Canadian Web Hosting Blog and News
31Jul/120

A Common Trait Between an Olympian and StopTheHacker: Prevention

The 2012 Olympics in London are in full swing and like other tech and business bloggers, we feel the urge to make an Olympics’ reference to make topics more relatable to our audience and current events. At the time of this post, Canadians are currently 25th in the medal count leaderboard – 0 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze. Go Canada go! (Why do we sound like Canucks fans? Sorry, we can't help ourselves.)

Olympics 2012 in London, UK

How does an Olympian’s Training Relate to Web Hosting Online Prevention?

If you happen to be an athlete, say a hockey player, you might already know that according to sports’ studies, athletes can prevent injuries by taking some prevention steps such as strength training, which is one of the benefits in building muscles prior to competing. Strength training is necessary to promote success and safety. As such, the main keyword connects to: prevention. It’s simple. Prevention is one of the elements in an athlete’s overall training and in the web hosting world, prevention is highly important when it comes to protecting your sites, including your blogs. Our team often blogs about online privacy topics, and this time, we want to share with you how StopTheHacker can help you and your business regarding online security. If an athlete gets injured, he or she will lose precious time with physical therapy and such. It’s the same thing with your sites, if you get infected, you’ll lose hours, days and maybe weeks trying to recover data and preventing that from happening should be a must, so please read on. We want to help you become more productive in business and for you to worry less.

What is StopTheHacker?

StopTheHacker is a cloud based website protection suite (AV for Websites) to help prevent, detect and recover from malware (and viruses) attacks. StopTheHacker's technology, supported by the US National Science Foundation, has won multiple awards since 2009, and is a leading application supporting customers all over the globe, protecting their online presence from emerging threats. Each edition comes with a different feature set tailored to each specific target group and varying security requirements.

What are the Key Features of StopTheHacker?

Standard and Advanced Detections. StopTheHacker comes with standard or advanced detections. The standard feature checks all of your pages on your website for known viruses and web malware threats to see if hackers may have injected malicious code into your website. When enrolled, the built-in notification system immediately informs you about any scans found, so you, or your web master, can take actions if needed. The advanced version, in addition to what the standard version does, protects the website from never-before-identified malware. It detects malware within the following website elements including HTML, Java Script, php, iframes to name a few.

Automatic Malware Cleanup. You may not be a security expert, or have the resources available to handle a malware attack. Therefore, the automated malware scanning system can remove it for you and you can decide which level of automations fits the best for you. Let StopTheHacker tool do the work for you, so that you can focus on what’s important for your business.

Blacklist and Reputation Monitoring. It is a comprehensive daily check on the status of your website on Google’s Safe Browsing List and other search engines including Yahoo, and Bing; malware blacklists like Malware Patrol and Malware URL; DNS Blacklists; phishing blacklists like PhishTank; spam blacklists like SpamCop; and many more. We will automatically notify you if your website ends up on a blacklist and help you to remove your site from the search engine blacklist.

Vulnerability Assessment. It scans to identify vulnerabilities in your server/application configuration, so you can patch them to prevent web-based attacks by bots and hackers. Today, the tool checks over 35,000 vulnerabilities on your server(s), website and infrastructure. We also check for web application vulnerabilities in some of the most popular software applications like WordPress, Drupal, Django, Joomla, Ruby on Rails, OpenCMS. Through these scans, we can uncover vulnerabilities in custom installations too.

Other Features. They include speed and up-time monitoring, Facebook protection and because it’s cloud based, there’s no software to manage and it’s easy to set up. All services are offered on Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, and they are run outside the firewall.

How can a Customer Take Advantage of StopTheHacker?

It’s easy to implement StopTheHacker for your web hosting prevention needs, contact our sales teams today at 888-821-7888 or by email at sales@canadianwebhosting.com. Our expert team will work with you to examine your existing infrastructure and to relate back to our introduction, as strength training helps sports performance, it is important to remember that it is only one component of an integrated program, and compared to web hosting, prevention is only one of the components too. When you reach out to us, we can help you identify next steps to leverage our industry best services with Canadian Web Hosting along with prevention tools like StopTheHacker. Prevention is key, so don't wait!

