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Importance of Securing Mission Critical Resource of Your Web Server

There can’t be any two opinions about significance of securing a web server since it the single most important support to keep maintain online presence of any business. Hence implementation of multiple security measures is an important function of an enterprise that depends on performance of its web applications for its own survival.

Importance of type of web server

From the point of view of website’s security as well as control, it would be advisable to choose the most robust server such as a dedicated server. It enables website owners to exercise total control and also allows unlimited freedom to install security related applications to protect their mission critical business processes.

Another vital aspect of security applications is to make sure that these are always updated to the latest version by way of updates. The most critical component of a dedicated web server is its operation system such as Windows and Linux. Updating operating systems is therefore an essential security measure.

Stringent password strategy

Modern technologies do not only help web hosting services and website operators. Hackers and other cyber criminals also leverage advanced tools to break into security environments of websites. This necessitates adoption of uncompromised security practices by creating strong passwords to prevent hackers from gaining access to digital assets such as personal credentials of customers and their transaction history.

In addition to maintaining strength of passwords you should also make sure that these are frequently changed from time to time. Password allocated by service provider of web server is only a default password and it can be a source of vulnerability because hackers can easily gain entry into the server environment by hacking such password.

Generous use of upper and lower case letters, special characters, and numerical should be the highlight of your web server account’s password. It would be blunder to coin a password that reflects personal identity such as name, date of birth, vehicle registration number and so forth because these can be easily guessed by hackers.

Security tools and patches

Thanks to a plethora of security tools offered by Microsoft that provides additional security layer although the process of configuration is usually a time consuming one. Any software which is not updated regularly is home to multiple vulnerabilities. Patches and updates are aimed at securing your system by upgrading their ability to thwart intrusion attempts.

First and foremost, you need to go for the latest version of any application that is going to be installed. This way, your web server would not be exposed to hacking events. Additionally, routine patching will further protect your server from new types of malware attacks. Another important tip for maintaining security potential of your system is to perform scheduled server scans to prevent any possibility of security breach.

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Backing up data

Recent attacks of Ransomware and WannaCry have highlighted the need to backup mission critical data by way of copying the same at on-premise or remote locations. The backed data files can be accessed whenever there is any malware attack for ensuring continuity of business processes.

On site data website owners due to the convenience and economy of the backup process have traditionally used backups. However, one can never predict hardware failure particularly if the data is being restored to a pen drive, or an external hard drive. This underlines the importance of plan B to restore data.

This brings us to implementation of data backup plans at offsite locations. Off-site data backup facilities should not be perceived as replacement of on-site data backup plans. This should be rather a supportive measure to maintain data integrity. Location for remote data storage should be selected by considering several aspects including the security potential.

The place should neither be too far away nor be in close proximity to the on-site location. If it is at a long distance then physical access would be difficult. Remote location of data backup isolates the critical information from any threat of natural disaster.

Protection of databases

Security of databases assumes greater significance if the website is aimed at collecting important or personal information of visitors. This includes online stores, healthcare providers, and insurance portals. Recent cyber attacks involving SQL injection have made sever impact on the databases of mission critical websites.

You are advised to keep database users to bare minimum in terms of the privileged ones and make sure that every byte of data that is not relevant is deleted. There should be no scope for customer interacting with databases unless required.

In conclusion

In case your enterprise is short of expertise and other resources such as time, then you need to seek an expert professional assistance to make sure that your web server is secured against an array of cyber threats. Third part service providers can depute highly experienced professionals to remove vulnerabilities and monitor web servers by prioritizing security aspects.

In case of any hosting requirement, you can easily contact us for Hosting Requirement.

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Google Plays a Significant Role in Empowerment of HTTPs Enabled Sites

Thanks to the exponential rise in number of cyber attacks over the recent past, there is a definite shift to greater website security by adopting multiple measures. Moving to HTTPs encryption is one of the most prominent security measures are being implemented by security conscious website owners.

Knowing the basics

Before we discuss the most relevant benefits of HTTPs encryption, we need to have a clear understanding in terms of differences between HTTP and HTTPs. Trust is an important aspect for a sound online session such as simple browsing to a more complex and sensitive process of online payment transaction.

Encrypted sites are viewed as secure and trustworthy destinations by visitors and also by the most popular search engine Google. It is hardly surprising that Google prefers HTTPs sites while assigning page ranks leading to better SEO advantages.

Internet is the vast platform that facilitates information exchange by way of reception and transmission of digital information.

The application layer protocol HTTP only focuses on the final presentation of data without getting involved in the actual process of data transfer. Statelessness is one of the most striking attributes of Hypertext Transfer Protocol, abbreviated as HTTP for simplicity. It boosts the transmission speed and improves user experience since it has no role in remembering any historical data.

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HTTP is the most frequently used protocol for transmitting and accessing html pages as well as a plethora of other resources that can also be accessed through this protocol. HTTP has been supporting majority of websites that do not handle information of sensitive nature including payment data, user credentials, and health records of individuals just to name a few.

Before understanding the differences between HTTP and HTTPs, we need to bear in mind that except for the additional layer of security, both share same purpose as well as intent.

