Web Hosting Security Best Practices for 2020
Even if you own a personal website that you just use to submit blog post occasionally or a small, medium or large scale business owner, security and protection is one of the most crucial thing to consider. Security is one of the most significant aspects of web hosting to every website owner, and on the off chance that it isn't, it has to be.
Unavailability of proper security can harmful and dangerous to a business or organisation, in case these issues and troubles result in loss of money or sensitive information and data theft. Therefore it is much crucial to comprehend that what parts of hosting security you need to consider and how to decide whether your selected web host service provider gives security properly.
Proper guidance and advice is the foremost step to securing your online brand and reputation. In this article, we are going to cover few best of best practices to go with in your web page management related tasks, along with some most crucial security related features of web hosting to look for.
Also read Web Hosting Checklist.
Top Website Hosting Security Features to Look for
Almost every website owner like you me use a website hosting service provider and choose one of the hosting plans offered by them. There are various type of hosting services such as shared, VPS, Cloud, Dedicated and reseller hosting. There are different types of security measures taken care by hosting service provider, but on the basis of the hosting plan you choose, you must interrogates to understand which features and attributes the hosting company offers and what you actually have to do.
1. SSL Security, Firewall Protection, and DDoS Prevention
One of the main reason behind DDoS attacks is when huge amount of traffic sent to your website/web page, making it pointless and unprofitable visitors. Prevention and precaution begins from the network side using a superior and high quality firewall system.
Can the web host you have selected give some perception of what disruptions the provider’s firewalls are probably going to stop as well as what different measures the security and protection team utilizes? In case you have a plan in which you administer and handle your own web server, you should know how to expand what the web hosting service offers. During which point of time the server/network monitoring team inform plan proprietors of possible issues, troubles that may influence their web page?
Does the hosting service provider you have selected offer SSL security certificates available? It is going to be your accountability to apply SSL certificate, but you can not in case if it not made available by your host.
2. Antivirus, Malware Scanning as Well as Removal
At the time of buying hosting service you should know what kind of safety measures your chosen website hosting company is going to execute as well as what you should do from your site to secure your website from unwanted stuffs. Does the technical support eam or engineers of hosting company run scans on the data and files in your hosting account, and it is possible for you view the reports of scan. In case your hosting account get infected with malware or virus, does the technical support plan contain assistance in recognising as well as removing the infected file or scripts?
3. Availability of Backups and Restore Options
Several website owners usually neglect backups as an attribute of security. Backups give essential security and should be kept in highly secured place far from the primary server, it is the another security tips you need to consider. A backup of your data gives a confided repository for the most recent copies of your hosting account and in case of any trouble you can restore your data from the backup easily.
It is much crucial to inquire your web host providers about server backup schedule and available restore procedures. Such as how oftentimes are server/website backups performed- regularly, monthly or weekly? Will the customer support executives assist you to restore your web page from your backup files or are the website backups aimed for just their internal use? Will the customer support representatives discover as well as restore missed, deleted or infected files or will hosting providers just perform a full restoration from latest copy of backup? Will the Internet hosting solution provider just utilize the latest backup or you will be provided with the access to restores from additionally back in time, and in case this is the situation, how much far back in time would you be able to go?
4. Network/System Monitoring
Does the website hosting service company you seeking to go with monitor the network or system for assaults and unwanted movements? Regular monitoring of network can avoid server side or related problems and issues before it create effect on the server of your website. Before making a deal ask for details on the method the technical support team monitors the server and network of your hosting, even if the technical team of web host is devoted to this task as well as what the support specialists observe.
5. Higher Uptime and Disaster Recovery Option
It is highly recommended to search for a hosting provider that will keep your website up and running all the time with 99.99% uptime or more. This goes over and above document grade backups. Is the web host you are looking for going to provide you bare metal image for your web server of hosting account? This contains a full clone of a perfect, fully working web server operating system (OS) for a faster restoration from system breakdowns and collapses.
The web host service provider you are seeking must own redundant hardware solution to protect against downtime generated by instrument collapses or any other mishappenings.
Firewalls can be easily formed to keep running in sets, with every one prepared to assume control over the entire load in the event that the other one collapses or stops working. A similar idea reaches out to hosting or computer servers. Equipment collapse is an essential part of high-accessibility systems.
Load balancing is one more option of high-availability. in such a case, several web servers are prepared to deal with server traffic and visitors. All web server function with the similar copy of your web page related information and details put away on a system shared drive and hand off movement to each other so none of the server moves toward becoming overloaded or crowded.
Also read Web Hosting Process.
Best Practices for Web Server Security
In case you have an idea that offers a web server without administrator support, you may need to accomplish a few either everything yourself. On the off chance that your idea does contain few level of software as well as hardware administration support, the information given below will provide you thought of which things and queries to ask or what the customer/technical support personal are discussing.
6. Secure File Management & FTP Access
Remote is the method to access your server. None other than you get to the web server to delete, add as well as move your web page content and other stuffs. All you have to do is utilize a secure FTP or SFTP access with highly secure and strong password for all kind of file transfer and server management related tasks.
7. Server Access and User Privileges
Server access implies physical access to the servers, along with the possibilities to sign into the server. You should only give physical access to the server to well-trained technicians and professionals with good knowledge and skills.
You should not login to the server without SSH access to manage the OS, applications and your web page.
Other important security measure is to whitelist IP addresses that you wish to give access to perform server related tasks such as server maintenance and management. This can be performance using the hosting control panel offered by your hosting company at the time of hosting purchase. For extra security purpose you should block root sign ins. Generally hackers will try to put efforts to abuse root level access, the main reason behind this is that the root user contains complete administrative accesses.
