Web Hosting Security Best Practices and What to Look for in a Secure Website Hosting 

Web Hosting Security Best Practices and What to Look for in a Secure Website Hosting 

 

Secure hosting is paramount for your website. From protecting sensitive customer data to maintaining the integrity of your online presence, web security is a critical aspect of managing a successful website.  

Whether you are a small business owner or a seasoned web developer, understanding how to secure a website can help you safeguard your website against potential threats and ensure a safe browsing experience for your visitors.  

Let us explore the world of web hosting security together. 

What are the Web Hosting Security Features to Look for  

It is crucial to consider security features to protect your website from threats such as hacking, malware, and data breaches.  

Here are some key web hosting security features to look for. 

1. Software Security:  

Software security is crucial for protecting your website from cyber threats. It involves regular updates and patches to fix vulnerabilities in the server software and operating systems. A reliable hosting providers ensure that all servers are registered for automatic updates, keeping the system secure from known vulnerabilities. They also run frequent security scans using enterprise-grade software to identify any potential threats and proactively protect the servers. This continuous monitoring and updating process is vital for maintaining a secure online presence and ensuring business continuity. 

2. SSL Certificate: 

SSL is known as a mark of secure hosting. When a website has an SSL certificate, it ensures that any sensitive information, such as credit card details or personal information, is securely encrypted. This encryption makes it difficult for hackers to intercept and steal the data. 

An SSL certificate also helps in building trust with your visitors, as it indicates that your website is secure, and their information is protected. Additionally, it is beneficial for SEO, as search engines favor secure websites. Search engines like Google give preference to websites that use SSL certificates, as it is a sign of a secure and trustworthy site. 

3. Backups and Restorations:  

Imagine website falls victim to a hacking attack, resulting in the loss of critical data, including product listings, customer information, and transaction history. 

Hosting providers often offer daily backup services as part of their plans, allowing for easy restoration of your website to a previous state. This feature ensures that your valuable data is not permanently lost and can be retrieved with minimal downtime.  

Having a dependable backup and restoration system in place provides website security, quick recovery of data in the event of accidental deletion, hacking, or other data loss incidents. 

4. DDoS Protectionn: 

You should not even consider a hosting provider without this web hosting security feature. The DDoS protection system works by filtering out fraudulent traffic while allowing legitimate traffic to pass through, ensuring that your website remains accessible to users. Implementing such a level of protection is essential for maintaining the availability and performance of your website, safeguarding it from potential downtime and financial losses due to these attacks. 

One of the more recent notable DDoS attacks occurred in February 2020, targeting Amazon Web Services (AWS), which serves as a crucial component of the internet’s infrastructure, providing hosting services for a sizable portion of global web traffic across numerous companies. 

Given the scale of the attack and the importance of AWS, it is likely that the attack caused significant disruption to the targeted customer’s services, potentially leading to downtime, loss of revenue, and reputational damage. 

5. Network Monitoring:  

This is a critical web hosting security feature that involves continuously observing a computer network for slow or failing components. Network monitoring is essential for identifying potential issues before they escalate into major problems.  

A network intrusion detection, prevention, and vulnerability management system provide comprehensive protection against various threats. High-performance network processors scrutinize each packet flow in real-time, determining whether they are legitimate or harmful. This instant protection ensures that harmful attacks do not reach their targets, keeping your website and data secure. 

6. CDN Support:  

In any discussion on how to secure a website, the role of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) should never be overlooked. 

A CDN is a network of servers distributed geographically to deliver content to users more efficiently. Hosting providers typically offer CDN options to enhance website performance and security. A CDN can reduce the load on your hosting server, improve website loading times, and provide an additional layer of security by distributing your content across multiple servers. It is advisable to check with your hosting provider directly for specific details about their CDN support. 

READ: 5 Easy Tips to Secure your Website 

Top 10 Best Web Hosting Security Practices  

To ensure the hosting security of your website, it is important to follow best practices that protect your website and data from potential threats.  

Here are the top 10 best web hosting security practices for a business: 

1. Back Up Data:  

Regularly backing up your website data is like having insurance for your digital assets. In the unfortunate event of a cyber-attack, server failure, or accidental deletion, having a recent backup ensures that you can quickly restore your website to its previous state.  

Hence for hosting security, it’s important to choose a hosting provider that offers automatic backup solutions to make the process seamless and hassle-free. Additionally, consider storing backups in multiple locations, such as off-site or cloud storage, to ensure that you have redundancy in case one backup location fails. This approach maximizes the chances of successful disaster recovery and minimizes downtime for your website. 

2. Use SSL Encryption:  

SSL encryption protects data transmitted between your website and its visitors. SSL certificates create a secure, encrypted connection, ensuring that sensitive information like login credentials and payment details are kept private.  

You can purchase an SSL certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA). Once you have the SSL certificate, you need to install it on your web server. Most hosting providers offer tools or guides to help you with this process. 

After installing the SSL certificate, update your website URLs to use the “https://” protocol instead of “http://”. This ensures that all pages on your website are accessed securely. 

Implementing SSL not only boosts security but also improves trust with your visitors and can positively impact your search engine ranking. 

3. Use SFTP:  

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is an important part of secure hosting. It is a secure method for transferring files to and from your server. It enhances security by encrypting both commands and data, ensuring that sensitive information is protected from potential eavesdroppers. Unlike standard FTP, which sends data in plaintext, SFTP encrypts the data, making it much harder for unauthorized parties to intercept and read the information being transmitted. It is important to always use SFTP instead of FTP to ensure, especially when transferring sensitive files, to safeguard your file transfers against interception and unauthorized access, ensuring the security and integrity of your data. 