Secure HyperText Transfer or HTTPs protocol is specifically aimed at supporting transmission of web-transactions that are important as well as secured. The main aim of creating HTTPs protocol was to authorize transactions for security purpose by maintaining close resemblance to HTTP in terms of several basic protocols. HTTPs adds a security layer by leveraging Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for data migration.

Google assigns special status to HTTPs protocol because unlike HTTP, HTTPs operates in unison with SSL for secure transmission of data. Both protocols are not involved in actual process of data transmission. In essence, HTTPs provides greater security for transportation of sensitive data than HTTP.

Progress of HTTPs

During the initial stage, HTTPs was more appreciated for its ability to protect login credentials of users, payment transactions, and exchange of sensitive email communications.  However after few years use of HTTPs spread across a plethora of applications that demanded a secure environment for exchange of personal data or private online interactions between two remotely located individuals.

This has prompted Google to encourage use of HTTPs on its popular web browser Google Chrome. The results of Google’s attempts are clearly visible in the latest progress reports that show a whopping seventy percent of traffic across Android and Windows enabled devices for HTTPs sites, against just thirty percent traffic which is attributed to sites that use the traditional HTTP protocol.

That’s not all, top hundred sites that are visited most frequently, carry HTTPs tag to assure their visitors that they are browsing in a secure environment. There is a definite shift to adoption of HTTPs protocol for attracting more visitors as well as to make sure that hackers do not tamper with the data that is being exchanged.

Google’s contribution

On its part, Google is also making sure that implementation of HTTPs becomes a universal phenomenon so that common Internet users perceive the entire World Wide Web as a safe and secure place. By removing positive security highlights of Chrome, Google will make sure that its unmarked version is secure by default.

The effect of Google’s efforts in popularizing HTTPs is visible from July 2018. Google marks all websites that are not HTTPs compliant as ‘not secure’. It is not very difficult to understand ramifications of a ‘not secure’ sign that precedes your URL in the address bar. Majority of visitors and potential customers would feel that they are browsing an unsecure site and consequently would abandon their search.

If your website is engaged in collecting any type of user information, then it becomes your moral duty to reassure users that their information would only be used by authorized entity and for the intended purpose only. This is the exact reason why Google is now marking HTTPs enabled sites for better ranking positions than their not secure counterparts.

In conclusion

There are several benefits of making your site secure through use of HTTPs protocol in addition to higher page rankings. Encryption of data is essential for the process of securing it from hackers who will not be able to tamper with information during its exchange.

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Key Indicators that Demand use of WAF for Enterprise Data Protection

Prevention of data intrusion attempts that result in data leaks is the most vital objective of any organization’s security strategy. According to some reliable studies, eight out of ten hackers can break into a system within less than sixty seconds. This sounds extremely uncomfortable because a cyber attack is similar to cancer that spreads to cover the entire system.

Web Application Firewall is a modern avatar of traditional firewall measures adopted by security conscious enterprises. It is necessary to upgrade legacy firewall tools because the modern hackers are in possession of technologically advanced hacking tools that can penetrate traditional measures to prevent intrusion.

Extent of knowledge about data

Familiarity with various aspects of organizational data is a primary need to develop consciousness about security of the digital assets of an organization. One must have an in-depth knowledge about company’s data in terms of different levels of security requirements as a sensitive data will need to be backed by tougher security measures and so forth. Similarly, location of data also plays vital role since there are multiple locations that could be assigned with job of data storage. These locations are network terminals, servers, and storage disks to name a few.

insideLocations of data storage must be classified on the basis of security needs of the stored data because if you are dealing with highly sensitive user login credentials such as passwords, account information, and even personal health information, then such data will carry the highest risk of being attacked. Naturally, your entire focus will have to be on this type of data while creating security infrastructures.

Knowledge about data in terms of sensitivity and locations comes handy at the time of assigning roles, permissions, and fixing vulnerabilities in a given system. Concerned staff must be careful while managing locations of critically important data and should frequently upgrade server infrastructures for enhanced security of mission critical data.

Possible risk potential of permissions

There have been several instances of crimes related to industrial spying because some personnel are prepared to steal ad sell classified information for monetary benefits. Unless you have assigned permissions to right individuals, your sensitive data will be always exposed to wrong individuals who may secretly share it with outsiders.

Assigning permissions and responsibilities to trusted employees can be a logical approach. This can also include multi-factor-authentication, frequent password changes, and regular security audit. You can also disable internet access and use of thumb drives in case of general population of employees so that data theft can be prevented. Modern organizations are found to train their staff as far as security awareness is concerned.

Importance of data encryption

The most vital phase that makes data highly vulnerable to intrusion by cyber criminals is the transmission phase. Similarly, your data can also be hacked easily while it is being generated especially if the same is not protected by way of data encryption. Hackers can adopt a wide array of attacks including phishing, DDoS attack, intruding, or hijacking to get hold on the sensitive information.

Data leak can jeopardize your business operations or hacker’s demand for a ransom can shatter you financially. Https and App Transport Security are some of the most commonly implemented security standards. It is recommended to provide a secure environment in order to protect data at every stage including its generation, transmission, and reception.

Knowledge about industry specific attacks can be very important for anticipating the type of threats to gain immunity against these. In addition to this, one must be prepared to deal with a large spectrum of web attacks that could be in the form of SQL injection, credential stuffing, and phishing among others.

