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The 5 Major Threats Challenging Web Hosting Security

Ryan Kh, @ryankhgb

Web hosting is a service which allows companies to post their content on the internet, using the technology provided by the web hosting service. No matter the size of your website, investing in a quality web hosting service is a must in order to achieve online success. It's important to choose the right hosting company to prevent damage to your business. Hackers spend their days thinking of new ways to break into servers. Be aware of the risks and ensure your site is secure.
The internet has grown massively in recent years. Today there are over three billion internet users globally and it's now the most common method of conducting business. However, thanks to the increase of money being transferred across the internet hackers are now more eager than ever to take advantage of the World Wide Web. This is why web hosting security is so important.

Lacking Strict Registration Processes

If your hosting provider doesn't adhere to strict policies and procedures your site could be at risk. Each client your host activates should undergo registration policies to ensure there is so malicious code being uploaded.
Free hosting accounts are used to seduce users into downloading damaging software. Choose a web-hosting service which only supplies free hosting for registered clients. This will prevent hackers from setting up malicious sites.

Password Security

Changing your passwords should be common practice for both registered users and web-hosting services. Changing your passwords periodically will reduce the threat to your site. This should especially be undertaken during equipment or staff changes.
If there is every a risk of threat to your site your web hosting service should advise its clients to change all passwords. This is because the integrity of the passwords may have been compromised during the attempted hack.

Restricted URL Access

Failing to restrict URL access is often a web hosting security risk that is ignored. Without this, unauthorised users are able to view pages they shouldn't have access to and attackers can forge URLs and access hidden pages.
  • Block all file types the application doesn't serve. Files can be intercepted and even modified with little to no indication. Secure File Transfer Protocol (STFP) closes this vulnerability. Always ensure your web host has this option.
  • Your web-hosting service should create an access control matrix which stops unauthorised users viewing content.

Sharing IP addresses

Shared hosting is a great, low cost hosting solution. However, sharing an IP address with other clients has risks. The separate domains are all linked to one another via a single server. If a client on your IP is blacklisted as a spammer then you will be tarred with that brush.

Physical Security

It's not just server security that you should be conscious of. Be sure to consider the physical security of the data centre. Does your web hosting provider ensure there will be no outside access to your information? Disasters happen, if there is a power cut or storm which causes damage will your data be backed up? Most hosts provide a tool in the control panel that lets you back up your own site.

Web Hosting Considerations

Not all hackers are out to steal from you; many are only there for fun. However, this can still wreak havoc to your site and bring loss of function and interfere with the working on your site. Ensuring a secure server is the best way to minimise these risks.
Today, most web hosts have robust security and always listen to the needs of their clients. Always ensure your web host is looking after their servers in a secure environment with the tools needed to guarantee the functionality of your website.

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