Website Hosting: Security Awareness Can Reduce Costs
Website security is challenging, especially when dealing with a large network of sites. Online threats are always evolving and staying ahead of them can consume a lot of time and resources. Having a proactive approach to website security can reduce costs for hosting companies and internet service providers.
In this ever changing environment, there are many threats hosting companies should be aware of, such as:
Cross-Site Contamination is the spread of malware over multiple shared hosting accounts. It happens when a site is negatively affected by neighboring sites within the same server because of poor isolation on the server or account configuration.
Malicious software can compromise websites in many ways. For instance, they can change the appearance of a website, which is known as defacement. They can also grant malicious actors access to a website, allowing them to perform virtually any nefarious actions they wish. These are only some examples of infections.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are designed to disrupt a website’s availability. The objective of a DDoS attack is to prevent legitimate users from accessing a website. For a DDoS attack to be successful, the attacker needs to send more requests than the victim server can handle.
The End User’s Responsibility
How the user manages their server environment is usually beyond the realm of hosting companies and malicious actors know that. The weakest point of a website security is the user, that is why most attacks are automated and rely on end-user managed resources, such as plugins, themes, and extensions. Anything that is installed by the webmaster is a possible entrance point for the hacker.
Hackers are looking for the easiest way to compromise as many websites in the shorter period of time. Automation is the key. Nowadays, over 90% of all website attacks are automated by:
- Scripts or bots that search for exploitable vulnerabilities
- Password-guessing artificial intelligence tools that do not require a vulnerability or an exploit
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks
The Hosting Company’s Responsibility
Even though it is highly emphasized that webmasters should be held responsible for their website security, as humans, they tend to look for someone else to blame when the worst happens.
As a hosting company, you might have heard many times a customer asking why you let their website be hacked. Whether you have a security plan to offer or not, hosting companies need to be prepared to deal with that scenario. Website security will pop up as a conversation topic if clients are dealing with:
- A hacked website
- A blacklisted website
- A website that is currently unavailable because it is under attack
Creating a website has become a lot easier than it was some years ago. Websites can be created with very little technical knowledge with the help of easy to use content management systems (CMS).
When it comes to security, the truth is that a lot of website owners want to focus only on their online presence, but don’t want to spend the time to learn about website security best practices. Most of the time, they tend to believe that the hosting company is actually responsible for their website security.
When a website is hacked, the website owner expects that someone takes care of it quickly and they want this to never happen again.
The question of who is actually responsible for website-level security can be controversial. What is agreed upon is that when a customer asks about a security issue, service providers should be ready to have an answer for it.
The Cost of Supporting Website Security Issues
In order to deal with the influx of customer’s security problems, some service providers have decided to create a team of dedicated support to help customers who are in trouble. Entire teams are dealing with frustrated customers who are facing the nightmare of having a hacked website without being able to provide a real solution for them.
Most of the time, it means wasting resources and money. The host is dedicating personnel in order to try to remediate something that in most cases are not their specialty. If website security is not your core competence, it might not make financial sense to use your efforts to try to clean a hacked website.
Changing the Mindset
Hosting companies should become security awareness leaders. They should be involved in the security conversation since the beginning of the customer relationship. Service providers can educate the end-users on security options for their websites.
Making Website Security a Profit Center
There is a way not only to reduce operational costs, but also to increase profits by offering efficient website security to customers. There is no need to learn a new skill and to try to develop technology to train your team to respond to security incidents. Partnering with a dedicated security company, such as Sucuri can become a revenue stream as well as a resource saver.
The relief of knowing you will be sending your customers to professionals who understand how the threat landscape looks and how to clean and protect websites is appeasing. Depending on the host configuration, there is a big opportunity to turn security into a new source of revenue.
Sucuri is recommended by web professionals for providing users with cutting-edge technology and excellent customer service. They can be an extension of your team. Partnering with a proven security organization can provide your customers with an all-encompassing website security solution.
You can offer your customers a guaranteed service at fixed prices since Sucuri does not charge extra fees depending on the number of infected pages or the complexity of the hack.