6 Things to Consider When Looking for a Secure Web Hosting Provider

Are you getting ready to launch your next web project? If so, you’ll need a reliable host to handle the task. However, you shouldn’t just look for a web host that has excellent performance.

Website attacks are one of the most significant contributors to data breaches. If you don’t take security seriously, you’ll end up with a compromised site that causes you and your users problems.

You’ll need to find secure web hosting if you want to protect your website. Below are six web hosting security features that you need to be on the lookout for.

1. Regular Backups

Even with a secure web server, you never know when an accident will happen. Whether it’s because of hackers or a hardware failure, you run the risk of losing your website if your files are corrupted.

A data backup will help you in this scenario. When you have a backup, it only takes a few minutes to restore your website to a previous version. Without it, you might end up rebuilding your website from the ground up.

Your web host should provide a flexible backup routine. If your site is regularly updated, a daily backup is a great choice. However, if you don’t update your site very often, a monthly backup might be all you need.

2. Software Updates

There isn’t a perfect piece of software out there. Even the best programmers make mistakes, and there are unknown vulnerabilities that have yet to be discovered. That’s why there will always be updates for your software in the future.

Outdated software is one of the most significant web hosting security issues. Hackers examine software to find exploits and use any exploits they find to hack unsecured software. One of the most significant advantages of updates is getting patches to these security problems.

If you run on a managed server, your web host should update your server software for you. This should take no work on your part.

The website software that you use yourself is a different story. If you buy a hosting package specializing in your website platform, your host automatically handles many software updates. If you manage your website software yourself, you’ll need to set a schedule to look for updates and install them yourself.

3. SSL Support

Consumer privacy is a big concern on the internet today. With so much data being transferred on the internet, it’s easy for consumers to have their data stolen. That’s why you need to provide a secure connection for your website visitors.

An ordinary connection to your website provides no security. If someone is monitoring your visitor’s web traffic, they can see all the data they transmit to your site. This is a no-go if you work with sensitive information.

An SSL certificate will stop this from happening. It provides encryption for all traffic to your site. Even if someone is watching, they won’t be able to see any data.

While SSL certificates used to cost money, that isn’t the case anymore. Services like LetsEncrypt give you the ability to install SSL for free on your site.

Most hosting providers now offer this service to their customers. Make sure you have this ability, so you keep your site secure for your visitors.

4. Firewall Software

Most secure server web hosting has protection equipment at their data centers. They do a great job at protecting the websites they host. However, they won’t stop all attacks.

There are still attack attempts made on individual servers. Hackers do this by scanning your web server for open ports. Depending on the ports they find, they can potentially initiate attacks against your server.

A firewall stops this from happening. Your firewall will block every port on your server except for the ones you need to open.

The standard open ports you’ll see on your server are for your web server, FTP, and SSL. Every other port should be closed unless there is a specific reason for it to remain open.

If you do need additional ports open, your firewall can dictate who has access to that port. You can set your rules up so only specific computer IP addresses can use that port. That means that unless you’re on a firewall whitelist, you won’t be able to get into your server from open ports.

5. Malware Scanning

Sometimes all your security precautions won’t be sufficient. When this happens, you run the risk of malicious files being copied to your server. This is where malware scanning comes into play.

Your web host should run regular scans of your server to look for problems. Hackers insert malicious files by taking advantage of security holes in software. Once these files are on your server, they can steal information and send spam emails.

Malware software contains malware definitions that can detect these files when they show up. If your malware scans find problem files, they will head to quarantine, where they get marked for deletion.

6. DDoS Prevention

Hacking isn’t the only problem you’ll have to deal with when you run a website. If someone wants to cause damage to your site, all they have to do is send more traffic than your server can handle.

This is what a DDoS attack is. The goal is to send an overwhelming number of web requests to a web server. These large request numbers can cripple databases, disable your website software, and crash servers.

Luckily, several web hosts offer protection from these attacks. They mitigate them by using a CDN network.

A CDN is a network of servers that contains copies of your website. Instead of hammering your website server with requests, an attacker will hit CDN servers that can handle the load.

Now You Know What to Look for in Secure Web Hosting

You can’t afford to cut corners with the security of your website. The threat from hackers will never stop, so you need to continually watch your online properties to make sure they’re secure. Use the tips above to find secure web hosting that will handle the job.

Once you find your web hosting, you’ll need to know how to get a website up and running. Head back to our blog to see our top website tips.