Hosting Security: Choosing a Hosting Provider you can trust

ISP Zen Internet has released a White Paper advising IT decision makers how to mitigate the security risks associated with hosting business critical data or applications offsite and the selection criteria that should be considered when reviewing potential hosting providers.

‘From the smallest business to the largest corporation, hosted websites, leased servers and rented data-centres have become part and parcel of the way companies do business today,’ explained Andrew Saunders, Head of Product Management and Marketing, Zen Internet.

The threats are very real to businesses reliant on their IT network for e-commerce or customer support applications. Of the 2,337 sites harbouring malware that Symantec’s Internet security specialists discovered daily during Q3 2009, 80% were legitimate websites that had been compromised by hackers.

It is essential, therefore, that a hosting provider does not leave a business open to security breaches. Not only can web site downtime lead to lost revenue but employee productivity can be severely hampered if access to centralised databases and applications, such as email, is not available. For those businesses handling their own customer’s data it is likely that they will be under a legal obligation to ensure it is secure.

Choosing a hosting provider isn’t just a matter of balancing against bandwidth, performance and capacity. A business needs to ensure that information on a hosted server remains on the server, that the server is always available, and that the data can’t be corrupted, stolen or accessed by unauthorised parties.
Zen Internet’s White Paper explores the following four key areas of secure hosting:

Network security – a hosting provider needs to take adequate measures to monitor and guard their own networks and therefore the servers on those networks.

Server security – it is essential that both the operating system and the applications running on it are secure. According to the System Administration, Networking and Security (SANS) Institute, attacks against web applications constitute more than 60% of total attacks seen on the Internet.

E-commerce security – securing e-commerce applications is vital if a business does not want to be targeted by fraudsters or attract publicity pertaining to stolen customer or credit card data.

Physical Data Centre security – this is every bit important as the hardware and software put into place to protect a business’s data or its web site from online attack.

‘There is no single silver bullet to keep hosted servers and data centres secure. It’s important to recognise that secure hosting isn’t just about software and hardware it’s also about your hosting partner having the right people and policies in place,’ added Saunders.

Zen has over 15 years industry experience and provides a range of Web hosting services including Dedicated Servers, Managed Hosting and Colocation as well as Windows and Linux Web Hosting and Domain Names. Zen’s full portfolio also includes Broadband, Leased Lines, IP VPN, Voice, Managed Firewalls, Online Data Backup and Web design.

To download a copy of Zen Internet’s White Paper: ‘Choosing a Hosting Provider you can trust’ please visit www.zen.co.uk/hosting