Web Hosting Security: Future Trends and Best Practices

June 12, 2024 / Security and Privacy

Future-Trends

With over 300,000 UK businesses becoming victims of cybercrime in the past year , it has never been more vital to protect websites and sensitive data. Hacking, malware, ransoming and DDoS attacks can cause financial loss, reputational damage, hefty penalties and no end of disruption. With cybercriminals using ever more sophisticated means of attack, we look at how the web hosting industry is evolving to keep businesses secure.

Advanced threats

Today’s cybercriminals are using far more advanced techniques to attack websites and steal data. They now have access to AI-enabled tools that help them target victims, evade security systems and leave victim’s systems without leaving forensic traces. When they are not using technology, they make use of psychology, using clever ploys, like social engineering and phishing, to trick people into giving away their login credentials.

Perhaps the biggest concern is that the criminal gangs that have mastered these techniques now sell them as services to other gangs, making attacks more widely available. Besides criminals, businesses should also be aware of the rising tide of state-sponsored attacks, some of which are designed purely to cause disruption and others to steal precious business intelligence.

Keep up to date, read: Top Cybersecurity Threats to Watch Out For

How web hosts are rising to the challenge

Technology lies at the heart of the future of web hosting security. It is perhaps no surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools are being developed to counter the latest threats. Indeed, AI and ML are not only used to detect attacks; they also help to predict and mitigate them. AI, for instance, can analyse traffic data to identify patterns that indicate a potential attack. For example, multiple login attempts from one specific IP address could indicate signs of a brute force attack. Where these patterns are identified, the AI then automatically blocks that traffic. Machine learning algorithms then learn from these events, enabling the security tool to quickly spot and prevent similar attacks in the future. This technology improves firewalls, spam filtering, DDoS protection and various other security protocols.

Another growing trend in web hosting is the adoption of Zero Trust security. Essentially, this is as much a change in culture as it is in security. Until recently, businesses considered that threats always came from outside private networks, while people and devices inside the network were regarded as secure. Zero Trust assumes that everything has the potential to be a threat until its identity has been verified – and rightly so, given that if an intruder has entered the network by deception, you don’t want them to have free access while inside. This approach, therefore, requires verification before access to resources is permitted.

Domain Name

Encryption has long been used as a way to protect data, ensuring that even if a cybercriminal gets access to it, its contents would be meaningless without having the decryption keys. However, new and evolving technologies mean existing encryption methods might not remain as bullet-proof as they currently are. A quantum computer’s ability to perform calculations far faster than a standard server means it might be able to crack encrypted data – especially when making use of AI. Security experts are trying to stay one step ahead by developing what is known as quantum-resistant encryption, an approach that will hopefully future-proof encryption as technology advances.

Not using encryption? Read: Why Cloud Data Encryption is Essential

Blockchain is another technology set to play a larger role in web hosting security. Today, it is mainly used to ensure secure and transparent cryptocurrency transactions and track the movement of goods in supply chains. However, as it stores data in different places across the chain rather than storing it centrally, and then uses encryption to protect it, it offers a highly effective way to secure data. With no single point of access, hackers can only get their hands on part of the data, not all of it. Depending on how the data was distributed across the chain and on the encryption methods used, this could render it useless to cybercriminals.

As more businesses migrate to the cloud, service providers are helping to create more secure environments for those customers. Hybrid clouds are one way to achieve this. Here, businesses still get the benefits of the public cloud’s scalability and cost-effectiveness but keep their sensitive data stored in dedicated private clouds to which they have exclusive access. This is not to say that the public cloud is insecure. Indeed, service providers are obliged to provide robust security and deliver this through a combination of rigorous policies, procedures, advanced tools and expertise, as well as complying with standards and regulations. Besides private clouds, the use of containers also helps improve cloud security. As containers run apps in isolated environments, any security breach is limited to just one container.

Best practices

While service providers are adopting new technologies and implementing more stringent protocols, businesses also have a role to play in keeping their hosting environments secure. One of the most important tasks is to ensure that they know where their vulnerabilities lie so that effective measures can be put in place to address them. This means that regular security audits should be a standard practice. Good web hosts will offer security audit services to their customers.

With a growing number of attempts to hack into control panels and hosting accounts or steal login credentials via phishing scams, companies need to implement more defensive login security. While strong, 16-character passwords, featuring random letters, numbers and special characters are helpful, two-factor or multi-factor authentication are far more effective ways to prevent unauthorised access. With one of these protocols implemented, cybercriminals would either need access to users’ phones or their biometric data, besides their username and password. Additionally, businesses should also ensure that privileges are reviewed so that an individual’s access is limited to the data or resources they need to do their job. This way, if their credentials are compromised, the potential impact is kept to a minimum.

For more information, read: Why Website Owners Need to Secure Their Hosting Accounts

As the downtime and loss of earnings resulting from a cyberattack can result in business failure, companies need disaster recovery plans in place to mitigate the impact. One of the chief components of such a plan is regular backups. Not only can modern cloud-based backup solutions be scheduled to take place at the frequency firms need; they store backups remotely, check them for integrity and encrypt them. Being stored in the cloud, they are also easy for firms to access, speeding up recovery time.

With a rapidly changing threat landscape, many firms remain vulnerable simply because employees aren’t up to date with the latest challenges. For this reason, it is vital that employees attend ongoing training to make them aware of evolving threats so that they know what to look for, how to report them and how to respond. This is particularly important for phishing, which is the predominant form of attack aimed at company employees. Today, this isn’t just in the form of emails, it can include text messages and phone calls. Some of the most sophisticated phishing scams involve calling company bosses, cloning their voices using AI and then calling employees asking for login credentials or for money to be transferred to the cybercriminals’ accounts.

Choosing the right hosting provider

To prevent your business from becoming the victim of cybercrime, it is crucial that you choose a hosting provider that prioritises security. A good host will comply with industry standards like ISO 27001 and PSI DSS, data protection regulations like GDPR, and implement robust security measures across its operations. This will include everything from physical security at its data centres, to investment in advanced security tools and the employment of security expertise. In terms of services, it should offer advanced firewalls, intrusion, malware and DDoS protection, cloud-based backup solutions, encryption, SSL certificates, spam filtering and more.

Additionally, it should be able to offer security audits, help with compliance, disaster recovery and business continuity solutions, and 24/7 technical support.

Conclusion

Keeping today’s sophisticated cybercriminals at bay is a critical but demanding task. To protect its customers, the web hosting industry is being proactive in adopting new technologies and implementing robust security protocols that will ensure it remains future-proof against evolving threats. However, businesses must also implement best practices, including security audits, login security, disaster recovery plans and employee training to defend against the wider range of threats.

Looking for a reputable web host that puts your security at the top of its agenda? eukhost’s multi-faceted security measures will keep your website and your data safe. Visit our homepage to see our range of secure hosting solutions.

Author

  • Niraj Chhajed

    I'm a SEO and SMM Specialist with a passion for sharing insights on website hosting, development, and technology to help businesses thrive online.

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