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Security Issues in Web Hosting and How to Avoid Them

by Innov8tiv.com

Every website is vulnerable to security attacks online. In order to protect yourself, you need to know what kind of attacks are the most common.

That way, you can take all of the required steps to prepare your website and organize the needed protection to keep yourself and your visitors safe.

This article will explain some of the most common security issues in web hosting. It’ll also provide you with five measures you can take to minimize the chances of these attacks affecting your website.

Let’s get started.

Common Security Issues in Web Hosting

Web hosting providers are no exception when it comes to being vulnerable to security breaches. If they don’t provide good security features, you might be exposed to these common security issues.

Shared Hosting

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When you begin looking into web hosting, a web hosting provider usually offers you various hosting options, the most affordable being shared hosting.

As the name suggests, shared hosting means sharing a server and its resources with other users. But because the resources are shared, you do get a few disadvantages, especially in security.

Since you’re sharing resources, if one website is hacked, especially with DDoS attacks, your website is likely to be affected by it, too, even to the point where you can’t access it.

A shared server also means that you share one IP address with other users. This means that if a neighboring website conducts illegal activity and is exposed, The IP address will be blacklisted and marked as malicious.

This means that your visitors won’t be able to find your website. Firewalls and search engines will block it and mark it as insecure, stopping anyone from accessing it.

DDoS Attack

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is an attack that occurs when a hacker programs thousands of malicious devices and bots to disrupt your website by flooding it with massive amounts of traffic and requests.

To cater to the sudden traffic surge, your website will use more resources from the server. If it runs out of resources, your site will become overwhelmed and likely crash or shut down.

This attack is worse if you’re using shared hosting because your website might not be the target, but someone else’s on the same server. Since you’re sharing the same resources, the DDoS attack will also negatively impact you too and cause your site to shut down as collateral damage.

Man-In-The-Middle Attack

This attack is common for websites with no form of encryption for the data that travels through the internet from the user to your server.

The objective of this attack is to gather sensitive information. How it works is that the attacker intercepts the data as it’s being transmitted. They can quickly access sensitive information, like login credentials or payment details, that is being shared between your customers and your website.

How to Avoid Security Issues

You must know how to protect your website from harm. In 2020, there were 36 billion data breaches, and 95% of those breaches were caused by human error.

So to reduce the possibility of encountering security breaches and minimize potential human error, here are some steps you can take.

1. Review Your Web Hosting

You should take note that web hosting providers tend to have their own set of security features that come with their hosting plans. It’s important that you pay attention to what they offer and see whether you would need to get extra protection.

Take your time to compare different web hosts and see who provides the best security features for the price. It’s even better if you have all the necessary features given to you for free when you purchase one of their hosting plans.

A good hosting provider should include the basic security features mentioned below to ensure that your website is secure and your customer’s information.

2. Restrict Access

Image is taken from Unsplash.com.

Your web hosting provider should restrict access to their servers. Only the system administrator and trained technicians with a security clearance should have access to them.

Including a Secure Socket Shell (SSH) also gives you secure access to the server’s command line. So if you want to modify and manage the operating system, you can safely access it without having to worry about anyone else entering.

Your web hosts should also provide a whitelist for authorized IP addresses to allow them to perform maintenance. You, as their client, should be able to access the server and modify it through your verified IP addresses.

3. Install SSL and Firewall

Secure Socket Layers (SSL) and firewalls are the essential security features that all hosting providers should include in their hosting plans. Usually, your hosting provider will provide these security features for free.

The firewall keeps your website secure from basic cyber attacks and stops you from entering a potentially harmful website.

The SSL protocols encode and help secure sensitive data such as customer information and bank accounts to secure the payment processes on your website. This eliminates the risk of getting the man-in-the-middle attack.

SSL has also become a must-have on your website because web browsers will mark any website without an SSL certificate as unsafe or potentially harmful.

4. DDoS and SQLi Prevention

As mentioned above, DDoS attacks disrupt your website by sending an overwhelming amount of traffic, making your website unavailable to access by the actual users.

SQLi attacks, on the other hand, are when a hacker inserts malicious code into your website’s main code, rendering it unavailable.

Web hosting providers usually provide security measures to prevent these attacks by including a Web Application Firewall (WAF) and DDoS mitigation solutions in your hosting plan. The WAF blocks any malicious traffic from reaching your website.

5. Update Regularly

Image is taken from Unsplash.com.

One of the most overlooked yet crucial parts of keeping your website secure is regularly updating your operating system and applications. Hackers will always try to find loopholes and potential vulnerabilities on your website, whether it is through the software or applications you use.

Conducting regular system and application updates is recommended because the developers always release a new security patch within every update, meaning that they either fix potential vulnerabilities or add extra layers of security. This, in turn, makes it more difficult for hackers to breach your website.

Conclusion

If you rely solely on your web hosting provider to keep your website secure, you need to know what features they are implementing to protect you from potential cyber-attacks. However, we highly recommend looking into additional security measures, as long as they’re reputable and effective.

You should take note that, on average, hackers launch an attack every 39 seconds, but it takes around 280 days for them to breach a well-secured website successfully. So it’s crucial to regularly update your software and security measures to prevent these hackers from ever entering your website.

As a precautionary measure, it’s always good to also regularly backup your website. This means keeping a copy of your website data and files so that in the event of your website being hacked, you can quickly use the backup to get your website up and running again without losing your precious data.

Good luck!

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