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Website Security – The Growing Concern

Website Security CloudFlare Logo

Website Security – The Growing Concern

Are you thinking about your website security? You should be.

Website security is a major concern for all internet users businesses and their clients alike. Unfortunately the majority of users are either too busy or unaware of the growing issues of cyber crime. Website security should be a major concern for all businesses with a web presence.

We’ve talked about CloudFlare before and now is a good time to recap on CF services; because not paying attention could land your business in hot water.

Website Security – Pay Attention!

Any website on the internet has exposure to hackers, spammers and bots. These website security threats can and do automate persistent attacks on your website to either pull information from your site, look to exploit a vulnerability or inject malicious code in any of the following main areas:

  1. Physical website hosting platform (we look after this part)
  2. OS – Operating System and running services including control panels etc (another area we look after)
  3. CMS – Content Management System or website framework (this is the client’s responsibility, that’s you)

As a Cloud Provider we spend a lot of time looking into how we can protect our clients (you) from daily threats. We implement systems to minimise exposure and reduce any possible impact to all shared hosting clients if such event should occur. If you’re interested in a little more information on some of the systems we’ve implemented with our reseller hosting services you can read our article Stronger, Faster, Securer Web Hosting – CloudLinux! for a feature by feature review of core security services.

Even though our team go to great lengths in safeguarding services for all, the old adage still applies “You’re only as strong as your weakest link” meaning if a client isn’t tending to their websites and servicing the site on a regular basis by applying patches, website security updates, CMS updates (updating WordPress versions as an example) and fixing newly discovered flaws then you’re potentially effecting every other user on your shared hosting environment. This is where CloudFlare comes into the equation to help tighten each client’s website security and help systemise these processes practically hands free and FREE!.

CloudFlare Makes Website Security Free & Easy

One of the major benefits of CF is their built-in “website security” and fast response to threats in the wild. With hands-free security patching CloudFlare quickly applies fixes when new security vulnerability hits the internet for all of its users. A good example of this is the recent Shellshock – BASH Exploit published in October about CF’s quick response to safeguard clients’ websites without users needing to take any action.

What’s in it for (vh)?

Big picture for us is client-side security and satisfaction with the service. Why?

Increasing website security helps maximise server uptime, allows websites to load quickly and improves overall end user experience. By helping our clients safeguard their online presence through CF our team can stay focused on providing the best possible hosting platform for your business and keep costs down in the process.

CloudFlare can be used in conjunction with any of our Cloud Services Virtual Data CentreVirtual Dedicated Server and Reseller Hosting.

CloudFlare’s Network

CF has a presence across 28 Data Centers globally and due to the massive size of their network CF are able to mitigate large scale DDOS attacks (business plan feature). Every plan receives free SSL protection, standard security enhancements, performance enhancements analytics, app market place and free support.

If you’re busy and don’t have the time to maintain your website security then CloudFlare is a perfect solution for your business. Let’s take a closer look at some of the other CloudFlare features to enhance and safeguard your website.

CloudFlare Overview

CloudFlare accelerates and protects any website online. On average, a website on CloudFlare:

  • Loads 30% faster
  • Uses 60% less bandwidth
  • Has 65% fewer requests
  • And, is more secure

Advantages of the CloudFlare system:

  • Site Performance Improvement: CloudFlare has proxy servers located throughout the world. Proxy servers are located closer to your visitors, which means they will see page load speed improvements as the cached content is delivered from the closest caching box instead of directly from our server. There is a lot of research that shows that the faster a site, the longer a visitor stays.
  • Bot and Threat Protection: CloudFlare uses data from Project Honey Pot and other third party sources, as well as the data from its community, to identify malicious threats online and stop the attacks before they even get to your site. You can see which threats are being stopped through your CloudFlare dashboard.
  • Spam Comments Protection: CloudFlare leverages data from third party resources to reduce the number of spam comments on your site
  • Alerting Visitors of Infected Computers: CloudFlare alerts human visitors that have an infected computer that they need to take action to clean up the malware or virus on their machine. The visitor can enter a CAPTCHA to gain access to your site.
  • Always Online Mode: In the event that our server is unavailable, visitors should still be able to access your site since CloudFlare serves the visitor a page from its cache.
  • Lower CPU Usage: As fewer requests hit our server, this lowers the overall CPU usage of your account.
  • New Statistics Stats: CloudFlare’s system keeps statistics on each hit and offers insight into search engine crawlers and threats.

Limitations of the CloudFlare system:

  • Currently, requests must be directed to www.$domain instead of $domain.
  • CloudFlare may affect internal statistic programs that read directly from Apache logs. (CloudFlare will not affect web-based analytic programs that use JavaScript like Google Analytics). While your logs will reflect fewer requests to your server and therefore lower load, the experience to your visitors should be unaffected.
  • CloudFlare caches static content from your site. While this reduces the load on your server, it means that if you make a change to an existing static file, like an image, there may be a delay before the change appears. While you are updating your site, you can put CloudFlare in ‘Development Mode’ so changes appear immediately.

Who can use CloudFlare:

  • CloudFlare is suitable for all websites including dynamic websites. Signing up takes less than two minutes. If you do not like the service, it takes even less time to un-signup.
  • Note: This service is a collaboration between CloudFlare and Velocity Host. We encourage you to send any bug reports to [email protected]

Next Steps

If your using (vh) Reseller Hosting you can log into your WHM account or cPanel domains and sign up for CloudFlare directly within cPanel just follow the prompts in the sign up wizard.

Website security cpanel cf signup

Using VDC or VDS, head over the the CloudFlare website and sign up directly.

Still have questions?

Drop us a comment in the post or use the green button below to send an email

[email protected]

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gerardo

With over 25 years’ experience in the IT industry, Gerardo Altman is a key solutions architect and MD of Velocity Host, an Australian-based IaaS - Infrastructure As A Service provider specialising in enterprise cloud solutions.