What other online tools do you use to prevent your online sites? Please share your thoughts by leaving us a comment, otherwise, you may catch us on Twitter at @cawebhosting or on our Facebook Page, on a social side, we'll even chat with you about your favourite Olympics' event.


Felice Lam
Online Community Manager
Canadian Web Hosting
26Jul/120

Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

Some of our community members are already business owners, and others might be thinking of starting their own business. We recently heard a local designer share her own personal story on how she got started with her own business and the discussion surrounded six main questions that you should ask yourself before jumping in. In this article, we're sharing her thought process and how it's helped her along the way, hoping that you'll find some takeaways yourself.

question marks

Photo © Oberazzi on Flickr

Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

1. Why am I doing this? Have a good reason. In her case, providing a specific type of design is what she loves and since that is what she lives and breathes each day, that's a strong reason for her to go after this endeavour. That is her passion and she understands that there is a clear need for her services today. Her skills can be monetized and since that is what she loves to do, she has no reasons not to do it. The following question adds a bit more depth.

2. Where am I now? Know your city, be part of it. She fell in love with the city and decided that this is where she wanted to personally and professionally set roots. Since jobs were scarce, this was a timely opportunity to jump in and do it herself. In her specific situation, she supports local businesses and what works to her advantage is that because she loves the city, she's able to mingle with them at various events, get to know them on a more personal level and know the latest happenings around town. It's important to know what's going on in the community, to understand its culture and most importantly, to be a part of it.

3. Who are my clients? Know what they care about. With the previous point made, depending on your business, you may have a niche and her type of design service is very specific to a particular clientele and once she figured that out, she's been able to spend more time in that specific community to keep up with trends and again, to find out more about them on a personal level. This allows her to put her best work forward when she's designing for each customer. Each customer has different needs and when she's able to learn more about them as individuals along with their personalities, she's able to let that knowledge influence her as she's creating art. In the end, she's able to connect with her customers' requests more easily.

4. How can I educate my clients? You're their teacher. In her design field, not only is she producing work, but she's also keeping her clients informed on her process from timeline to different types of materials that can be used for their requests. She has to consistently be a teacher, an expert who can provide information about any intricacies in her line of work. Some clients may not always understand how much material or time a certain project may take and she's able to inform them about all of the details that need to take place. For example, with Canadian Web Hosting, our latest post provided information on how to protect yourself from a data breach. Being able to provide unique, and useful information will help others see you come across as an expert in your own industry.

5. Who are my peers? How can I collaborate with them? Every industry has a community somewhere, whether online or offline, to share thoughts and ideas and she goes back to connecting with the community, except in this instance, it's about connecting with her own design community where she can continue to learn about what's new and up-and-coming. In other cases, her peers may have a certain skill set that she isn't an expert at, and a new partnership could well easily be formed to work on certain projects. On a related topic, the WHIR's latest magazine covered power partnerships which speaks directly to this question on a similar level.

6. What do I have to offer? Be different, be you. Design is a vast world and her type of design is unique. She takes a very personal approach by connecting with the community and while she shows some of her own personality when the project is more open-ended, she uses the personal tidbits that she learns through engaging with her own clientele to make the work different, and which reflects her clients' needs.

If you have more questions to add, please leave us a comment, or you can bring up this conversation with us on Twitter at @cawebhosting or on our Facebook Page. As always, we'd love to hear from you.


Felice Lam
Online Community Manager
Canadian Web Hosting
24Jul/120

Could a Data Breach Happen to You?

Are you concerned that someone might steal your data and information or your customers?  What would the effect on your business be if your servers were breached and customers usernames and passwords were stolen? You might be shocked by this but a recent survey by The Hartford finds that up to 85 percent of small business owners believe a data breach is unlikely.

