VPS Hosting is popular as the perfect mean between Shared Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. It offers a customizable and isolated hosting environment at an affordable price. Complete root access, scalability, account isolation and customizability are the primary features of a VPS plan. Along with this, VPS Hosting is a secure hosting solution. The features mentioned – be it the isolated virtual servers and the ability to tweak security with root access, make VPS a secure hosting solution.
In this article, we will guide you to improve your website’s security on a VPS Hosting platform.
What is VPS Hosting?
Virtual Private Server Hosting, abbreviated as VPS Hosting is a method of website hosting where a single physical server is divided into multiple virtual servers through a process called server virtualization. Each virtual server gets a fixed quantity of resources and the functioning of each website within that server is completely independent of other websites housed on the same physical server.
For example, if you choose a VPS Hosting plan with 4 GB RAM, 100 GB storage, and 4 CPU cores, these resources are permanently allocated to you and no other website on the server will have access to these servers. While this obviously offers predictable website performance, there are several security advantages too.
Features that ensure VPS Hosting security
Isolation through hypervisor
As mentioned earlier, each website in a VPS server works independently of other websites on the same server. This is achieved through a hypervisor.
A hypervisor is typically a software that either sits on the bare metal or on the OS of the server. The basic function of a hypervisor is the creation of VMs or Virtual Machines. In the hosting context, each website is a VM. So, if there are 20 websites on a VPS server, each website is a VM.
Each VM that’s created by the hypervisor is isolated. So, in our example, there are 20 VMs on the server. Each VM draws resources from the server. However, each VM is completely independent of the other VMs on the server. In fact, VMs cannot even recognise that there are other VMs. Each VM behaves like an independent computer with a fixed pool of resources.
The security advantage here is that there is absolutely no spillover effect, meaning that any change in any VM will have absolutely no impact on the other VMs in the server. For websites, this is a huge advantage.
When there’s no separation, the weak security of one website can have an impact on the security of your website. You are exposed to risks even though you’ve done everything right. VPS completely removes that problem by ensuring complete isolation of every website on the server.
Root access is the highest level of access that a user can have in Linux. If you’re familiar with PCs, you’ll know that Windows often asks for ‘Admin access’ to perform a few tasks. Root access is a Linux version of that.
In essence, Root is simply a user in a Linux environment who has complete, unhindered access to all files on the computer (in this case, the server). It’s often offered in VPS because of the isolation that can be achieved. In essence, each VM is a small server and therefore root access can be granted. Any changes made in one VM are confined only to that VM. This will ensure that other websites on the server remain unaffected.
Root access is a great feature that allows for greater website security. It allows you to install third-party security applications, make critical system config changes, and basically customize your server exactly as you want. If you’re security conscious, root access is a great way to enhance website security.
How to secure your VPS Server?
Use third-party security applications
There are a whole host of third-party security applications available. Each software usually has a special area of focus. Some might be great at malware protection while others may ace DDoS attack prevention.
While it may seem tempting to just use them all, the better approach here is to use one or two applications that are good all-rounders. A little research online will inform you of the best choices.
Close unused ports and change default ports
Automation of cyberattacks is a growing trend. Most attacks on websites are carried out by bots these days. What makes it easy for the bots is the fact a lot of websites have the same security configuration — the default one.
So, change that. For example, the default listening port for SSH is assigned to port 22. Change it to something else. It’ll only take a few seconds to find a guide that’ll help you with it and the task itself shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, even if you’re doing it for the first time.
Also, there are a lot of unused, open ports in a network. Each open port is a possible pathway for a cyber attack. So, close all open ports that you aren’t using. Again, this will not take more than a few minutes.
Create an access hierarchy
One of the greatest advantages of choosing VPS Hosting is the fact that you can do absolutely anything that you want with your server. Nothing will stop you from deleting, editing, copying anything that you want to.
This can also be a problem if multiple people work on the server and they don’t know what they’re dealing with. It really is quite easy to accidentally delete a lot of important files on your server. In fact, it doesn’t take much to completely crash your server with this level of access.
Fortunately, VPS has a solution — access hierarchy. With VPS, you can create multiple user profiles and individually grant them access to do certain things. Obviously, your system admin is going to need complete access. However, the employee who designs your email newsletters does not need to have access to the HTML files of your website. With VPS, you can decide what access each user gets. This is something that you’ll want to work on as quickly as possible to prevent accidental disasters.
VPS Hosting is designed to work like Dedicated Hosting, but on a smaller scale. It allows you to have your own space, so to say, where you have complete freedom to do things as you want to. It’s a secure way to host your website but doesn’t compromise on performance or reliability.
This makes VPS Hosting a top choice for huge personal blogs and most business websites that need additional security options.
HostGator India offers Solid State Drive-based VPS Hosting plans with complete root access and free cPanel. Additionally, we offer complete isolation to allow security optimization through your control panel, along with pre-integrated DDoS protection.
So, if you’re looking to upgrade from Shared Hosting or start a new business website and you’re concerned about security, VPS Hosting from HostGator might just be the perfect choice for you!