to upload files more easily to your server. SFTP uses the same concept but secure. SFTP adds the abbreviation for Secure File Transfer Protocol.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption ensures that information needed through a website is kept in a private and secure environment. It allows users and visitors to trust a website. However, although it provides communication between a website and its users, it does not ensure the security of the server in case of a cyber attack. To check if a site has an SSL certificate you can look before the site address if it has a green padlock icon that is secured https:// in contrast with unsecured versions of the site that starts with http://. If your site is e-commerce an SSL certification is a necessity to protect these customers, to prevent identity theft such as credit card number, bank number, address, or other personal information. If your site collects personal data or any other sensitive information, SSL security is mandatory.

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is required to monitor HTTP traffic flowing through web applications. Unlike a network firewall, a WAF provides more specific security because it understands the specific requirements of a web application. With a certain configuration, it can even prevent SQL injections, cross-site scripts, vulnerability checking, and other techniques.

DDoS prevention

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack is a simple but effective cyberattack that can affect popular websites. Through this attack, the servers of a website are overloaded with so much traffic that it becomes unavailable to real visitors.

DDoS is difficult to fix. Therefore, the best solution will always be for a web host to take precautions against DDoS attacks before they happen. They should also have the appropriate tools to soften DDoS attacks when they occur.

Detection and removal of malware

Web hosts should inform customers about the protection actions in which each party must participate to secure the website. Periodic file scans should be performed on the client’s accounts, who should be allowed to view the reports. This is usually a feature in any decent web hosting plan. Finally, a support plan for the hosting company should include help in identifying and removing malware.

Software such as ClamAV and rkhunter can be installed to keep malware on a host server.

Operating system

If you are looking for a web host, one of the options offered is the webserver operating system. There are currently two operating systems to choose from – the Windows operating system and the Linux system. It is advisable to choose the operating system according to the technical requirements of your site.

Web servers that use Windows restrict access by default. Users are logged in as standard users and will need to request permission and enter a password before being allowed to enjoy the privileges granted by the primary administrator. This can reduce the possibility of damage caused by the infiltration of an intruder, whether that intruder is a malicious program or an employee.

Only authorized Microsoft personnel handle these web servers if a security flaw is detected. This not only means that you receive assistance from well-trained Microsoft technicians but also prevents unwanted people from exploiting these defects.

On the other hand, Linux-based web servers come with fewer known threats because the Linux operating system is not as widely used as its counterpart. Also, most hosting services can install programs that protect Linux-hosted sites from malware targeted by Windows. If new flaws are identified, the open-source community behind Linux usually responds quickly to fix the problem.

Password and user access

Passwords should be appropriate for different categories of users for a website. The strongest passwords should be reserved for administrative staff and guest authors, as they have the greatest potential to impact the site.

In the case of suspected hacking attempts, all passwords must be changed immediately. These changes may also be required when updating the Content Management System (CMS).

The importance of formulating strong passwords should be emphasized for all users. Alternatively, a password manager can be used to both formulate and store strong passwords. Avoid usernames in the form “[email protected]”, because they are quite common and easy to attack.

Finally, different categories of users should only be allowed with the maximum level of access privileges they need for their purposes. It never allows unrestricted uploading of files and limits these uploads to only what users need. This helps prevent intruders on the site.

Plugins, applications and updates

When selecting plugins and applications for a website, consider the age, amount of installations, and updates. This lets you know if the software is active or not. Inactive software can be fraught with security issues. Install software only from trusted sources to protect yourself from possible malware infections.

Remember to immediately change the default settings, such as login credentials, to prevent their use in hacking attempts. Your CMS and all installed software must be updated immediately each time updates become available. This prevents hackers from exploiting security vulnerabilities in the older version of this software.

Backups

An off-site backup is a must for all sites. These backups should be automatic and frequent to maximize the life of the site, despite the failure to update web pages, source codes, incompatible or unfinished updates that may exist for various reasons.

Automatic backups ensure that they do not depend on human errors. Frequent backups ensure that you are up to date with the latest content changes on the server and to identify the one that is working properly.

You can also consider encrypting data on these backups to add an extra security shield to sensitive information if it’s not stored on an external device, such as a memory stick or external hard drive. to keep it in a safe place where it cannot be accessed by anyone. These backups will then need to be tested to determine if they work as intended after decrypting the data.

Always keep new installation files for the installed software. This ensures that a clean working copy is available in case the current software malfunctions occur or become compromised.