More importantly, many online business’ are not implementing simple security measures to help protect their customers or employee data.  First, let’s take a look at business owners surveyed as it relates to their adoption of some key “risk reduction” best practices that would help reduce their business’ risk of a breach:

1. Lock and secure sensitive customer, patient or employee data - 48 percent

2. Restrict employee access to sensitive data - 79 percent

3. Shred and securely dispose of customer, patient or employee data - 53 percent

4. Use password protection and data encryption - 48 percent

5. Have a privacy policy - 44 percent

6. Update systems and software on a regular basis - 47 percent

7. Use firewalls to control access and lock-out hackers - 48 percent

8. Ensure that remote access to their company’s network is secure - 41 percent

A key note to this survey is that the data showed that nearly two-thirds of business owners (61 percent) believe a data breach violates trust and would jeopardize their relationships with customers, patients and employees and more than one third (38 percent) say that they would have a more negative opinion of company that has recently experienced a breach.

How To Protect Yourself

One of the many ways that people can work to address this issue is to work with a qualified vendor or expert in the field of security to verify the steps that they could take to protect their data.  For example, here at Canadian Web Hosting, we offer and integrate various service offerings to protect our customers servers and continually work with them to ensure that servers are hardened based on industry best practices and each server is protected with a full suite of services that no single small business could afford to maintain on their own.  We like to call this our Unified Security Services and it is a combination of hardware security devices, software modules and people expertise that help keep our customers and our network secure.  As an example, Canadian Web Hosting utilizes a range of industry leading solutions including Tipping Point Intrusion Prevention devices that protect customers through inbound/outbound content inspection.  A key aspect to our security service offerings is our SSAE16 Type II SOC 1 certification. The reason for this is that it verifies through an outside audit, that our tools and security mechanisms that are in place are used to industry standards and have been tested by an outside expert.  It also verifies that we (Canadian Web Hosting) have the controls and system mechanisms in place to safeguard your data and more importantly can design solutions to meet corporate governance requirements for even the most strict business entity.  We will have a blog outlining our Unified Security Services in the next few weeks.

It is important to point out some of the basic things that each of you can do to maintain your server, otherwise you can have the best security on the market but your server will remain vulnerable until you get hacked.  In looking at some recent customer “hacking” issues, the single biggest weakness that most people have is keeping your server and software up to date (see list above, less than 50% of respondents are doing this today).  A great example is the leading blog software, WordPress.  With WordPress, we continue to see an increase in the amount of “hacked” WordPress installations.  One of the most significant causes of this is customers using outdated theme files, or outdated applications where existing security holes exist.  I saw a great post on Serverfault.com related to this and their ability to avoid future attacks by simply keeping their tools up to date.

“Most of these attacks are carried out by automated scripts that look for known vulnerabilities in older wordpress systems. Since anyone can look at bug reports and changelogs, it's not too difficult to engineer a script to exploit a weakness.  Your best defense is to always have your wordpress version AND your themes/plugins up to date.

I used to have this problem with a few of my defunct blogs, but keeping them constantly updated fixed it.

Do a grep on your existing blogs and look for any iframes or eval method calls in your WP directory. Also check the DB. Once it's all clean, update your WP version and themes/plugins and keep it updated.  Next login to Google webmaster and, if you haven't already, prove ownership and ask for a review of your site. The warning should go away after awhile.”

You should always make sure that all of your themes, plugins, and add-ons are up to date.  Whether it is WordPress, Windows or Linux distribution, everyone needs to make sure their files are up-to-date.  If you are a Canadian Web Hosting customers and would like assistance in getting your site up-to-date, you can contact our support team at support@canadianwebhosting.com or by phone at 877-871-7888.

19Jul/120

Canadian Web Hosting Maintenance Updates: July 23-31, 2012

Our next round of routine maintenances are for our Vancouver facility, and below are three upcoming updates to be aware of:

Harbour Centre

Scheduled Electrical Maintenance: July 23-31
The window is: Monday, July 23rd, to Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 from 07:00 AM PST to 16:00 PM PST daily. This maintenance is required for a replacement of a bypass breaker. This service is non service impacting.

Scheduled Network Maintenance: July 24
The window is: Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 from 00:01 PST to 01:00 PST. This maintenance is necessary to migrate the fiber cable that we are using between our aggregate switches. During this maintenance window, you may experience brief periods of latency and packet loss as traffic is routed around the affected links. This service is service impacting.

Scheduled Network Maintenance: July 28-29
The window is: Saturday, July 28th, 2012, from 23:00 PST to Sunday, July 29th, 2012, 01:00 PST. This maintenance is necessary to reboot a secured bandwidth system. You may notice up to two brief periods of latency or packet loss while the system is placed in bypass.

