It has been a wide practice that owners of websites tap into the services of hosting companies for their webpages to be available on the internet. In a shared hosting environment, a web hosting company hosts several clients with several resources into its server. As the demand is increasing, hosting servers are now holding hundreds of websites. Shared hosting servers are naturally prone to risk of attacks and security problems.
Facing the risks
Shared hosting servers are vulnerable to attacks by hackers who upload malware, malicious codes or sites in the server. The clients of the shared hosting server become immediately in danger to the attack. These malicious programs can be injected to a server through vulnerabilities in a client’s site. Malware can be used in stealing credit card data; launching Distributed Denial of Service attack and allows hackers to control the hosting server. The hackers will then use the controlled hosting server to attack other servers.
Shared Hosting Security Issues
Since security issues are prevalent in a shared hosting environment, security comes first for owners of websites online. A server is not without any flaw and every interaction that you have on the shared server is a threat. Generally, web hosting providers have the responsibility to provide the highest security level for their clients but clients should also take their own precautions to avoid breach of security in their sites.
Here are some the security concerns that you should have in mind:
- Data transfer should be secured
- Stored data should be secured
- Secure software interfaces
How Shared Hosting companies should protect their clients
It is important that every hosting company should know its clients. Hosting companies should carefully screen all accounts, request for proof of identity and contact new clients by phone before activating their accounts. In this way, hackers who are trying to register accounts into a host server will be prevented.
Below are concrete ways to secure a shared hosting environment:
- There must be a reliable firewall.
- Specific software to prevent Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attacks should be installed
- There must be a limitation of executable commands
- The websites on a shared hosting server should always be monitored for any malicious code uploaded to the site.
Currently, trustworthy web hosting companies provide a remote server to store all data, on at least a daily basis. This is very important as it allows the server to retrieve data to a particular website or to its entire network should the data be lost or damaged due to internal problems or a breach in security.
Web hosting providers should assist and educate their clients on how to prevent disruptions in their website by taking necessary security precautions. Educating the clients can be done through bulletins which will remind them of the steps to prevent attacks and links to resources that will help them learn how to safeguard their websites all the time. Web hosting providers can also use the bulletins to promote regular changing of passwords and warn the clients of the always impending threats of hackers.
What to do when security is breached?
A site that has been hacked and compromised presents an imminent danger to the other users in shared servers. In this case, the website should be suspended and will not be allowed to perform its function until the threat of danger has been addressed and removed. There are now available features that make automatic alerts from shared hosting servers to let their clients be informed that their website has been attempted to be hacked. The client should then take the responsibility to address security vulnerabilities in his site that will affect the use of all websites on the server.