You are looking for a web hosting company which can host your new business website, but you are wondering what security features to look out for. How will you know if the security offered by a web host company is sufficient? It’s not so straightforward, but let’s read on and find out.
When you leave your website in the hands of a web host, you lose control over that website. You trust that the web host will take good care of your website. It goes without saying that it is a huge responsibility of the web host to look after all those websites. That is the case because not only are clients paying for their services, but also in the event of a bad server crash, there could be potentially some loss in business regarding all those whose websites were affected.
Security is possibly the make-or-break factor when a client is looking for a good web host. No web host can afford to lose clients’ data or uptime because of some cyberattack.
Web hosting servers can be attacked maliciously through malware or a malicious code. Malware is a type of software that is created on purpose to either damage a computing system or gain unauthorised access. A malicious code on the other hand is a computer code or script that can damage files and computing systems.
These attacks are executed for a variety of reasons, and include credit card data theft, releasing a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS), or spamming. A DDoS is a cyber-attack, where cybercriminals use thousands of IP addresses coming from many sources. It is impossible to stop if ingress filtering is used. To prevent such an attack, a firewall can be installed at the edge of a network. Spamming involves the sending of unsolicited messages.
It is a difficult question to answer. Web hosting companies can present you with great pictures and impressive hosting security systems, but you never really know everything that needs to be known. Preferably, look for a web hosting company which describes its security systems in some detail. If you already have your own security system set up with your website, discuss with the web hosting company if this will be enhanced on their hosting system.
RAID protects your data regardless of whether a server crashes or not. So, RAID is a good indicator to look out for when searching for a good web hosting company. The only problem is that RAID is quite expensive, which means that most security companies either won’t have it, or they may charge you extra for it.
If a client would like to have Afrihost host a secure site (one that has an SSL certificate), then an extra charge will be involved. A digital certificate will have to be obtained from a Certificate Authority such as VeriSign or Thawte. A secure site (with the padlock icon) uses encrypted traffic.
This is critical to the well-being of all parties involved with web hosting. Prevention is better than cure. As part of its thorough, 24/7, technical and security support, Afrihost provides a range of support systems, via the website, email, call-back SMS and telephone systems, ensuring a smooth, two-way flow of communication between host and client. They also have specific monitoring systems in place, which will alert the company the split-second a server crashes. Active monitoring can prevent a server-to-server spread of malware, before it reaches the server hosting your website. In addition, Afrihost has remote reboot devices, which can rapidly restore a server after a crash. In this way uptime is maximised.
Choosing Linux web hosting already provides a level of security, which the Windows web hosting appears to lack to some degree. Linux servers very seldom must be rebooted, and reliability is their strong point. It is well known that Linux-based computer systems are less likely to be hacked compared to their Windows counterparts.
It is important to find out from the hosting company how often backups are made – is it daily, weekly, or monthly? Daily is of course the best, but manual is even better. Just make sure if the hosting company has a backup limit. Will the hosting company be able to provide the most recent backups, or can it also provide older backups, in which case, how old can they be?
Backups must be stored in a place that is physically separated by quite some distance, in case the actual site where the computing is done burns down, for example. Backups are vital to the success of any web hosting company.
It will pay you to familiarise yourself with the kind of security systems used by the top hosting companies. Reviews can provide such information.
Are you looking for more information? You’re welcome to contact us or browse our web hosting FAQ section.