Please be assured that our team and the appropriate electrical and network staff will be present for the entire duration of these maintenance windows. If you are a current Canadian Web Hosting customer and have any comments or concerns, you may contact us by email at support@canadianwebhosting.com, by phone at 1-877-871-7888, by tweeting us at @cawebhosting or via our Facebook Page.


Felice Lam
Online Community Manager
Canadian Web Hosting
17Jul/120

Canadian Web Hosting Expands VMware Private Cloud Infrastructure and CA Cloud Services

New Canadian Web Hosting Cloud Capability with VMware Brings Together Industry Leader in Canadian Hosting and IT Services with Highly Redundant Virtual Private Cloud Infrastructure

Vancouver, BC, July 17, 2012

Canadian Web Hosting has announced an upgrade to their CA Private Cloud utilizing VMware today. The new enterprise-class private cloud service combines technologies from a range of industry leading security and hardware providers like Juniper and Dell with virtualization leader VMware to provide the most reliable and secure hosted Private Cloud solution in the market today. Customers are now able to build an online solution that is completely hardware independent and is ideal for customers concerned about the possible risks associated with public clouds. This high-performance enterprise capacity builds on Canadian Web Hosting’s recently announced CA Cloud service offerings and is an extension of its IT and Cloud infrastructure portfolio that includes Managed Web hosting, Cloud Servers, Advanced Networking including Anycast and their upcoming Unified Security Services.

Similar to Canadian Web Hosting’s other cloud offerings, this enhanced cloud capability gives its customers the capability to extend their private clouds and have scalable access to a pool of dedicated computing resources that deliver private cloud services without having to purchase their own physical hardware including features like vMotion, Hot Add, Fault Tolerance, Distributed Resource Scheduler (Dynamic Resource Balancing), and Data Recovery with true high-availability without the soaring IT costs. In addition, with vCenter unified management all the hosts and VMs can be controlled through a single console with aggregate performance monitoring of clusters, hosts and VMs.

CA Cloud Server with VMware Fault Tolerance

With this feature set, customers are empowered to fully control their infrastructure resources, deploy VMs, utilize multiple layers of physical and logical security and get guaranteed 100% network availability SLAs. Included with any Private Cloud configuration, Canadian Web Hosting customers are able to work with and develop their own virtual data centre solution around their changing needs with one of Canadian Web Hosting’s certified VMware experts who can test various configurations and help deploy the best configuration based on the customers’ requirements.

“Enterprise companies are increasingly looking for powerful but flexible outsources solutions that will help them meet the needs of their end users with the right mix of performance, cost and support,” said Kevin Liang, Chief Technical Officer of Canadian Web Hosting. By extending our Private Cloud solutions using VMware virtualization, our customers will get a complete range of infrastructure services build around the enterprise business. As part of that, our customers benefit from our more than 15 years of experience and SSAE 16 Type II certification helping them to meet their corporate governance requirements.”

Canadian Web Hosting’s private cloud solutions are available on monthly plans, and also include true 24/7 support with registered support agents. Customers also have the ability to utilize Xen or Hyper-V virtualization platforms upon request.

About CANADIAN WEB HOSTING Hosting
Since 1998, Canadian Web Hosting has been providing a 100% all Canadian service that delivers on-demand hosting solutions including Shared hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Servers, and IT as a Service for Canadian companies of all sizes. Through the use of innovative technologies and experienced support personnel, they continually focus on helping each customer by offering configurable solutions that are tailored to their exacting business requirements. Canadian Web Hosting guarantees a 100% network uptime, and a total money back guarantee that backs everything they do. Customers can get help by calling 1-888-821-7888 to get basic support. For more advanced technical support, customers can use email, ticketing or real time live chat support with support staff.

For more information, visit them at www.canadianwebhosting.com, or get the latest news by following them on Facebook and Twitter at @cawebhosting.

CONTACT:
Matt McKinney
Canadian Web Hosting
604.283.1728
mattm@canadianwebhosting.com


Felice Lam
Online Community Manager
Canadian Web Hosting