There is no use of deploying a long list of security products because security requirements of every enterprise are not similar. This calls for a tailor-made strategy for selection of specific security products. You may leverage services of security consultants to understand nature and type of threats in terms of events and risks that would be most probably encountered by your site.

Timely intervention

Postponement of addressing vulnerabilities that are identified as serious threats can be extremely dangerous and a large population of websites are found to put off important security decisions. Such delays can result in serious consequences. Every security minded organization must have systems in place that consistently deliver vulnerability scans in addition to seamless monitoring of applications with timely patching and upgrading.

Sometimes, vulnerability could be of serious nature as far as safety of important data is concerned unless one takes action immediately. This calls for a no compromise attitude while dealing with vulnerabilities and these must be identified and fixed instantly or as soon as possible.

In conclusion

Web Application Firewall guarantees assured defense against a broad array of cyber attacks. Alibaba Cloud has been developed as an ideal security tool for large organizations and commerce portals.

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Key Aspects of Web Application Firewalls that Should Never be Ignored

Interesting aspect of any technological development is it encompasses and influences all types of users including those who are qualified beneficiaries and also the people with criminal mindset. Internet technology can be an ideal example of this since it is also helping cyber criminals in addition to a vast population of website owners who are located across the globe.

Evolution of WAFs

Conventionally, firewalls offered sound protection against cyber attacks. However, as the technology developed, hackers gained access to state of the art hacking tools and amazing capabilities to penetrate legacy firewalls. Most of the modern cyber hacks are deceptive in terms of their initial appearance such as authentic registration requests and so forth.

Since these requests are perceived as normal, legacy firewalls allow further processing. Once inside, it is only a matter of a special request made by the cyber criminal to steal sensitive information from your site.

Web Application Firewalls evolved in response to the technological prowess gained by modern hackers. WAF is a specially developed defense to protect mission critical data by monitoring the network traffic to ward off suspicious intruders from gaining entry inside the sanctum sanctorum of your web venture.

Web Application Firewalls prevent this from happening by reducing unwarranted exposure of your applications to evil forces of cyber attacks such as DDoS, SQL injection, and many other types of malware attacks.

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Designed for greater security

Web Application Firewalls are far more superior to conventional firewalls because these are designed to provide protection to applications with an added security layer. Unlike standard firewalls WAFs need no rewriting of rules time and again and thus promise operational ease.

Every time a new threat or intrusion is identified, a Web Application Firewall can be updated with the relevant attack signature. This will make sure that WAF has learned the new patterns of traffic that need to be dealt with. WAF is built to operate more intelligently than its traditional version.

Advanced protection

Web Application Firewall works at a deeper level by securing applications rather than servers against cyber attacks. This guarantees greater customization of the defense measure according to the individual application that promises far better protection against spoofing attacks, data leaks and any other attack that may be designed to compromise data integrity. Traditionally, firewalls are meant to be one-size-fits-all solutions that leave hardly any room for customization.

The list of malicious attacks that can be effectively blocked by Web Application Firewall is highly impressive and includes the most feared varieties such as DDoS or cross site scripts. If you are running an ecommerce site, then WAFs can also protect your specific app resources including WordPress and other mission critical applications.

In addition to offer excellent customizability, WAFs are also extremely flexible in design thereby allowing users to make changes in settings which can be further automated for a swift response to block attacks of similar nature and profile from identical sources. As the WAF gets matured, the need for manual intervention is progressively minimized. Of course, you will always be in a control to decide what type of web traffic should be allowed or blocked in a WAF protected environment.

WAFs are also highly sought after for their ability to automatically protect applications from a wide array of threats providing a broad scope for customization empowered by robust rule sets. The layer 7 security of WAF environment comes with seamless guarantee to defend DDoS attacks.

Puts an end to data leakage

There is a plethora of methods being adopted by hackers to collect data by breaking into seemingly impregnable defenses. It is found that a minor issue of an error message may be a sign of devastating potential of a data hack. Every type of data leak can snowball into a full-blown disaster especially in case of an ecommerce infrastructure that is built to store critical information regarding online transactions.

WAF arrests the data leak by stringently scanning each and every visitor in terms of the requests made while accessing your web applications. Some of the reputed Web Application Firewalls are designed to use built-in data or records of credit card details or social security and other user credentials that are suspicious behavior signatures. This data can always be modified by WAF users by adding specific codes or information.

In conclusion

If you are running an ecommerce business or an application that is designed to collect personal details of users, then you owe it to your customers to provide them a secure environment that can guarantee seamless protection of their credentials. Failure to do so will not only jeopardize your business but can also shatter its reputation.

Every online business venture must adopt security of Web Application Firewall to make sure that integrity of the important data is never compromised. It certainly pays to acquire WAF protection than exposing your business as well as reputation to street smart hackers.

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What Problems Can Surface From Similar Content on Multiple Sites?

According to a renowned Google Expert Mueller, many websites having the same IP does not really pose a problem. What however causes problems is when many sites have the same content. The problem came to the fore when discussions started to find out possible reasons why there could be a drop in web traffic when many sites had a common IP. Besides having a common IP, another point of concern was that the sites contained similar content and a duplicate structure. Mueller is of the opinion that as far as Google search goes, having the same IP should not be a threat. But, when content is the same and when websites are trying to attract buyers to similar products, there can be a problem.