4. Remove Unused Applications:  

Removing unused applications and plugins from your website is a crucial security measure. These unused elements can create vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to gain unauthorized access to your website. Outdated or unnecessary software may have known security issues that cybercriminals actively target. By regularly auditing your website and hosting environment, you can identify and remove any applications that are no longer in use or needed, reducing the potential attack surface, and strengthening your website’s security posture. 

5. Periodically Change Passwords:  

Periodically changing passwords is a crucial security practice to protect your web hosting account, website admin, and database from unauthorized access. This practice, often recommended as part of web hosting security, helps prevent hackers from using stolen or compromised credentials to gain access to your sensitive information. To ensure effectiveness, use strong, unique passwords that combine letters, numbers, and special characters. Implementing a policy for periodic password changes, such as every three to six months, helps maintain the security of your accounts over time, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. 

6. Set Up a Web Application Firewall: 

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a security solution that protects your website from various web-based attacks. It acts as a filter between your website server and the incoming traffic, analyzing each request and blocking those that appear to be malicious. 

One of the most common types of attacks that a WAF can prevent is SQL injection, where attackers try to manipulate your website’s database using malicious SQL queries. Another common attack is cross-site scripting (XSS), where attackers inject malicious scripts into your website to steal information or perform unauthorized actions. A WAF can also protect against brute force attacks, where attackers try to gain access to your website by repeatedly guessing passwords. 

7. Scan Website Files for Malware:  

Regularly scanning your website files for malware is crucial for maintaining hosting security and a secure online presence. Malware can infect your website through vulnerabilities in your software, plugins, or themes, and can be used to steal sensitive information, spread spam, or launch cyber-attacks. 

Using a reputable security tool or service to scan your website files ensures that any malicious code is detected and removed promptly. These tools can identify a wide range of malware, including viruses, trojans, and ransomware, and provide you with the necessary information to eliminate the threat. 

8. Software Updates:  

Keeping your website’s software, including the content management system (CMS), plugins, and themes, up to date is crucial for security. Developers frequently release updates to patch vulnerabilities and improve performance. Enable automatic updates where possible, and regularly check for and apply manual updates to ensure your website remains secure. 

9. Restrict Website Access:  

Limiting access to your website’s admin area, files, and databases minimizes the risk of unauthorized changes or data theft. Implement access controls based on user roles and responsibilities and use strong authentication methods. Consider using IP whitelisting to allow access only from trusted locations. 

10. Use Security Extensions:  

Many CMS platforms, like WordPress and Joomla, offer security extensions or plugins that enhance your website’s security. These tools can provide features such as malware scanning, firewall protection, login security, and more. Research and install reputable security extensions to strengthen your website’s defences against various threats. 

Web Hosting Security FAQs

1. Which Hosting Type Is the Most Secure?  

While no hosting type can offer a foolproof guarantee, dedicated hosting is often known as the most secure hosting. With dedicated hosting, you have exclusive access to a physical server, reducing the risk of shared vulnerabilities.  

This allows for greater control over security measures, such as custom firewalls and monitoring systems tailored to your needs. However, the security of any hosting type also relies on the provider’s practices and your own security efforts. 

2. How Do I Find a Secure Web Hosting Provider?  

To find the right provider for hosting security, look for one with a formidable reputation for security and reliability. Check for features like SSL certificates, regular backups, firewall protection, and DDoS mitigation. Reading customer reviews can help gauge their security track record. Opt for providers that offer 24/7 support and have a clear, transparent security policy. Providers that regularly update their hardware and software are also worth considering. 

3. Can a Hosting Provider Guarantee Website Security?  

It is important to understand that no hosting provider can guarantee 100% website security due to the ever-evolving nature of cybersecurity threats. However, reputable providers implement robust security measures, such as firewalls, SSL certificates, regular backups, and malware scanning, to significantly reduce the risk of security breaches. Website owners should also follow best practices, like using strong passwords and keeping software up to date, to enhance security. 

4. What Are the Most Common Security Threats a Web Hosting Service Faces? 

Web hosting security commonly faces threats such as DDoS attacks, malware infections, SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and brute force attacks. DDoS attacks can overwhelm servers with traffic, while malware can infect and damage websites. SQL injection and XSS exploit vulnerabilities in web applications to steal data or deface websites. Brute force attacks attempt to crack passwords through trial and error. Hosting providers implement various security measures to mitigate these threats. 

5. Which Web Hosting Is Best for WordPress Speed?  

Managed WordPress hosting is often recommended for optimal WordPress speed. These hosting services are specifically optimized for WordPress, offering features like fast SSD storage, built-in caching, and a content delivery network (CDN) to enhance website performance. Providers like WP Engine, Kinsta, and SiteGround are known for their speed and reliability in hosting WordPress sites. Managed WordPress hosting also typically includes automatic updates and expert support, ensuring your site remains fast and secure. 

Online security threats are constantly evolving, requiring ongoing vigilance and adaptation of protective measures. It is important to maintain open communication with your hosting provider to address any concerns and ensure that your security needs are effectively met. By staying proactive and informed about hosting security, you can better safeguard your online assets against emerging threats. 

If the above is overwhelming for you, consider using a managed web hosting service. 

BigRock’s managed web hosting offers a secure and hassle-free solution for businesses. With automatic updates, regular backups, and enhanced security measures, your website is protected against cyber threats. Expert support ensures any issues are promptly addressed, while performance monitoring keeps your site fast and responsive. Scalability options allow for easy adjustments as your business grows.  

By choosing BigRock’s managed web hosting, you can focus on your business operations while leaving the technical aspects of website maintenance to the professionals. 

WRITTEN BY:

Web hosting specialist with a knack for creativity and a passion for baking, serving up tech solutions with a side of sweetness.

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