Is Your Self-Hosted Business Website Safe From Cyber Threats?

After deciding to create an online entity for their business, many companies choose to self-host their website, which involves purchasing a hosting account and domain, configuring the business …

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After deciding to create an online entity for their business, many companies choose to self-host their website, which involves purchasing a hosting account and domain, configuring the business blog, as well as customizing it.

Self-hosted website platforms offer the easiest route to hosting a website. They don’t require as much technical know-how (users select a pre-design template and add their content), and the website can be launched within a day. Several businesses also choose this platform because it represents the least expensive way to make a website live, as there is no need to pay for a separate hosting provider.  

However, self-hosted websites have a range of limitations, a major one being lack of robust security. Below are some security issues self-hosted business websites may have to face:

Rouge virus: There have been several instances where WordPress blogs were infected with rogue anti-virus. Usually, plugins enhance security features and help create backup of all the content published on the website. No coding knowledge is necessary to install these plugins and they require just a few clicks.

But on self-hosted websites, you can’t use any third-party plugins. Without the use of these plugins you’ve essentially crippled security. You also risk using weak passwords on self-hosted blogs as there is no password manager plugin available for this kind of a platform. The website can be shut down any time if it is hosting a malware according to the terms of service (TOS) of self-hosted platforms.

Brute force and DDoS attack: These are the biggest problems for self-hosted websites at the moment. Cyber criminals create special tools to crack the website, and various possibilities are utilized in order to gain access. Hosting service providers keep updating their security to protect against such attacks, but you’re on your own with a self-hosted website.

DDoS attacks are similar to nuking but viruses and Trojans are added by adversaries before server crash. This enables them to remove index files and take over the site. New DDoS attacks have capabilities to install firmware into the self-hosted server software, and the server can be completely destroyed. It is impossible to protect a self-hosted website with lackluster security against these attacks.

SQL injection & URL hijacking: This is a class of attack in which cyber criminals embed commands in a URL to trigger behaviors from a remote server. The attacks are useful for obtaining sensitive information from the infected database, giving hackers entrance to modify the actual log files.

Another problem is that self-hosted platforms backed by database execute server-side PHP scripts, which make them vulnerable to malicious insertions. URL parameters are used to send the commands to the platform, but they can be hijacked by hackers who can then gain access without authorization.

What are the solutions?

There are several measures you can take to protect your business content. The following are the main options:

Reliable hosting: According to the HostGator blog, options such as managed WordPress solutions can help protect your business reputation. These solutions come with advanced security features that automatically remove any detected threats. And for added security, your site’s content is backed up daily to an offsite cloud to make sure the data is always available.

Strong passwords: Weak passwords are the leading cause of website hacks. Creating strong passwords is a simple way to protect your site. In case of a managed hosting solution, you can install a password manager plugin that will help you generate strong passwords.

Self-education: By learning about the potential threats to business websites, you can make decisions that reduce the vulnerabilities targeted for hacking attacks, such as not uploading unknown scripts on the site. 

 

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