How does Google tackle the problem of similar content on multiple sites?

In such a situation, what Google can do is to show the content from only one of the sites out of this set of “doorway” sites. Doorway sites of pages are typically the low quality web pages which have only the sole purpose of getting a high placement in any search engine rankings. This is largely a SEO technique for getting attention of search engine spiders and uses keywords that are most likely to be picked up by the web crawlers. Secondly, in case Google thinks that the similar-content websites are all doorway sites it can bring down all of their ranks. So, according to Mueller, it is imperative for the webmaster to focus on creating unique content instead of getting worked up about many sites having the same IP.

Mueller says that having a common IP for multiple sites has never posed any problem. Incidentally, there are many Content Delivery Network which use similar IP address for different websites and that never interferes with their performance. What can of course pose an issue is when you find that all the sites are just replicas of one another. This is when algorithms start to identify them as “doorway” sites. In the opinion of Matts Cutts who was the ex-head of spam team at Google, nearly 30% of total content which is found on the Internet is actually duplicate content. But users cannot see the other URLs containing duplicate content simply because they all have the same domain. So, web masters typically make use of conical tags and other methods for reorganizing websites and managing similar content on one domain. The Google algorithms have been programmed to sort through these but when filters are disabled; there are instances when many URLs dealing with the same content show up.

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Similar content on different domains can also be a major issue. When there are two distinct websites you have two separate domains and at time, the same content on different sites becomes unavoidable. This happens when they re-publish blogs or press releases. If carried out in a proper way, this is not going to harm the site. But there are certain instances when same content on diverse domains can end up damaging your site. Some of these instances include stealing competitor’s content, or site scrapers reposting copied content or recycling content from one domain to another that you own or re-using product descriptions given by manufacturers.

What problems can you face because of duplicate content?

– Often the same content on different sites tries to compete for the same types of keywords. So, it becomes very difficult for the original website to get a high rank on the search engine results page. Google may detect this problem of duplication and demote all the duplicate sites.

– Back links are a key component of SEO and when you have other reputed sites offering links to your web page, your site gains credibility and authority. But, when any copycat site starts to use the same content, other sites will not link their pages to your site because they cannot be sure if this is original content.

– When there are duplicate product descriptions in different sites, consumers can get confused. So, they end up buying from some other store because of the mix-up.

– When you own all the content on different sites there is no threat of copyright infringement. But you will always face risk of reproduction. This is because content thieves will select content which has been duplicated already thinking that the owner is careless. So, when you steal phrases from competitors or use a fill-in template from them, you are at risk of a copyright lawsuit. Moreover, duplicate content from competitors’ sites will never describe your business to customers.

– When you have sites using duplicate content, they will rarely give any new or relevant information to clients. When users have gone through the content previously they click away and this increases bounce rate for your website. High bounce rates are undesirable as they can lower web page rankings.

– When the same content on multiple sites use similar keywords for similar topics, users will also find these side by side on any results page. So, the original cannot be identified and users cannot be sure which site is secure. So, they stay away from all duplicate sites.

The trick is to create few sites but make these strong and with unique content. This will never pose a threat to your site credibility.

For more info – How Many IP Addresses Can I Have

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Considerations for choosing a suitable Web Application Firewall

With the deployment of a strong web application firewall, one can be ensured and secured for critical web applications wherever they reside such as within a virtual software-defined data center (SDDC), managed cloud service environment, a public cloud, or traditional data center. A powerful WAF solution contributes towards organizations to protect against OWASP top ten threats, various application vulnerabilities, and zero-day attacks.

There are many organizations, which deliver updated rich and complex web content to customers without having an adequate security measures and which inculcate significant risks and are exposed to many potentially malicious attacks from frequently changing IP addresses. A powerful WAF also allows compliance with some key regulatory standards like HIPAA and PCI DSS.

In today’s era, enterprises are exploring their businesses with the usage of more web-based along with cloud-hosted applications, so a more powerful web application firewall (WAF) isn’t a luxury—it’s a requirement, a need.

At present, these cloud-based applications have become very popular, and so such malicious attacks have increased tremendously thus threatening enterprise data. This particularly makes it far more complicated for administrators and various security teams to keep in check with these latest attacks and protection measures. Also, meanwhile, the various security teams ought to meet the compliance requirements for the purpose of data sharing and online commerce across various traditional and cloud environments.

wafHere’s a checklist of some of the key factors that you must keep in consideration when selecting a WAF for the protection of your enterprises:

• Deployment Models

Various enterprises might continue for the usage of a hardware WAF appliance to protect their critical applications which are managed in a traditional data center. They can also obtain their application related security requirements using other WAF deployment models. Traditionally, the concept of WAF was deployed as hardware appliances on premises in various enterprise data centers. But with the migration of applications to cloud-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environments and organizations leveraging cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps, administrators and security teams are challenged for protecting applications beyond their data center. That means they cannot compromise on factors like performance, scalability, and manageability. Organizations usually struggle quite a lot to keep in check and maintain required control over new enterprises which offers limited security options for critical web applications residing beyond the controlled environment.

