Web hosting security: 8 questions to ask

How can you be certain your web hosting provider offers the security you need? Here are 8 key questions to ask.

As a business owner, one of the foundational steps in establishing your online presence is choosing a web hosting provider. But how can you be certain that your chosen provider offers not just good service but great security too? In this article we'll delve into understanding what hosting security is and give you 8 questions to ask of your hosting provider's cybersecurity. That way you’ll know if they’re truly up to par.

What is web hosting?

In the digital age, every business, big or small, needs a website. And for that website to be accessible to users worldwide, it needs to live on a server. This is where web hosting services come into play. These services store your website files and make them available to users on the internet.

What is meant by hosting providers?

A hosting provider, or web host, is a business that offers the technologies and services needed for your website to be viewed on the internet. They own servers where website data is stored, and they ensure that this data can be accessed when a user types in your website address.

What is web hosting in cyber security?

When we talk about web hosting in the context of cyber security, we're discussing the practices and technologies that hosting providers use to protect your website data. This includes protection against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, malware, and unauthorised access, among other threats.

So, hosting your website isn't enough. Secure web hosting ensures that all the data exchanged between the user's browser and the server remains confidential and protected from cyber-attacks.

Can web hosting be attacked?

Absolutely. Like any other digital asset, web servers can be the targets of attacks. If your hosting provider doesn't prioritise security, your business website could fall into the hands of cybercriminals, leading to data breaches, website downtime, or even damage to your brand reputation.

How to know if your hosting provider is safe (8 questions)

When selecting a web hosting service, you need to be sure they prioritise security. Here's what you should look for:

  1. Do they offer a free SSL certificate? Ensure the provider offers a free SSL certificate. SSL encrypts the data transferred between the server and the user's browser, offering a secure connection.

  2. Does the service have regular backups? Secure web hosting providers will have daily or weekly backups. This ensures that you can quickly restore your website in the event of a cyber-attack.

  3. Do they have DDoS protection? Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks can crash your website. A hosting provider should offer DDoS protection to safeguard against such attacks.

  4. Is their server software updated? Outdated software can be vulnerable. Ensure your provider frequently updates their server software.

  5. Do they do regular firewalls and malware scans? A strong firewall helps prevent unauthorised access. Regular malware scans help in detecting and removing malicious files.

  6. Does the service offer two-factor authentication (2FA)? 2FA adds an extra layer of security, ensuring only authorised individuals can access your hosting account.

  7. How is their physical server security? Physical security is just as crucial. Make sure the provider's data centres have strict security measures, such as 24/7 surveillance and biometric access control.

  8. Do they offer prompt customer support? In the event of a security issue, you need prompt assistance. Check if the provider offers 24/7 customer support with a proven track record of handling security concerns.

How to maintain security with web hosting

Knowing what hosting security is and choosing a secure provider is just the start. You also play a role in maintaining your website's security:

  • Update Regularly: Keep your website's platform, plugins, and themes updated. Outdated software can become a vulnerability.

  • Use Strong Passwords: Always use strong, unique passwords for your hosting account and website admin area. And use a password manager!

  • Monitor Activity: Regularly review access logs to ensure no unauthorised activities are taking place.

  • Educate Your Team: If multiple individuals have access to your website, ensure they’re educated about basic security practices.

The truth is secure web hosting is non-negotiable in today’s digital landscape. By understanding what hosting security entails and knowing how to assess hosting providers, you can give your business the robust digital foundation you and your customers deserve.

Struggling with your cybersecurity measures or web hosting? Get 1-2-1 support by speaking to one of our V-Hub Digital Advisers.

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