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The False Promise of Cheap Hosting Security

When it comes to security packages, cheap hosting providers can be like fast-food joints: their dish looks amazing in the ad, but what they actually serve is a rubbery burger. What’s worse, unlike an obviously bad burger, users often don’t realise that they’re at risk — until it’s too late.

They might talk about firewalls and regular monitoring, but it often turns out to be all sizzle and no steak. The most common flaws in cheap hosting security include:

  • Outdated software: Failure to update security software exposes sites to known vulnerabilities.
  • Limited or no monitoring: Inexpensive security services may not have the resources for continuous monitoring, leading to delayed or missed detection of threats.
  • Minimal or no threat intelligence: Without ongoing updates and patches against emerging threats, these services might not be able to provide proactive protection.
  • Ineffective spam and malware filters: Weak filters can allow malicious emails and software to infiltrate the system.
  • Shared security resources: In some low-cost hosting environments, security resources might be shared among multiple clients, leading to potential cross-contamination of threats and less individualised protection.
  • Overloaded servers: If the provider is overselling their resources to keep costs down, it might lead to overloaded servers that throttle or stop security scanners, increasing the risk of performance issues and potential security lapses.

These weaknesses leave sites dangerously exposed, and the consequences of an attack can be expensive or devastating: one in eight hacked small businesses goes out of business due to unrecoverable financial losses caused by a cyberattack.

It’s important to note that hosting providers are mainly concerned with the integrity of their overall infrastructure, and not about the security of your specific website. Think of your hosting service as a storage unit facility that provides you space to keep your belongings. They make sure the overall facility is secure, but what you actually store inside your unit and how you take care of it is entirely up to you.

If something goes missing or gets damaged inside your unit, they’re not going to help mitigate or prevent that. Instead, if they detect anything malicious, they would likely quarantine your website and abruptly suspend the hosting service.

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