Hosting Services vs. Security Monitoring: Do You Know The Difference?

Businesses these days often take a laissez faire approach to their cyber security. Some host things on location and have no more InfoSec than their IT administrator. More and more these days, though, businesses are choosing hosting services in their many varieties. Many believe that because there are techies handling their digital infrastructure, that it must be safe. However, it’s a false sense of security, and hackers are gaining access to their systems because of the vulnerability.

For those of you who are curious if just having cloud or colocation services is going to keep your network secure, we’re here to tell you that it’s not. And for those of you who need to know specifics, we’re going to tell you why.

What are Hosting Services?

Hosting, in any of its various forms, is when the hardware for your network or website is housed off-site by a third party. There are a number of different versions of hosting services, and each of them has its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the more popular options.

Shared Server Hosting

A shared server is when a hosting service puts more than one website or network on the same server. Kind of like a digital apartment building, multiple tenants occupy the same physical space. That means that the processing power, memory, and storage space is limited, and must be shared between them. This solution, while economical for small businesses, lacks the flexibility and scalability of other options.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

In the event a customer is looking for the low cost of a shared server, but needs better segregation between their network and others on the server, a Virtual Private Server is often a good option. A VPS is when part of the server is segregated and a separate OS instance is run, allowing the tenant to have full control over that section of the server. This option is still limited by the physical hardware, however, and still has to share resources with other tenants on the server.

Public Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is when, rather than being confined to a single server, a hosted network is allowed to stretch out over several servers. In this hosting model, the network has the room to grow with demand, using as much of the collection of servers as it needs. The downside to cloud hosting is its vulnerability—multiple tenants still share the available hardware space, and should one of them (or the servers themselves) fall victim to an incursion or hack, everyone is vulnerable.

This is especially dangerous because even if the servers are kept secure, if one of the tenants accepts malware into the system, everyone is potentially compromised.

Private Cloud Hosting

Private clouds answer the security concerns of public clouds. Like a VPS, a private cloud is segregated from the public cloud. It still occupies multiple pieces of hardware, allowing for scalability and flexibility, but it’s a dedicated section of the available hardware, and only that tenant runs any network or website on it. This is typically the most expensive option available.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid clouds are when a tenant, who has some information they want to protect from incursion, puts the sensitive information and exchanges inside a private cloud, while hosting the customer-facing end of their website or network on the public cloud.

What is Security Monitoring?

Security monitoring is, essentially, exactly what it says on the tin. A trained InfoSec professional (or team of professionals) monitor a network or website in an effort to find and eliminate vulnerabilities, detect incursions, and respond to breaches. It’s like having a security guard in the apartment building, keeping an eye out for suspicious activity, and deterring intrusion. It can include things like:

  • Penetration testing
  • Vulnerability scans
  • Intrusion detection

Security monitoring providers can sometimes even help clients with encryption and data protection, depending on their services. The basic idea is the comprehensive protection of a network and its sensitive information, from the inside out.

Why You Need Security Monitoring

Hosting services do a lot of valuable things for businesses. Monitoring their security isn’t one of them. Shared servers and public clouds, like the apartment building examples, are a shared space that’s just as vulnerable as if you were hosting it yourself (in some ways, it’s more vulnerable). With VPS and private clouds, it’s like a private home; sure the door’s locked, but there are still ways to get in, and you don’t have anyone watching the house for intruders.

If you’re looking for reliable security, you need a hosting environment that also offers security measures to keep your network safe. Security monitoring can help you reduce the risk of intrusion, detect intrusions faster, and get back on your feet quicker after a breach. Without it, you’re just a homeowner hoping the thieves didn’t take anything valuable.

For more information on hosting services, security monitoring, and how you can start protecting your business, contact Fibernet today.