Security is About More Than Firewalls

October 4, 2013 | By Kimberly Reynolds

Guest blog post by SolarVPS

A few weeks ago, our friends over at Comodo wrote an excellent blog for Solar VPS titled, Five Lessons the League Can Teach Us about Cyber Security. As the title eludes to, the blog covered cyber security issues and how consumers can better secure their web browsing experience. However the article got us to thinking: while it’s great to use secure passwords and top flight antivirus software, from the web hosting point of view, security is about more than firewalls and untrustworthy URLs. From the Cloud VPS point of view, security is about knowing and understanding the physical data center practices of your Cloud hosting provider.

Data Centers Matter

Investing in web hosting solutions – be they Windows or Linux Cloud VPS solutions powered by Solar VPS – dedicated server hosting, shared web hosting or colocation services means investing in the data center of your chosen provider. This investment means understanding the security risks, both physical and virtual, associated with data center providers of any stripe. Moreover this means understanding data center tiers and how each tier effects the downtime and security of your IT solution.

Owning and Operating

The major benefit of utilizing a Cloud hosting service who owns and operates their own data center is access. When you invest in a hosting solution who owns and operates their own data center you can rest soundly knowing that your provider is the only firm who has direct access to your critical business servers. Unlike a provider who operates by leasing space in another data center, by investing in a provider with their own facility you know the team you hired to handle your critical business IT solutions is the only team handling your servers and hardware. This is called peace of mind.

Physical Security

Sole data center access leads to security. With most data center providers, the data center hires a building security team to establish data center access credentials. When you invest in a Cloud VPS solution that owns and operates their own data center, you are also investing in the security team they have hired to regulate access to the DC. It goes without saying but when you entrust your critical IT business solutions to a web hosting company, you want to know the security team on site knows what they are doing and can fully protect your IT equipment.
Physical Uptime Data Security

Physical data center security leads to virtual data security. Beyond access and physical security teams making sure your IT gear is safe, your data center provider is responsible for your service uptime regardless of the weather. Hurricane Sandy is a prime example of data security and the failings of certain data centers. When Hurricane Sandy made landfall in NYC, multiple data center providers located in lower Manhattan failed due to the Hudson River taking them for a swim. This failure caused roughly $8 billion in lost business and drove many invested companies to take their web hosting business to other data center providers who were not located in a flood zone and who maintained a comprehensive data backup/replication plan.

Virtual Uptime Data Security

Beyond physical uptime data security, data backups, restore and replication are critical to true data security. For the companies directly affected by Hurricane Sandy (or any other natural disaster which causes extended downtime) the best possible outcome for their virtual data security would have been previous data replication to a geographically diverse data center.

The term geographically diverse is important for virtual data security and business operations.

Let’s say your main Cloud hosting data center provider is located in downtown Manhattan. If the power grid which your DC provider operates off
of goes down causing your Cloud hosting provider to go down, the last thing you want is for your provider?s backup data center to also be located on the same power grid. Geographically diverse data centers are vital for data replication with continued service uptime.

Data Replication, sometimes called data redundancy, is as it sounds. Your provider replicates your critical business data to an auxiliary server located in a secondary data center. This is done as a precautionary measure to insure uptime of service even if your provider’s main data center facility fails. Data replication touches on the larger subject of data backups.

Daily Data Backups

When it comes to web hosting solutions, the most elemental and ground level form of data security is daily routine data backups. Most web hosting companies, Solar VPS included, backs up critical data once a day and stores that data on a separate server to ensure its safety. Each backup is stored for a period of three days where after the oldest backup is replaced by the newest.

By backing up critical data in this fashion, web hosting customers have the ability to choose what backup they want to restore from multiple backup instances all showing varying forms of their current server.

Taken as a whole, true data security is about much more than just solid antivirus software and firewalls. True data security is about the combination of physical and virtual data security matched with strong antivirus software like the type Comodo provides.

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