the-growing-problem-of-online-security-for-web-hostsIn truth the problem of online security is one of the major challenges that faces us all today. If you don’t have a device that is hooked up to the internet, then you’re in the minority. While security specialists work round the clock to keep us safe, the rest of us are left with the certainty that someone somewhere is trying to find a way round all that virus software, encryption and firewall protection we surround ourselves with.

Most of us don’t even notice this battle going on, at least not until something goes wrong. According to security company Symantec, however, there were what they call 9 mega breaches in 2015 causing the loss of over half a billion records. This is a big issue for web hosts too and it should be a primary concern for businesses who are looking for someone to facilitate their online presence.

That’s why it makes sense to ask the right questions before you sign on the dotted digital line and potentially expose your website, and more importantly your customers, to online threats.

Does your host get to know its customers?

First of all, you’ll glean a lot from registering with the company. Are they going to screen your account and do they make an effort to get proof of identity? Most reputable hosting services will contact you by phone to determine that you are a bona fide person before actually activating your account.

Is it open access?

Alarm bells should start ringing if your host allows open access or offers things like cost-free hosting and accounts that are free if you allow sponsored ads. Hackers are pretty skilled at using free hosting services and attracting people to their sites where they can get users to click on malware that can cause serious damage. If your host is supplying this kind of service, then you have to wonder how secure their other provision such as VPS or shared hosting is.

Firewalls and keeping watch

Your host should have a reliable clustered firewall where they constantly test security and keep updated with the latest security. They should be monitoring sites to make sure that malware isn’t uploaded anywhere and they should have the processes in place to deal with a threat should it be detected – usually by isolating the problem or taking it offline to prevent further attack.

Do they backup daily?

It’s something that should be top of your list when asking questions of your potential web host anyway. How often do they back up? If there is a breach in security, then you want to be able to restore the latest version of your data and if your host isn’t backing up daily then this should also raise alarm bells.

For most businesses the issue of security is real but it is also a complicated one. Let’s face it, most of us can be blinded by science and trust the hosting company to provide the necessary level of security we need. It pays, however, to get to know this area of hosting a lot better and doing your research means that you can find the right host and ask the right questions.

Failure to do so can lead to the wrong choices and that can have a catastrophic effect not only on your brand but your future reputation as a safe place to do business.

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