Website files and documents are safeguarded using file permissions. Wrong file permissions can results to tedious and time-taking mistakes, to fix this kind of errors, it is must to give full permissions and accesses to all files in your control panel. You should avoid this because it permits hackers and other unwanted stuffs complete control of your server.
8. Unused Applications and Logins
The best web hosting service provider ought to have a rigid password policy for all the workers including senior and juniors with compulsory password changes at regular gaps. As a website owner you should also have a same kind of policies for server level access passwords. Set up and implement policies for solid and highly secured passwords. The individuals who need to can misuse/abuse poor passwords in just few minutes.
It is always recommended to remove/uninstall any type of unused applications available on the server so that no one can easily abuse unpatched vulnerabilities. It is always good to install and keep up applications that monitor and observe the server related stuffs such a processing power, web space, RAM, Memory, server uptime Guarantee, Bandwidth etc.
Best Security Practices for Coding and Website Related Security
The security and protection of your web page applications, software and data related files is only your responsibility, even with a fully managed web hosting service. As a website owner, you are the only person responsible for handling your web page contents and capabilities. The main reason behind this is that Internet hosting service provider doesn’t comprehend what exactly you need on your web page and how you wish your web page to work for your as well as your valuable and potential visitors.
9. Backups and Updation of Plugins, Software
It is always recommended to regularly update your CMS and other software of your site. Most recent and updated version of software are fixed to settle all security related breaches. Alter any type of default settings, for instance administrator sign in name, user name, that discoverable by people.
At the time of installing any kind of plugins, modules of software, always check the age of code or the last date of updation along with the number of total installations. All these measures give you a thought of security, trustability and unwavering quality of the item. In case it is not active or unused, it most likely has not been confirmed and verified for security breaches. Also check the download source for the software. Outsiders may have included malicious contents and scripts to the package of the software or modules.
One thing you should keep in mind that the contents of your site is not protected until the point you ought for regular, automatic and excess backups of your site. You should always keep a copy of your backups separately from your primary server to ensure that you are protected against the server failures. In most of the cases a backup kept on the server side will probably fail or collapse along with the server collapse. You should backup your website on regular basis so that you can capture the modified and fresh contents of your site. Also you should test the backups to make certain that the system is working fine.
In case you are using any kind of custom software, module, plugins, or templates, it is great thought to keep most recent copies of the installation files. In case any of the plugins, software or application have bugged or been compromised by hackers, that issue or trouble is going to be stored on the backup. The installation files make certain you can without any trouble get back to a clean and fully functioning copy. Take into account that the backups you have taken recovers your site instantly, yet backup doesn’t correct the basic issue that crashed or created problem for it. As an instance, in case somebody utilized some scripts to ruin your site, the vulnerability still remains in the website backup copy and should be fixed as fast as possible.
10. Passwords & User Entry
For each and every website, there is a password for the individuals who handle the website, quest writers, potential web page visitors, according to the type of the website. To protect your site you should create and implement password strength policies for each and every person who has access to your site.
Each and every account owner must have the least rights required to perform their regular tasks. Such as, you should not give admin rights or access to the guest writers of your site. The CMS (Content management system) you are using ought to have a level of rights that permits guest writers to post, edit and manage their post and nothing more than that. Every individual ought to have their personal sign in so they are solely accountable for each modification done by their account. Top level account owners can keep eyes on the activities done by all account owners.
You should always avoid uploads of unrestricted files. Restrict file uploads based on the file types that you or other users of your accounts truly have to upload at the same time avoid scripts and any other executable codes. Some uploaded executable codes and files combined with defective file get to setting is going to permit hackers and online thieves instant management access to your web page.
11. Review of the Code
Review of the code is known as comprehensively and thoroughly check of of an website or application once development part is completed and prepared to be released for online users. One of the best way to do this is automated tools and human review. Be careful about SQL injection embedded into your web page or online application by hackers and third parties. SQL injection is a code or script based injection method that might demolish the database of your site. SQL injection is a well known and popular website hacking methods.
OS (Operating System) Best Security Practices
Few of the evaluates and steps that you take will rely upon the Operating system (OS) of your web server. Mainly there are two major types of operating system on which web servers run such like Unix/Linux and Windows. Normally you select operating system at the time of web hosting purchase.
12. Windows Operating System
Windows web servers comes with user rights for example, as executable, limited access by default, account administrators should enter password to get top-level authorizations. Security related efforts are advised by security observer and manger on these kind of servers. Web.config is the file in which all kind of access and restrictions are implemented. Despite the fact that there are few other well-known security related cracks with the Windows based operating system, experienced Microsoft coders fix defects as well as release latest updates and always accessible to react to the situations and casualties.
13. Linux/Unix-Based Operating System
.htaccess is the configuration file on Linux/Ubuntu based servers. You can use .htaccess file to set rules and regulations to avoid directory browsing as well as other actions that could reveal sensitive detail or give server access to other dependencies.
Despite the fact that PHP scripting language is easily accessible and handy, there are some dangers to make use of it on Linux/Unix server. These operating systems contains permission known as executable, which implies the file can accomplish code and program. It is much crucial to restrain executable commands at the time of using PHP language. This is the situation the code review is helpful.
For the most part Unix/Linux based operating systems contains very few threats along with speedy reaction. The two major and widely used security extensions of these servers are SElinux and AppARMOR.