People ask us if they really need to worry about threats to their website. The answer is a resounding yes! Not to alarm you but, there are more and more websites falling prey to cybercriminals each year, and all websites are at risk. Website security is essential to prevent your website from being hacked by cybercriminals. According to recent independent research by the Ponemon Institute on data protection, the average data loss rate of a US company was $7.91 million at an average penetration rate of 196 days. Significant damage can be done during this time, so cybercrime continues to be very active. According to data shared by Trustwave, an information security company, cybercrime has cost nearly $600 billion annually. Because e-commerce websites typically process consumer financial data, the damage caused by violations can be significant. Do not think that you are safe because you operate a less complex website. Even for traditional commercial sites, you can still use add-ons or applications to resolve basic user information, including credentials.
The most important thing about website security is that hackers usually do not choose the website they want to decrypt. Some people may challenge certain corporate brands or government websites or hacktivism (regarding religion, nationalism, anti-globalism, human rights, etc.), which can hide the content to the public.
In almost all cases, hackers use different search page scripts to find common vulnerabilities. In addition, if they are not specifically looking for problems, they are more likely to discover the most complex vulnerabilities for quick access.
Experience shows that most hackers look for three things when they attack a site:
- The security of your mail server
Hackers can upload a script that uses your relay server to send daily spam to hundreds of emails. Until your hosting provider disconnects the relay server.
2. Your website traffic
They will redirect search engine traffic to scam visitors to your site in attempts to get funding. These pages are marked with your color and logo, so visitors think that they are in the right place.
3. Ease of distributing malware
Cybercriminals can display a message to visitors of your website which asks them to update their Flash Player. If they click on it, a virus will appear on their computer. This allows viruses to spread from pirated sites.
Knowing how security is at risk and what hackers are looking for can help you better understand the security technologies of your hosting provider and what you can do to improve your website security.
Website Security and Shared Hosting
Shared Hosting is the most popular and widely used hosting system for many start-ups and small businesses. They are cheaper and easier to configure. One reason for this cost savings is that a hosting company integrates multiple sites into a single server. Therefore, the names are “common.”
This global installation continues to support myths and refers to the platform as an insecure hosting environment. For many people, shared hosting is a reliable and affordable option from personal hobbies to business websites. If you’re working with a reputable host, like Blue Ridge Technology, that understands website security, you do not have to worry about web hosting in the least. We take full responsibility for hosting your website, including the applications we install, the scripts we manage, and basic configurations.
Website Security and Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
In terms of website security, the VPS environment is usually a great option. However, if you look at people who like VPS, they are usually IT staff, like a professional network administrator. The VPS can be more secure than a typical shared hosting package or a self-hosted website … but only if you have a budget to hire a full-time system administrator with the right technical knowledge and experience.
If you do not have a trusted and required system administrator (or your own practical knowledge), the VPS can expose you to many vulnerabilities. The VPS utility provides more security options and configuration changes, but it is only useful if you know what to do.
Common Website Security Features and Security Concerns
When choosing a hosting provider, keep in mind that there are no security features that make the hosting system more secure than the any other system. Instead, it is a cumulative or layered protection that provides a variety of features that add the highest level of security to your website.
These are the features you can ideally provide and some important security issues that your hosting provider must address.
A firewall is a device or program that monitors and filters activity before it reaches the Web server. The configuration creates rules and applies them to all inbound and outbound traffic for system and data protection.
The firewall uses multiple methods, including filtering and data checking to allow or deny visitors access to your website.
Typically, a firewall is configured for the application on the entire host server. Therefore, each host account has little control over the configuration of the firewall. Some managed packages allow you to upgrade to a custom firewall that lets you create specific rules to manage access to your site.
The act of updating or maintaining the site can make your site vulnerable, especially if you install and test new applications or modify scripts. In a secure environment or in a development environment, you can safely test all changes in the environment in real time (instead of the public page) instead of directly changing the public access.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is a way to send large amounts of data to a website as soon as possible. This overload does not allow the server to process incoming traffic and may be separated from the unsecured website or server.
A reliable hosting provider offers registered DDoS protection. With this protection, the server can monitor and filter DDoS traffic so that the server can capture and reject all subsequent DDoS attacks while simultaneously redirecting legitimate traffic.
Multi-factor authentication adds the steps required to log in, as these additional steps include a tightly controlled verification application. In the ideal configuration, only the owner of the original account with a specific user name can reach the second level of authentication.
For example, a site administrator has set up two-factor authentication for the site. Every time they try to log in using their username and password, an SMS is created and sent to the user’s registered phone. The administrator must provide a unique access token created for the session to access the management system control.
You can secure you website by:
- Patching outdated software
- Creating a password policy
- Using domain privacy
- Installing anti-virus software
- Auditing your site for vulnerabilities
- Doing manual backups
- Using AVS and CVV
Blue Ridge Technology, Inc. can alleviate these concerns and minimize your risk by hosting and managing your website for you. The benefits to you are that we provide and maintain the security of your website.
You are an expert in your business, you shouldn’t have to be an expert in technology as well. Hiring or training someone on your staff to do this for you would cost far more than having us handle it. This way, you can do what you do best and leave all that is involved in keeping your company website safe and productive to us.
Because we monitor your website around the clock, we will become aware of any threats or issues right away and get them resolved. You won’t have to find out from a customer or one of your employees that there is an issue with the website. In most cases we can have it fixed before you even know there was a problem!
Blue Ridge Technology, Inc. will always make sure that your website is updated with the newest security and upgrades available. This ensures that your customers are getting the best possible experience when they visit your site.
When we host your website, you won’t get lost in the crowd like you would with a large hosting company. You can depend on us to keep a close watch on your website. When you need us, we are there for you and we don’t outsource our services. You will always get to speak with someone who is knowledgeable about your website and can provide you with personalized technical support. We also offer Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and website design services which are available separately.
Contact us today so we can keep you, your employees and your customers safe and secure!