Learn about security features and check how to choose secure hosting service for your website. In this article, I will show you how to turn your Server into an impregnable fortress.
In order to do it, you need backups, file and data security, safe email, DNS, SSL, web server separation, and WAF. And, of course, the best Managed dedicated servers so that you have control over everything and the entire machine is only at your disposal. Here’s everything you need to know about security.
Why is security important?
By using server services, you entrust the hosting company with your data and the data of your website users. They store on the machines your website files, email messages, and backups of important data. This is why it is so important that you pay particular attention to security issues when choosing a secure hosting service.
But factual security isn’t everything – you can also use it as your bargaining chip. For example, you can create dedicated and secure hosting service for DAX investors, which you can place on German dedicated servers.
Why not even find a hosting service that has a server where the London, New York, or Frankfurt Stock Exchange is located? “The most secure Frankfurt Dedicated Servers for DAX Investors” – this kind of marketing message will energize your marketing strategy!
What Type of Hosting Services to Choose?
If you want an unconquerable fortress on the internet, you must be the only user of it. You need to fully control the software installed on the device and decide on the use of its resources. In a word, the safest option is a dedicated server in Germany, France, or the United States – places considered trustworthy and secure.
VPS will also provide you with loads of options to modify the settings; however, you still do not have access to all computer settings in this case. The computer is divided into several virtual machines. On the same physical disk, you share the space with other users. Usually, it is an acceptable solution that does not harm security.
The problem arises when you have to use advanced computer security techniques and cannot afford to share one machine with anyone. It mainly applies to companies in the financial industry that process confidential data and cannot afford to compromise on security. Are your business related to the NYSE, LSE, or Deutsche Borse? So Germany Dedicated Servers is the most reasonable solution.
1. Data Backup
Just as you should back up your files on your computer, the same goes for the data on the Server. However, the hosting company plays a decisive role in this case. Prudent is doubly secured – so in addition to your hosting provider’s backups, you should also take care of your security copies yourself. It is best for security to have several of them saved on a computer hard drive, external drive, or in the cloud. Creating a backup requires a few mouse clicks and downloading the file.
The backups take up too much space, so delete old backups. In this issue, it doesn’t matter if you have a dedicated server, unlimited bandwidth, and a spacey SSD NVMe. Storing the backup files on the same Server makes no sense. You ought to find your backups in several different places. There you may not have as much space as at your hosting Server.
Regarding the hosting company’s backup policy, pay attention to the following:
- The frequency of their formation – should be daily.
- Storage time – that is, how old copies you can restore. The company should keep such copies for a minimum of 7 days.
- Rules depend on the type of files – different may apply to databases, website files, and email.
- How can you use a backup – it can be as easy and convenient as I mentioned, which means a few mouse clicks. In other cases, it may be necessary to download a copy and upload it yourself or send a request to the administrators. The critical thing is the time of implementation and frequency of generation.
2. SSL Certificate
Currently, the use of an SSL certificate is standard. A good provider will equip you with Let’s Encrypt certificates for free. Encryption means that data transferred between the service and the device cannot be intercepted or changed. In addition to free SSL, there are, of course, also paid ones.
Anyone can check whether a given website uses an encrypted connection, the browser displays the appropriate information next to the address field, and the website address is HTTPS. SSL certificates are divided into:
- DV (Domain Validation): Standard security level. The verification process is limited only to checking your right to use the domain, by email, for example.
- OV (Organization Validation): apart from the domain, the company applying for the certificate is also checked.
- EV (Extended Validation): the highest level of verification. Both the domain and the company that applies are checked. It is much more detailed. Such certificates are used by, among others, banks, large companies, and government institutions.
If you do not process confidential personal data, Let’s Encrypt will be sufficient. However, if you store more sensitive data, you must opt for a higher level of security. For example, a financial service hosted on dedicated servers in Germany should use an EV SSL certificate.
3. DNS Security
DNS stands for Domain Name System. Thanks to it, you can get to the website not after entering the IP address, but just by the website address. The best-dedicated servers can provide some solutions to keep your DNS servers safe:
- DNSSEC: Protects your domain from being redirected elsewhere, e.g., to a fake website. When the user enters your address in the browser, his query will come back with an authentication key, confirming that the IP address is correct.
- DNS Anycast: Maintaining DNS servers in different parts of the world protects against failures. If one of the servers goes down, another takes over, and the services continue to run smoothly.
4. Email Security
In business, email is essential. Companies send large files by it, so you need a dedicated server, unmetered bandwidth, and an advanced security system. Email is one of the tools that online criminals use for phishing attacks.
They try to extort data or money by impersonating service providers, courier companies, other prominent companies, or authorities, for example, tax authorities in Germany. A dedicated Server can protect you from many threats, but you should watch out anyway.
Criminals can also impersonate your company and send a message from your address, but the possibilities in this regard are limited as long as your service provider has adequate security measures in place.
- SPF (Sender Policy Framework): This is an entry in the domain’s DNS that communicates to email boxes to which we write that this Server with a given IP address can send correspondence from this domain. This message is not intended to be sent to SPAM.
- DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): used to digitally sign your messages in order to confirm they come from you.
- DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): is a combination of SPF and DKIM, which gives several additional possibilities. DMARC defines whether all emails sent from addresses in your domain are to be signed and what the Server should do with them if they are not signed.
5. Safe File Transfer
Uploading files to the Server should be done during a secure connection. FTP is not encrypted. A much better option is to use SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) and a secure SFTP server. To use it, you need to choose a secure hosting that offers SSH access. However, you are looking for a gem that offers the best dedicated servers, so such a provider will have SSH.
6. Web Servers Separation
The popular CMSs are the most vulnerable to attacks. The hackers need only an outdated plugin in which an error was detected, an old template, or an old version of a given CMS for a hack. Page separation consists in treating each directory on the Server as a separate entity. If the files of a given domain are infected, then these files will not be able to harm the directories of other domains.
Here you can see the supreme advantage of a dedicated server. Unlimited bandwidth, fast processors, and bulky RAM are noticeable, but the ability to configure the Server according to your preferences is the grandest advantage to making the Server safe.
7. WAF (Web Application Firewall)
Your German dedicated servers should have several security lines. One of the most critical elements of these security measures is WAF. It is a transparent web application protection system that allows you to block unwanted content and protect the site from data theft or use for other crimes:
- SQL Injection: consists of injecting a particular fragment of a SQL query into the application. This way, the attacker can access website files, user data, and more.
- Cross-Site Scripting: an attack involves injecting particular code into a given website, which may lead to the performance of unwanted actions.
- Directory Traversal: gaining unauthorized access to files or folders to which access should be denied.
If WAF is efficiently hosted, the risk of such an event is limited.
Security of the Hosting Panel
You cannot forget about the security of access to the hosting panel. It is the center of all operations. All the advantages of your dedicated Server: unmetered bandwidth, security systems, WAF, and performance will lose all meaning if thieves enter through the window. And this window may turn out to be the login gateway to the hosting panel. So your provider must use SSL and Two Factor Authentication. And you have to guard your access data like a key to a treasury of gold.