The Security Benefits of Cloud Hosting, Colocation and Managed Hosting
One of the many factors to consider when choosing web hosting is security. For some websites this is something that is of utmost importance. There are differing security benefits for each type of hosting. An important consideration is whether to opt for shared hosting or dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting is more secure than shared hosting for a number of reasons. It is not impacted by other users and other website that same way as shared hosting can be. Sharing a server with multiple websites can lead to a number of security issues. If the owner of one site on the server is able to load scripts then it can be possible for them to hack into files owned by other users.
Depending on the setup and security measures put in place, shared hosting customers may be able to read and execute files owned by another customer. There is also the issue of the way that bandwidth is dealt with. There may be specific limits set for each site but where this is not the case, and one site uses a large amount of bandwidth, then other sites can be impacted, in a worst case scenario meaning they are offline. Security measures can be put in place with shared hosting but many would argue it cannot be as secure as dedicated hosting.
For websites where security is essential dedicated hosting should be used, but which type of dedicated hosting?
From a purely physical point of view a website is not stored on a physical server with cloud hosting. Data in the cloud is encrypted and secured in multiple data centres and some claim this makes it safer than storing data on one server in a single location. With other forms of hosting a website will be offline, possibly for a long period of time, if the building where the server is stored burns down or all power is lost. This is not a problem with cloud hosting as it is stored on several 'virtual servers' meaning unaffected ones can pick up the slack where there are problems with a single server.
There are many security benefits of colocation compared with hosting a site at your own premises. Data centres have all of the necessary security measures put in place, such as measures to ensure only authorised personnel can gain access to different areas, CCTV and fire protection. It is unlikely a small business, for example, will be able to have as stringent security measures as this at their own premises due to the costs that would be incurred.
Managed hosting carries some of the same security benefits as colocation, such as the strong onsite security. There are also additional benefits, though. Compared with looking after your own server (as is the case with colocation) there is the benefit that a websites hosting will be constantly monitored so if there is a security breach it will be spotted immediately and quickly resolved.
There is much to consider when choosing web hosting and security is just one of these. There is less likely to be security issues when a site is hosted on a dedicated server. Cloud hosting, managed hosting and colocation all have their own security benefits.