The number of businesses opting to use cloud hosting to store their critical IT infrastructure and website data has been growing tremendously. That’s mostly based on the fact that cloud platforms offer unprecedented operational efficiency, flexibility, performance, and profitability. However, as with all web hosting services, cloud hosting also comes with both benefits and drawbacks as well. Of the drawbacks of cloud hosting security is one of the biggest. Security is critical; as such, this article will provide you with some tips that can help you secure your cloud hosting plan.
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What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting, unlike other web hosting solutions, does not use physical servers. It uses virtual servers to store your files and data instead. By using virtual technology, cloud servers can generate an unlimited number of virtual servers that collectively act as individual entities.
Cloud Hosting Benefits
Cloud hosting is ideal for websites requiring advanced processing power to support high volumes of online traffic. Some other cloud hosting benefits include:
1. Cost and Scalability
Another advantage of choosing cloud hosting rests in the fact that you only pay for what you use. Feeling like your latest post may go viral? No problem. If your website is expected to gain an unusually large amount of traffic, you can simply scale your resources up during the traffic surge. You can later scale down once traffic levels return to normal. That’s the beauty of how easy scalability is with cloud hosting.
2. High Uptime and Availability
The whole make-up of cloud hosting facilitates high uptime. The fact is that your site virtually uses the resources of multiple servers. So, if you start experiencing technical issues or one of the servers goes down you are automatically transferred to another server.
3. Faster Website Speed and Performance
Most cloud servers provide lightning-fast speeds and can effortlessly increase your website’s capacity. Cloud hosting makes load balancing between multiple server environments easier, without putting a strain on a single server’s resources.
Cloud Hosting Drawbacks
Like all web hosting solutions, cloud hosting also has a few drawbacks. These include:
1. Network Connection Dependency
Your business must always be online in order to reap the benefits of cloud computing. You’ll need a network to facilitate sending and retrieving files from the cloud.
Unfortunately, not all cloud hosting providers are as secure as they claim to be. Since you can’t afford to have your business’ sensitive information accessed or have your clients become victims of hacking, you need advanced security. Ensure you do extensive research on cloud hosting companies before making a selection.
Main Cloud Hosting Security Vulnerabilities
As mentioned above, cloud hosting isn’t exempted from security vulnerabilities. As such, the security issues that persons using cloud hosting face are very similar to those of traditional hosting environments. These vulnerabilities include:
- DDoS attacks.Hackers use DDoS attacks to slow down and kick websites offline. The best way to protect your site is to use additional security software, firewalls and security add-ons.
- Data breaches.These can occur because of the lack of two-factor authentication. To mitigate against this, improve your passwords and improve your user authentication process.
- Hackers can inject malware scripts into your cloud hosting. They can be quite destructive as it relates to sensitive data. Installing anti-malware software can help protect you against this as well.
Ways to Secure Your Cloud Hosting Plan
Cloud hosting offers relatively the same security as other styles of web hosting. They all require means of protection. Whether you are using a cloud plan exclusively or VPS which is one of several different technologies that live in the cloud and offers cloud hosting, you need to know how to improve security.
From website monitoring tools to backups, we have created a list of informative tips that will help you to safeguard your cloud hosting plan.
1. Using a Reputable Web Hosting Service Provider
The company that provides hosting services for your website is vital to the performance and security of your information and that of your clients. In choosing a web hosting service provider, do a bit of research and ensure it employs the greatest level of security including the use of SSL certificates. High-quality hosting packages also offer additional tools to help protect your website.
2. Utilise Top Tier Encryption
Encryption is a great way of protecting you against hackers. When you use encryption all communication between server and client will be converted into codes to prevent unauthorised persons from gaining access.
3. Create and Use Reliable Passwords
This is the first and most common form of security and as such, it is important for you to create hard to decipher passwords that are not easy to figure out. It’s also advised that you also put a two (2) step verification method in place to improve the safety level of your information. That way, if there’s ever a violation in the first security step, the second will alert administrators and also safeguards the information. Also, use modified patch levels to avoid hackers from gaining access to your networks, systems and data storage.
4. Use SSL for Remote Connections
Implementing Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate is a great security option for cloud and VPS hosting. This will help secure any communication between your server and clients. It will also protect your email, VoIP and all other communication that happens over unsecured networks.
5. Install Anti-virus Software
Sometimes the security issue you face is not cloud-related but linked to the system you have logged in from. If there is no proper protection in place, hackers can easily access your account. This exposes you to viruses that can create penetration points. Anti-virus software will protect you by preventing these viruses from penetrating your server/website.
6. Enforce a Data Deletion Policy
If your cloud server hosts an e-commerce website, or one that collects personal customer information, you should have a policy and system in place to protect the data collected. That means that after a customer’s data retention period has expired, you should programmatically delete that customer’s information. That way even if hackers gain access to your website they will not be able to tamper with your client private information.
7. Remove Unnecessary Protocols and Bindings
Do an audit of the different services that you execute across your server, and remove and/or disable all unnecessary services. This will help to improve how well the system functions and reduces security vulnerability.
8. Install the Latest Patches and Updates
For higher security and performance, ensure that you install all the latest updates and downloads for the server. Go ahead and confirm that you cloud or VPS Server is using the current versions of security code. An old Operating System that requires update could result in hackers breaking in, so ensure updated versions of all software.
9. Test Your Security
It’s important to implement the security tips we recommend above. It is also vital that you run frequent security tests. This way you will be able to check if your systems are working efficiently and can verify if your system has gotten vulnerable over time. If it has, you can then update, install or fix those security vulnerabilities.
10. Do Frequent Cloud Web Hosting Backup
Conducting frequent local backups is a necessary precaution when it comes to all types of hosting plans. It is especially important in cloud-based data security. Hackers can manipulate data causing you to sometimes lose sensitive data that’s both yours and that of your customers. Losing data can cause, loss in several ways including, customer, reputation and revenue. That’s why it’s important to constantly do regular cloud hosting backups so should you, unfortunately, lose information you will have a copy stored on another server.
Not only does cloud hosting help with the overall performance of your website, but it also is an environmentally friendly hosting solution. With cloud hosting, you use fewer overall data centres and really just use the server resources you actually require at the moment. When you streamline your data use and resources, you get to lessen the strain on the environment.
Sign up for a web hosting solution with us and select a package that works best for you and your website. And, you can click here, for more tips on some best practices to improve the security of your company’s website.