• Network Architecture and Application Infrastructure

In this specific inline model, there are three very significant methods that can be used to pass and control traffic: reverse-proxy mode, router mode, and bridge mode.

– Reverse proxy is the most common and used mode of operation. It basically works by terminating all incoming traffic and doing interaction with the server on behalf of a requestor. Reverse-proxy is the Go-To mode for security capabilities.
– Router mode is quite similar to reverse proxy mode, but it does not work by terminating requests intended for the server and actually offers few services. It is also called transparent mode. Frequently, transparent mode usage id conducted for traffic logging along with reporting.
– In bridge mode: In this mode, the WAF functions as a layer 2 switches with a very defined and limited managed firewall services.

Technically, the mode of operation will be determined by knowing how the application is basically set up on the network. Thus, before opting for a WAF, we must carefully consider various deployment option that suits best for the network infrastructure and network environment, and must understand the scope of services that one will need to use.

• Security Effectiveness and Detection Techniques

Traditionally, the most popularly used WAF configuration is a negative security model, which basically enables all the possible transactions except those that contain a malicious threat or attack. Both positive and negative models are capable enough of obtaining the delicate balance between “security” and “functionality.” In recent decades, positive security models have become more popular. This security approach blocks maximum traffic, allowing only such transactions that are known to be safe and without threat. The concept is based on strict content validation and statistical analysis. However, none of these alone can deliver the most effective and economical solution in every environment.

• Performance, High Availability, and Reliability

WAF should include following features that address these factors directly:

– Burden on back-end web servers is reduced by Hardware-based SSL acceleration.
– Performance is optimized by Load balancing web requests across multiple back-end web servers
– Efficient network transport is offered by automatic content compression.
– Back-end server TCP is reduced by connection pooling which is done by enabling requests to use same connection.
– Virtual Patching and Scanner Integration.

Web application malicious attacks or vulnerabilities are usually the most common causes of data breaching. Enterprises with a WAF can easily detect any malicious attacks and provide a solution by providing virtual patches. Virtual patches are basically fixes for vulnerabilities for preventing various cyber exploitation by hackers and attackers. However, developers and programmers put their best practices in secure coding, and might ensure adequate security testing of such applications, but all applications are somehow prone to vulnerabilities.  Fixes doesn’t requires any immediate changes to the software, and it allows various organizations to secure applications. Various malicious attacks and exposures which are specific to each application make companies web infrastructures exposed to vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting, SQL injections, cookie poisoning, and others. Virtual Patches comes with automatic attack detection and anti-fraud capabilities.

• PCI DSS Compliance

The PCI DSS requirements are being efficiently revised in a security attempt to avoid any malicious attacks and keep user’s data secure.  Various malicious attacks are manufactured to steal sensitive credit card information. At present era, more and more security breaches and data thefts are occurring regularly. So, if in case your organization works with sensitive credit card information, you must attempt to comply with PCI DSS requirements. Web applications must be strengthened for protection with security purposes, they are often pathways for vulnerable malicious attackers to obtain wrong access to user’s sensitive cardholder data.

• Visibility and Reporting

Along with protecting the firewalls, this helps an organization to collect and analyze the data securely so that it has a better understanding of the current threat landscape—and gives a picture of how secure your applications are.

It provide reports on various web-based attempts to obtain access to user’s sensitive data, might subverting the database, or executing DoS attacks against the database.

• Device ID and Fingerprinting

Browser fingerprinting basically grabs browser attributes in a motive to identify a client. This is basically a great feature to identify or re-identify a visiting user, user agent, or device. Such persistent identifications of a client is very significant, allowing tracking across sites.

However, it cannot be said that Fingerprinting-based identification is always reliable. It may not work with all device or browser types. It is advisable to check with your WAF vendor for a relying list of supported devices/browsers, specific features supported, a list of attributes etc.

• SSL Offload

The process of offloading SSL computation to other network resources basically allows various applications to dedicate significant CPU resources to other processing tasks, which are performance oriented.  However, SSL processing can cause a strain on application resources. Firewalls which support SSL certificates offloading increases the utilization of the applications they protect, along with eliminating the need to buy additional hardware, and increase the value of the WAF itself.

• Behavioral Analysis

Behavioral analysis capabilities provides a helping hand and makes it easier for your organization to predict, easily identify, and respond to attacks. There are some WAFs that can analyze and understand volumetric traffic patterns. Also such WAFS scan for anomalous behavior based on some set of related rules. An excellent WAF will assesses average server response time, various transactions per second, and various sessions that request abundance of traffic for determining that whether an attack has taken place.

• Ease of Management

Earlier, in previous decades, deploying a Firewall used to be a somewhat difficult and time-consuming job as well for configuration and implementation of manual rules. Due to policy creation, firewalls can be processed with security policies that quickly addresses common vulnerabilities and exposure of attacks on web applications, including HTTP(S). Attacks. Management brilliantly compares the policies and provide a genuine evaluation of their functionalities across different firewalls, thus eventually strengthening overall security posture.

• Scalability and Performance

Organizations need to ensure about applications availability, even when they are under attack. It can provide the desired performance by optimizing applications and accelerating technologies like fast caching, compression, and TCP optimization. They are performance-oriented. The best WAF, with robust appliances and through centralized management, easily enables to handle large volumes of traffic.

