It can be a real nightmare providing adequate security to your web hosting, especially when you’re not sure what might go wrong. When the security of your website is compromised, it will lessen the confidence users will have on it and therefore, your business could get affected by it badly. And given that hackers are becoming intelligent and are constantly finding newer ways to attack the security wall of your website, your task is cut out!
No doubt, web hosting companies are doing their best to make sure the services they provide to customers come with adequate measures, it is also important that webmasters take adequate steps to make sure their websites are absolutely safe and secure and that nothing is compromised.
Understand the risks involved
VPS accounts and shared hosting servers are most vulnerable to security attacks by hackers. Hackers have always been known for uploading malicious sites, codes, or malware onto servers. When they successfully do this, there is an imminent danger to the data of all customers whose data is stored in that server. The worst part of this action is that the attack can either be triggered automatically or made to trigger when the administrator goes about his routine maintenance work.
The malware thus introduced to the server may be used by the hackers for stealing valuable information pertaining to customers’ credit card details and so on. It could also be introduced for hijacking other servers that are either located on the same network or other networks.
Even if the network is misused for spamming it can prove detrimental to both the hosting company and its customers. The damage caused by spamming could be such that, besides the hosting company’s resources being damaged, its DNS servers could be blacklisted by all major e-mail service providers. In other words, customers will not be able to send their regular e-mails and in some cases, their accounts could be rendered useless!
How can the web hosting companies beef up their security cover?
It is important for web hosting companies to know who their real customers are. It is not enough to reject hosting accounts from places that are known for security breaches and hacking. From the point of view of web hosting companies, it would be a great option to seek proof identity before they confirm an account and start providing services. For example, they could consider calling up the account holder’s number directly and be sure that the account is indeed legitimate. In cases like these, hackers will find it tough to register themselves with such service providers.
Responsible hosts will make they’ll not provide cost-free and open access hosting services to its customers, especially if they’re sponsored by advertisements. It is services like these that catch the fancy of hackers and may tempt them to use the existing network to entice users into downloading their malicious sites or codes and create huge problems for them. Even if the web host considers providing cost-free and open host access to its clients, then they need to do it using a separate network and only for a select group of clients!
Making use of a reliable firewall is also important for web hosts. Ideally, the firewall should be capable enough to block any kind of threats to the hosted sites and servers, especially when they come outside the existing network. Web hosting companies will also do well to follow certain custom settings to make sure they ban IP addresses that have been previously known for presenting security threats.
Web hosting companies can also consider installing latest software on their servers to ward off DDoS attacks as such threats are quite common these days. In fact, web hosts should make installing software a common feature especially when they use dedicated hosting servers across multiple locations.
It is important for both hosting account users and hosting companies to keep changing all the passwords regularly, irrespective of the level they have access to the files and servers. The hosting companies, from their point of view, should make it mandatory for its employees to change their passwords at regular intervals. And in cases where there is personnel change or change of equipment, all the passwords that have been used for the servers need to be changed instantly.