When you think about website security, what typically comes to mind are breaches of significant companies with highly publicized headlines. Such Multimillion-dollar leaks in security involve exposed valuable data such as login credentials and credit card information.
Leaks like these get extensive media coverage, leaving many to think only large-scale businesses face the wrath of online security risks. However, do not let the size of a company fool you when it comes to being at risk.
Any site, whether it be small or large should know superior security standards are crucial to the well-being of any website. That is why website owners get pounded with warnings of security risk.
Most come in the form of glamorous sales pitches of numerous hosting providers. How do you know the real risk from sales hype? The first step to protect your online brand is education. The following are the best practices to put in place.
It is vital that you apply these practices to your website management operations. Moreover, there are fundamental security features you should seek in a prospective web hosting company.
Table of Contents
- 1 Web Host Security Features to Look For
- 2 Backups and Restore Points
- 3 Network Monitoring
- 4 Firewalls, DDoS Prevention, and SSL
- 5 Antivirus and Malware Removal and/or Scanning
- 6 High Availability and Disaster Recovery
- 7 Server Security Best Practices
- 8 File Management
- 9 Access and User Permissions
- 10 Applications and Logins
- 11 Security Is the Foundation
Web Host Security Features to Look For
Most of you will utilize a hosting provider and choose one of their plans. Dedicated servers and shared hosting are just two that fall on a spectrum of services.
Depending on the plan you choose, your hosting provider will handle many security measures. You need to ask plenty of questions to learn which feature each company offers and what you should do.
Backups and Restore Points
Backups as a component of security are something people often overlook. It is vital that you keep your backups in a secure location different from your primary server along with other steps to enhance the security of your data.
A secure backup offers a trusted depot for your latest copies of data and the system that can restore a clean system to operation.
Does your host provider censor the internal network for unusual activity and intrusions? Meticulous monitoring can put a stop to server-to-server spreading malware before it reaches the server that hosts your site.
Inquire about details on how the servers support team observes the network. You need to know how dedicated the staff is to this function as well as what the engineers look for to make improvements.
This guide on the best practices of network monitoring outlines several policies and procedures that all reputable network management team need to follow.
Firewalls, DDoS Prevention, and SSL
DDoS -Distributed-Denial of Service takes place when there are overwhelming amounts of traffic going to your site, making it useless to visitors. A network with an excellent firewall is where prevention begins.
However, keep in mind, there are some limits on how good a firewall stops DDoS attacks. It is vital that your provider offers you a sense of what the intrusions are that the company’s firewalls can stop.
Inquire also about what additional measures the security team employs. You must know how to enhance what the hosting server offers if your plan is one where you manage your own server.
Moreover, what point with the network monitoring people enlighten plan owners there are potential issues that may affect their site? Are SSL certificates available through the provider? It is your responsibility to employ SSL, however, if you cannot if it is not available.
Antivirus and Malware Removal and/or Scanning
You need to have a clear understanding of which protective actions you must do yourself and which ones your hosting provider will perform. Does the support team perform scans on your files and if so, do you have access to them?
If by chance your account becomes infected, will your support plan provide help with identifying and removing all malware?
Read Also: Best Web Hosting Providers 2018
High Availability and Disaster Recovery
Select a hosting company that ensures your site will be live and running with 99.9 percent uptime or more. That goes beyond and above file-level backups.
That is a thorough copy of a clean, high-functioning server operating system for a fast recovery in light of system failures. Your host’s network needs to have the surplus hardware to protect against downtime due to hardware failures.
Firewall software can be configured to perform in pairs. Each is ready to kick in and take over the full load if the other fails. The same goes for servers. Hardware failover is a vital component of high-availability networks.
Another high-availability feature is load balancing. In that scenario, multiple servers remain ready to take care of server traffic. Each works with the same copy of your site’s data stored on a network shared drive. One hands traffic to the other to prevent one server from being overburdened.
Server Security Best Practices
If your plan has a server without support, you may need to do some or all on your own. If the program does provide some software management support and/or hardware, here are some topics to inquire about with the company.
Access to the server is remote. No one has permission to go to the server and move, remove, or add website content files. You need to use secure SFTP/FTP with a robust and secure password for all file maintenance and transfer while following the best practices of other SFTP and FTP.
Access and User Permissions
At host level, access means the ability to log into the server as well as physical access to the machines. Trained technicians with security clearance should be the only ones to have physical access to the servers.
Your host company and you should use SSH-Secure Socket Shell, or equivalent to, to log into the server for maintaining the website or OS. RSA keys protected by passphrase are excellent for added security.
Applications and Logins
Continue to maintain utilities that censor the following: A strict password policy with password changes at regular intervals should be mandatory by the hosting company. Frequent password changes at regular intervals should also be a requirement from the host.
You need to have comparable policies for the server access passwords. Launch and enforce strong password policies. Anyone who wants to has the ability to exploit them within hours.
Any unmaintained, unused apps on the server, you should ensure the removal immediately. Therefore no one can exploit unpatched susceptibilities. Be sure to install
- Application Uptime
- Memory Use
- Disk Use
- Server CPU
Security Is the Foundation
Although website security can be frightening, implement the help of an excellent hosting service partner. Therefore you can have a website that experiences no significant disruptions.
Do not let the learning process affect you once you launch your site. With these Website Security Best Practices, you will find that a little knowledge goes a long way. Even though the security threat matrix is forever evolving, it would behoove you to remain on top of the latest standards, emergent threats, and most recent trends.