• Vendor Release Cycle

It is advisable to enquire with your WAF vendor about their release cycle. As the threat landscape basically changes so quickly and dynamically, vendors that provides more common release, can help decrease your possibility of exposure and minimize the risk of your applications being compromised by a new or emerging threat.

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Important Tips for Selection of Hosted Email Services

The digital age has opened a large spectrum of opportunities for entrepreneurs in terms of online marketing, payment processing, and internet enabled communications such as email. The main focus of all online activities must be aimed at establishing a robust and legitimate identity of business.

This brings us to adoption of unique email address which is backed by domain name instead of generic mail address.  The process of availing a domain name to create unique email identity is referred to as email hosting.

Attractive features

Email hosting can be leveraged to upload digital content. This feature of email hosting is just like web hosting and in other words, enterprises can operate official email accounts that help them build unique identity. If your company is using yahoo or Gmail supported email address, then there is a possibility that your potential clients may not perceive your company to be a professionally managed organization.

There is a general feeling that generic email addresses are used by fly by night operators or by companies that may not be serious about services. If you are planning to avail web hosting services from reputed provider, then there is every possibility that email hosting feature is included in the hosting plan. You can also avail independent email hosting option that does not make it mandatory to purchase web hosting plan.

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Making a choice

The decision to select a particular email service provider or a specific email solution entirely depends on the needs of the organization. It is actually very difficult to select an email service because the common facility of send and/or receive is offered by every service provider. This underlines the significance of studying features of every potential email service provider and understanding the pros and cons of these services.

In a nutshell, you need to understand and compare email services in terms of the two main email hosting categories that are discussed below.

Host enabled email services

Thus category of email services is commonly encountered in web hosting. Thanks to the competition among hosting service providers, email hosting is usually included in the website hosting package. The quintessential control panel used by almost all web hosts allows a simple and user-friendly email account features. The beauty of cPanel lies in the fact that users can manage web hosting as well as email services from its intuitive panel. The biggest advantage of using these email services is the simplicity and convenience of creating email accounts without any hassles.

However, in spite of such user friendly attributes and benefits of economy there are few downsides to the hosted services that are essentially provided as add-on offerings. These services will be lacking in couple of important features since the services are not part of core offerings.

In the initial phase of web hosting, the add-on email services can be the most attractive feature because the overall requirement of resources is bare minimum. If you are proposing to include large volume of email addresses and thereby need to scale up storage, then this option will miserably fail to support your future plans. In order to make sure that the email solution also grows with you organization, you need to find a dedicated email hosting service provider.

Dedicated option of email service

As the name suggests, dedicated email platform is designed to facilitate a single user and hence it is packed with a plethora of additional features which are not available in the earlier option we have discussed.

The additional attributes of dedicated email service can include calendar management, file sharing, in addition to instant messenger service. In terms of performance also this choice of email service offers far better output as compared with shared mail services that are part of web hosting plans.

By adopting a dedicated email service, you can also design a unique email solution that caters to unique needs of your business with help of customization facilities. Dedicated email helps businesses build a robust communication platform that delivers scalability and flexibility to accommodate growing needs.

Another advantage of these services lies in the continuous monitoring facilities to help large organizations seamlessly handle communication workloads. If you need to have a unified platform to enable resource utilization as well as storage management of your email communications, then a dedicated email platform is the only solution.

In terms of cons, a dedicated email service will result in higher expenditure if you are planning to enable a larger user base to avail email access. Secondly, a new enterprise may not have sufficient expertise to manage web hosting services and email services from two different platforms.

In conclusion

Large enterprises should adopt dedicated email services because these are capable of serving broad spectrum of communication needs. Startup enterprises are not geared up to handle complexities of managing separate services and therefore a web host enabled email service can be a perfect option.

Colocation Hosting Myths and Misconceptions

It is sometimes necessary to clear doubts as well as misconceptions that may be harming a good concept. It is really a pity that colocation is one of such concepts that is unduly being misrepresented and unfortunately being misunderstood in spite of its great potential to serve as an effective resource for business growth.

In the interest of companies that may be facing a dilemma due to concocted stories and dubious facts while choosing colocation as tool to boost their business growth, let us re-visit and burst some of the commonest myths that are affecting colocation.

Colocation is just another term to describe Webhosting

Colocation and web hosting are two distinctively different services and there is only one commonality between these two since these are being offered from a data center facility that is not owned by you.

In webhosting, you do not own anything at all including the server and related software, while in colocation you are in possession of the server that is owned by you along with the supporting equipment. The web server hosting provider is responsible to support your server with all resources such as the data center infrastructure, bandwidth, power, cooling, and security. In webhosting the server may also be shared by other websites in addition to all resources.

This can lead to security concerns and technical glitches due to excessive resource consumption by other users that are sharing the server with you. In contrast, colocation obviates sharing of server and its resources since these are exclusively under your control.

Colocation hosting is costly

Although, colocation hosting may be slightly costing more than webhosting, it is much more affordable than an in-house facility. Running your server in your own facility includes cost of staffing, power, bandwidth, monitoring and security. In colocation hosting, you are absolved of all costs for maintaining in-house facility since you server is supported by state of the art data center facility and round the clock availability of technical personnel of web hosting service provider.

