Cloud Web Hosting Security

we provide all the tools you need to build, launch and manage a successful web-based business – including the information you need to do it RIGHT! So welcome to the second in our series of articles on topics related to web server security. We’ll keep it simple, eliminate the techno-babble and provide, not only the tools, but the know-how to achieve web success.

Your success is important.

The basics of web server security

Where to start? Well, if you don’t know anything about the world wide web, that’s the place to start. How does it work? In our previous blog entry, we discussed server security in the article: Is your web hosting company secure? It sure better be.

How does web hosting security affect you?

For millions of people earning good money on the W3, either as full-time business owners, or to supplement their day job paychecks – a secure web hosting provider is crucial to the success of their business. Not only can a successful web business be developed by seasoned business owners, it can be achieved by beginner entrepreneurs. It’s done every day by people who are no smarter or business savvy than you are. So, yes, the odds ARE stacked against you but, if you do it right and have a web hosting provider that is working towards your success, you can make money of the web.

Whatever you plan to sell, enter that product or service into the Google search box and see how many competing sites you’re going to face. Opening a small computer repair service? 1.75 million other computer repair companies and geeks are in front of you. They’re online and doing business. Those are your competitors and they have a head start. The most important thing to remember may also be the most painful and difficult web success concept to keep in mind: web site visitors don’t give a darn about you. People that purchase goods and services on the web are concerned about the security of their online data…the data that they provide when making an online purchase.

What is cloud hosting?

Cloud computing or cloud web hosting is often the term employed to describe the “as a service” model over the Internet. You will see the terms “infrastructure as a service”, “platform as a service”, or “software as a service” used as you conduct your research of the leading cloud hosting providers such as Rackspace Hosting, Amazon and SoftLayer. In our previous blog entry, we discussed the pros and cons of cloud web hosting.

Cloud security in the news

In April, technology giant Sony faced an outage to its PlayStation Network that caused a security breach relating to approximately 100 million users’ private information. Sony first became aware of the attack on April 19 after it discovered “several PlayStation Network servers had rebooted themselves unexpectedly. Four servers were immediately taken offline in order to figure out what was going on. By the next day, it was clear that another six had been attacked, and they were taken offline as well.” It wasn’t until May 3 that Sony admitted to a second, earlier attack that compromised 25 million Sony Online Entertainment users’ information including credit card numbers. Purdue University security expert Dr. Gene Spafford told Congress that Sony had been running outdated Apache software at the time of the attack. Sony has defended its security procedures, claiming that the proper measures were in place, including recently patched and updated servers and firewall’s. But what does this do to the future of web hosting in the cloud?

The future of cloud computing

In a blog post on the Wall Street Journal, Ben Rooney says “the whole cloud computing movement has taken a bit of a knock, or perhaps has had a wake-up call.” Surprisingly, cloud service providers do not see security as their main concern. Perhaps Sony’s experience will make them think again. Some businesses are rethinking plans to move to cloud-based web hosting. Experts in digital security say that investors, businesses and consumers have put too much faith in the cloud. Some cloud web hosting providers are already seeing their clients trying to negotiate new contracts that put financial penalties on cloud providers for service disruptions or security problems.

How to choose a cloud web hosting provider?

Simple. You call them. Then, you start asking questions and taking notes. There are plenty of web hosts available. You want to go with the best because, in fact, your hosting company is actually your on-line partner.

What kind of server-side security do you provide?

Choose a host that provides hard-wired firewall’s, software firewall’s, proprietary anti-virus and anti-spy ware software, back-up power supplies, lock-down server rooms, elevated servers, staff background checks, algorithmic encryption, redundancy and the latest in updates and upgrades.

Is your web site being hosted with the right web host?

Floods, hurricanes, blizzards, heat waves – whatever nature throws at a premium web host, that host has a contingency plan. In fact, Plan A, B, C right on down the line. So analog threats are non-existent. If the host guarantees 99% uptime, you know that host is using state-of-the-art security technology from double locked cages to protect multiple servers to algorithmic-based access and smart-door technology to keep bad people from doing bad things in the host’s server room.

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