Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, not only has the scale at which security breaches are taking place increased multi-folds, but the losses inflicted by them on various organizations have also skyrocketed. The Health Services world oversaw many ransomware attacks putting the lives of millions at ultimate risk. Medical research centers developing Covid -19 vaccines also became desirable targets, with even state-sponsored cyber-attacks coming into light in certain parts of the world.
Today, cybercrime is the biggest threat that both small and big organizations face. This fact is reiterated by the research carried out by Cybersecurity Ventures according to which cyber-attacks cost companies $3 trillion in 2015 and the damages inflicted by cyber-attacks is estimated to reach $6 trillion by 2021. The research also points out that cybercrime costs to grow by 15 percent per year over the next five years.
So, whether you are an individual website owner or a web host, hosting several big and small businesses, security should be of utmost importance to you. Let us now look into some critical points to be aware of and prevent any severe losses in your business due to cybercrime and carry out the best cybersecurity practices for your website security. These tips should also be treated as a security checklist before choosing your web hosting services.
A password management system should be in place for various sets of users for a website. Every user should be given passwords as per their roles in running the website; for example, the most strong password should be allotted to the users’ critical role in running the website. Although creating strong passwords should be encouraged for all users. Each user should be given access only to those areas, which are just necessary for them to carry on their role-specific functions. Unrestricted uploading of files by users should be strictly discouraged. In case of an event when web security is compromised, all passwords must be immediately changed.
Which Operating System to Choose
If you are looking for a web host for your website, then you can choose between a Windows-based operating system and Linux based operating system for your web server.
As Windows is a more widely used operating system than Linux, it faces more threats from hackers. By default, Windows is at an advantage regarding server access as it allows all the users to login as standard users only, and all its activities, including access to the server, are controlled by the primary administrator. This reduces the chances of causing any harm through intrusions from any individual or a malicious attempt. If a security compromise occurs, only well trained and authorized experts from Microsoft will handle the webserver preventing dishonest individuals from misusing the shortcomings.
On the other hand, if any security lapse occurs in the Linux based server, the web host is generally able to install programs that can protect the server from malware. Hence, Linux based web servers are more vulnerable to individual-level malicious intrusions.
Both operating systems have their perils and advantages. Hence it is best to weigh your technical requirements and choose what suits you best.
Providing Restricted Access Crucial
It is of prime importance that your web host protects its servers and has a proper monitoring system in place to restrict access to the host servers. Several electronic surveillance systems can be employed to do live physical security coverage. Only authorized persons should have access to the host servers, and specific IPs should be allotted to carry out the maintenance jobs. All the user root logins should be allowed access only through authorized admin logins to prevent any security lapse.
Network Security Essentials
Continuous monitoring of the network should be done by the web host provider to timely detect any unauthorized activity and prevent it from swelling into a more significant security threat to the server. If you have your own leased server, then there will be occasions when you would require making changes to the root system. The network protocol, Secure Shell (SSH), will allow safe login to your server. So, it is essential to check with the web host if it offers SSH. Another vital protocol to check with your web host is the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Make sure that only the updated version is available to you to avoid any security breaches.
Protection against Viruses and Malware
Always check that your web hosting provider provides an updated version of anti-virus software, which forms the necessary protection from any malware threats leading to user identity or crucial data thefts. Any good web hosting company is expected to do regular file scans for their clients, regularly keep them updated, and guide them through their standard security practices and website security reports. Providing Anti-Spam filters is crucial to keep a check on emails carrying harmful links and malware.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a protocol that provides encrypted communication between the user and the website server and is essential to win the user’s trust. If you are a website owner, you must buy it from a reputed SSL Certificate provider, or a good web host will be able to provide you with SSL protection. If you are looking for the cheapest SSL certificate provider, rapidssl certificate is the best option. It offers only DV Certificates. which’s more than sufficient for individual websites, small business, and blogs.
Firewall and DDoS Protection
A secure web host should be able to take care of all your firewall security requirements, including WAF. Web Application Firewall (WAF) is firewall protection with a specific security need to secure your applications. The firewall protects your website by limiting access to your server from unreliable resources.
Distributed Denial Of Services (DDoS )attack is a cyber threat capable of inflicting the most severe losses to businesses. Here the hacker overwhelms the server with such heavy traffic that users find the website unavailable for them. So, you must check with your Web Hosting Security listings if it is taking enough precautions against DDoS attacks and how much they can protect you against any such attacks.
Taking backups for your data and system files should be most crucial to your well-rounded security plan. As there is always a threat of losing these files to any cyber-attack and causing severe disruption in running your day-to-day business, it is still advisable to look for web hosts that provide daily backups as well as restore your web files in case of any such breach and data loss.
Currently of cybercrime, it is imperative to consider various factors while deciding which web host to go for. The various features that they provide, including backups, security tools, etc., must always be considered to make an informed decision to ensure website data security. Also read, how to improve the page speed of your website.