Therefore colocation is far more inexpensive that an in-house data center facility and users are only required to pay monthly fees than incurring huge expenses related to operation and maintenance of on-premise IT facilities. You should also consider costs of restoring your in-house IT capabilities in the event of a server crash.

Modern facilities of data centers are managed by professionals with proven expertise of running data center services. These facilities are situated in secure geographic regions and are backed by multiple redundancies to thwart downtime or server crash in contrast to in-house IT that may not have such support systems.

Colocation server hosting lacks reliability

In fact colocation hosting is designed for reliability with availability of highly redundant power supply and networking infrastructure. You can expect an uptime of 99.99 percent if you are colocating your server at top tiered data canter owned and operated by reputed hosting service provider.

The right web host offers dependable infrastructure with flawless data storage and disaster recovery facilities. Colocation facilities are built by using state of the art equipment and are reckoned for being carrier neutral for assured connectivity.

Colocation does not provide support

False! In fact, majority of colocation hosting providers take pride in their ability of providing round the clock technical support by way of multiple communication channels including live chat, email, or telephone. These facilities have expert technicians available on stand-by mode to attend to any technical glitches.

Colocation suffers from lack of security

The truth is that a colocation facility can be hundred times more secure than an in-house IT infrastructure. Data centers provide multi-layered security facilities that span physical as well as network security.

These services implement the latest firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-malware protection. Their access control measures are effective in preventing unauthorized attempts of intrusion with biometric systems, mantraps, and seamless CCTV monitoring measures just to name a few. Every rack is also assigned independent security to make sure that your servers are impregnably secured.

Colocation does not offer scalability

This is far from being true, since colocation providers provide smooth scalability to accommodate growing needs of resources of their clients. Users can scale up from racks to cabins, cabins to cages, and cages to server rooms to make sure that their demands are effectively being met.

In contrast, it may be months before you are able to enhance capacity of your in-house IT infrastructure, considering the costs or space constraints involved with such expansions.

Colocation offers low ROI

The very fact that colocation requires far less investment in comparison with an in-house facility ensures higher Returns on Investment. Users are supposed to pay only on the basis of allocated unit space. The fees also take into account security, redundant power, bandwidth, and so forth. This makes colocation a commercially viable option with excellent ROI.

Inconvenience is a big issue with colocation

Not true. Colocation provides freedom to choose, control, and operate your hardware the way you want. Your IT staff can perform server related tasks from your own premises remotely. Colocation host can also assign their experts to perform the basic tasks thereby obviating need to deploy your staff.

Colocation hosting can transform your IT operations and prove to be an economically feasible option. It can totally eliminate efforts and expenses involved in monitoring, staffing, and maintaining on-premise IT infrastructure.

How your website can deliver value to your business

Website HostingYour website is the external face of your business. For many people, that’s all they know about your company. Therefore a lot of their decision to buy your product/service would depend largely on the experience they encounter on your website. As such, businesses should make all kind of efforts to provide an excellent user experience to visitors of a website. This can be achieved by multiple measures which we will discuss later in this blog, easy navigation being one of them.

In their quest for customer, many organizations, invest in paid advertisements and Search Engine Marketing solutions, forgetting to ensure a good user experience to the visitors arriving at their websites. I fail to understand spending precious resources on paid advertisements to bring visitors to a website wherein customers are unable to even understand or locate your products or services.

Through this blog, I attempt to point out some of the key reasons for the failure of a website. However the list of factors mentioned here is not exhaustive:

Incompetent & Intricate Designing: No matter how big or small your business is, you need to understand who will be your target audience and how your services are going to address their necessities. Once you have gleaned information about your intended customers, ensure that the design of your website and content is at par with the collected demographics. For example, if you are targeting youth, choosing bright colors, catchy headlines followed by some good images will help in generating interest in them to revisit your website. On the other hand, if you are targeting old age group, try to ensure that it has lager font size, soothing color composition, and simple images. Moreover, don’t mess up with the design and ensure easy navigation for them.

Baffling Navigation: Well, it’s obvious that if a visitor is coming to your website he/she is seeking some information, and if that information is not mentioned there or if that is spread across different web pages, then the confusion is obvious. The chances are that they will turn up to your competitor’s website and won’t visit your site again.

That’s why it is essential that your landing page clearly expresses about you and your offered services. You can guide users by placing links to your website that indicate how the users can proceed. Moreover, don’t ever place a dead link to your website because when a user clicks on that link and gets directed to non-existing or empty page, then it not only annoys them but also leaves a bad impression about your business. Ensure that your site doesn’t have any such links at all as the experts believe that this is one of the reasons why a website fails to deliver required throughput.

Increased Page Loading Time:  I have mentioned several time in my blogs that slow website speed not only puts your business out of the search engine rankings, but also raises a question on your credibility. Placing too many images or videos makes your website slow to load. Users do not return to the sites that take more time to load.

Check out these reference blogs for better understanding:

How to Pick the Best Website Host for SEO and Page Speed

Why Good Server Speed is Important for Search Engine Ranking

Website Hosting

Abrupt or Unpleasant Call to Action (CTA): According to experts, all web pages of the website should contain a clear call to action. The pages where CTA is not present make users confused about what their next course of action should be. It is recommended never leave your end-users to ponder.

