The Impacts of Web Hosting on Security

If you’re a business owner or you’re on the web a lot, you may have heard about web hosting. We cannot talk about its effects on security unless we inform you of the essentials on web hosting first.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is a service that lets individuals and organizations post a web page or a website onto the internet.

The web host/web hosting service provider is the business that offers the technologies and services one needs for the website/webpage to be seen on the Internet.

web hosting

Servers are the specialized computers that store/host websites. When someone is trying to take a look at your site, that person only has to type the website address/domain into the browser. His/her computer connects to your server so that your webpages get to him/her through the browser.

You need to own the domain to get hosted. If you do not hold it, the hosting company may help you buy one.

What are the benefits provided by a web hosting service?

Most of the time, a web host is going to provide a lot more than web hosting services. For instance, a web hosting company may employ in-house technicians so that they’re sure that the client’s website is running 24/7. A professional web hosting service is going to make the business owner’s life a lot more comfortable, taking care of the company’s Internet presence.

Read more about the benefits provided by a web hosting service at The Hosting Institute.

How can web hosting affect security?

Regardless of what one may think, web hosting is going to have a significant impact on your website. The type of web hosting you’re selecting may render your site into being open and exploited.

Here are some issues related to shared web hosting  that may influence security:

Shared hosting means shared responsibility

Many businesses choose shared hosting as it’s a cheaper option. However, there are many downsides to take into consideration.

Shared hosting means that several sites are going to share a common infrastructure and that’s the leading cause for future problems. The most significant downside to shared hosting is the reality that your site can become exploited by something from other sites.

Nicely put, your affair may be affected by the problems of another site sharing the hosting. If the other sites on your server go with weak security measure or don’t update their plugins, your site is going to be affected by it. Slowdowns injected code, downtime and added attack files are only some of the effects of poor security. Even if you’ve tried your best to keep your site online and secure, you won’t be able to isolate your site from the constant problems.

Exploited sites may lead to offline suspension

Once your site becomes exploited, the shared host may suspend your site until there is no more malicious content. No respect host is going to risk other customers that share the same server.

The situation may occur fast. It’s quite common for the hosting provider to merely shut down one’s website until it spreads malware to site viewers or affects other websites.

No hosting provider is going to sacrifice their reputation or be part of a big mess. Cutting off your website and quarantine is the no.1 solution for them. Therefore, your site is going to be offline for some time. Do you have a big business with e-commerce? The chances are that you’re going to lose revenue, for sure.

You may get suspended

Soon enough, your website may get stuck in limbo, and you may have to cleanse the files and mitigate further exploit. It’s what happens with unmanaged hosting. Nobody else is handling the security, so any breach is worse than imagined. The downtime for the site is going to be bigger, and the costs are going to be higher.

In the case of managed private server hosting, the hosting provider is going to take care of the server’s security. He’s also responsible for any issues, seeking that everything works fine.

The hosting provider knows what security means

The time and effort for your website security depend a lot on the hosting provider and the plan you have for web hosting.

The most unfortunate shared hosting providers are going to make security a real problem. By the contrary, private hosting providers are going to make guard running nice and smooth. Most website hosting is somewhere in the middle.

Is it difficult to find the proper hosting provider?

Finding the right host is, and it depends a lot on how much time you’re willing to spend with the in-house IT staff for solving any security issues.

Any website owner should put some effort into it. Even if you’re going to go with shared hosting, you should still choose a plan and a vendor that is reliable and good for your business.

It’s vital that you ask the right questions and that the hosting provider answers to all of them. You should seek and stick with a host and hosting plan that puts your security on the 1st place. You also want the host to make your team work on something else and not swamped with the security problems.

Here are some of the questions that you should ask a possible hosting provider:

  • Once your site is defaced or exploited, how is the company going to handle it?
  • Is the company going to help you secure your website?
  • Does the company provide any uptime guarantee? Does it provide DOS (Denial of Service) protection?
  • Does the company take care of backups? What’s the policy on that matter? Is it difficult for the company to restore?

Once you have the answers to these fundamental questions, you may get a more transparent image of how the possible host is going to handle security. You also get to make an idea about it’s going to react to incidents.

All in all, finding the best provider and having your website secure 24/7 is something that you’re dreaming about.

Ranbeer Maver is a Computer Science undergraduate. He's a geek who embraces any new consumer technology with inhuman enthusiasm.