It’s 2019 now and these days, there’s no shortage of web hosting companies who promise nothing but the best to their customers. There are definitely a number of top hosting providers who actually come good on that promise but as is always the situation in every business, not every web hosting provider is as good as they claim to be. Since the reputation and eventual success of an online business is largely dependent on the quality of the web hosting, it is extremely important that you choose a provider that can deliver exactly what you need both in terms of reliability and security. To that end, here are the top ten security features which every web hosting provider needs to have in order to provide their customers with not just the best, but also the most secure experience.
SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol, which is a safer version of the standard but dated FTP (File Transfer Protocol). By implementing SFTP, a web hosting service can eliminate many of the security threats which arise from frequent uploading and downloading of files on the system. That is not to say that SFTP is sufficient in warding off all relevant cyber threats, but it definitely makes all websites on the server more secure.
SSH stands for Secure Shell, which allows the sending of commands to a leased server through an encrypted channel while making required changes to the root system. The SSH network protocol, in combination with UNIX computers can allow for secure remote access over most internet connections, even when the said internet connection isn’t particularly secure otherwise.
Secure Sockets Layer or SSL as we know it, acts as an encryption technique that encrypts all the data exchange that takes place between the web server and the client’s/customer’s web browser. If your web hosting provider is serious about security, it will not only have SSL encryption on offer for those that need it, but the SSL certificates will be provided by reputed sources as well with its hosting packages. SSL certificates are essential for protecting the privacy and security of both the customer and the seller’s data.
Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS refers to a malicious attempt that successfully overloads the server with more fake user requests than the server can handle. As a result, the server shuts down indefinitely, resulting in huge losses for all the connected online businesses. A hosting provider should have sound DDoS prevention measures in place to stop this from ever happening.
Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks or RAID makes a web hosting provider more reliable. In 2019, every standard web hosting provider is expected to have a RAID system in place for emergencies. In case you are not familiar with the term, Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disk (RAID) basically means that through software control, several computer disks/drives are operated as a single disk/drive, so that when one of those disks/drives fail, the server automatically switches over to a working copy and simply reconstructs the lost data from it, before continuing as usual.
One of the most elementary security features that is to be expected from a web hosting provider is that of offering backup. There are multiple scenarios which range from hacking attacks to natural disasters and accidents, that can potentially cause a website to lose some or even all the important system and data files. If that happens, whatever had been backed up on the server is the website’s best hope of restoring the lost data. Therefore, the hosting provider should offer automatic/manual cloud backup options to their customers, in order to qualify as a reliable web hosting service.
Manual Reset Options
When you have a hosting provider that offers backup services, the next thing you should be looking for is whether or not they allow you to reset your independent server manually. Keep in mind that only customers who have opted for an independent server can avail this option for obvious reasons. Back up your system on a daily basis and especially before trying to attempt any serious changes to the root files, because then you would be able to simply reset and restore the entire server manually if something goes wrong, or the site is compromised in some other way.
Viruses, malware and other threats often modify system files to bring on the harm that they are supposed to and that’s precisely where an antivirus comes in. Not only can a good antivirus detect and stop the malicious codes from executing, but they can also restore the system files to their original state by undoing the actions of the malware. An antivirus software also makes the server more secure for your website and your clients’/customers’ computers while they are accessing the site. Make sure that your service provider has a quality antivirus software protecting the server against online threats and data theft.
Firewalls make the job of the antivirus a lot easier by simply denying access to and from all distrusted and dubious sources. Similar to the firewall, but limited to emails, a spam filter blocks/quarantines emails that may contain spam content or malicious codes. These two features are pretty standard these days, but they are essential nonetheless.
The final security feature on this list pertains to the physical aspect of your hosting provider’s security measures. Consider how well the datacentre of your web hosting service is protected against physical break-ins. The service provider must have physical servers somewhere, but are they well protected? It may seem almost alien in 2019, but it is quite possible to get access to most, if not all the websites on the server by gaining physical access to the server rooms.
While these are certainly not the only features you should be looking for in a web hosting provider, but as far as security is concerned, these ten are the top priorities. When business is involved, it is better not to take any chances at all, especially when it comes to cyber security, given that it is estimated that cyber-attacks will cause the world to lose $6 trillion annually by the year 2021!