Highly-Intricate Checkout Process: It’s good that your website has convinced your users to buy your offered product/service. Once they click on the buy button and get stuck in between owing to complex checkout process, what will they do? In this case, they will abandon your site and move to your rival’s platform. Thus, it is important that your website has simple yet reliable checkout process which is free from all the technical gotchas.

Non-engaging or low quality content: Your responsibility doesn’t get over with designing and website hosting. These are the basics that you cannot skip to start your online journey. You can’t overlook relevance of content. Content is the king and one of the biggest driving factors behind impressive page rankings. It is important that you put rich, engaging, and simple content on your website. Plus, don’t ever copy the content from anywhere and slap it on your website as it will have negative impact on your website.

Read what Wikipedia says: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Panda

Responsive Web Design: Last but not the least, a website that is not mobile-friendly has lesser chances to deliver in today’s digital climate as a lot of people are using their smart-phones for transactions. If you website doesn’t open well on mobile devices, you can’t think making most of your business.

A report by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts that retail mobile commerce sales will increase 39.1% to $415 billion in 2016. Moreover, it will rise 24.4% to $516 billion in the year 2017, and reach approximately $626 billion in 2018.

Don’t you think that having an online presence has become a mandate for all – right from mega-cap companies to small scale ventures?  If you are looking out for any website hosting solution or have queries, feel free to connect.

Some Tricks To Boost The Performance Of Your WordPress Website

Squished images, minified CSS, plug-in caches and squatted JavaScript, you have tried them all. I can picture it and I assume that your WordPress website just doesn’t seem to speed up!

If that’s the case, then it’s high time you had signed up for a good CDN service. CDN is the short form for content delivery network.

A brief look at WordPress websites

As we all know, WordPress is a popular CMS (Content Management System) platform. Bloggers across the globe publish their write-ups with the help of this handy tool. Both WordPress website owners and writers know that speed is really important when it comes to delivering a decent user experience. In order to do so, they generally make a few tweaks on the WordPress Website. These tweaks might as well effect their speed. But for a visible increase of your WordPress website’s speed, you need to get it optimized by a professional.

Factors which can enhance the speed of a WordPress website are as follows:

  • Select and invest in a reliable web hosting and DNS (Domain Name Service) provider. Such a service provider helps to increase the website’s speed as well as boosts performance metrics. A right hosting package could be costly but in the long run, you end up paying for industry-grade services. As a result, you are saved from irksome issues such as recurrent downtimes, low quality servers, poor customer support etc. In case you own a high-traffic blog, switching to VPS hosting or Managed hosting services is advisable.
  • If you are looking for nothing short of blazing fast speed and a quick website response time, Content Delivery Network (CDN) is your answer. A Cloud CDN service will ensure that your website loads speedily irrespective of the user’s time-zone and geographical coordinates.
  • Basically a CDN is a server setup which enables fast and efficient delivery of the website’s content. It comprises of a large distributed system of servers which are deployed across multiple data centers over the Internet. As a result, CDN obtains static files of any website which include CSS, JavaScript and images. These are served to the visitor from a server which is closest to his location and these files get downloaded instantly.
  • WordPress itself offers some speed optimization tweaks on its dashboard. So you can create smart plug-ins in just a few clicks. Ensure that the images that you upload are light weight and optimized.
  • Check the performance of your WordPress theme. Try to go with a simple theme for your website.
  • Limit your HTTP request numbers to obtain website files of smaller sizes.

Thus, by sticking to the above steps, and by carefully selecting a legitimate Cloud CDN service, you can boost your WordPress website’s performance.

How to Save Your Blog from a Bad Web Hosting?

It hardly matters how much knowledge you have about web hosting or how much you do research before purchasing the right web hosting. Chances are there that you may end up selecting the wrong web hosting provider and wrong web hosting. Sometimes it happens that once you hired the hosting service, then you get to know about the bad management or their degraded services. Thus, do you think that a perfect web hosting is a myth? This blog discusses some of the easy ways to save your website from your hired web hosting provider and switch into other compatible web hosting plan.

The question arises that how can you do that. WordPress is a CMS that is supported and used by all the web hosting providers. The migration of a WordPress blog in a website is easier and you can do it on your own. Some steps to follow while you switch your WordPress blog in a website.

First, you should take up the backup of all documents of the existing site which include; Theme files, Uploads, Plugins, Database and more. Next, you should copy the database to the new site. It depends upon you whether you do this manually or you use a program like phpMyAdmin to import it into the new site.

Have a look into these steps how you can get started with a new WordPress blog site.

  • First, you need to install WordPress on the new site
  • Once you configure WordPress CMS then you should use the database you have
  • Then you make should copy theme files, uploads and plugins
  • Be sure that everything is working fine and nothing is missing.

Finally Some Important Notes about WordPress:

WordPress is one of the CMS which have export/import tool built in. You should try these tools instead of doing manually. But, you should copy your upload manually for safety measures.

You need to be sure that you have downloaded the latest version of WordPress. It may cause error when you are shifting your database from one version of WordPress. Thus, you should feel free to take all the technical assistance.

Finally, a bad quality web hosting can be a nightmare, but one should not be bothered about that. All you need to do is to find another quality web hosting and move your blog as soon as possible.