Canadian Web Hosting Blog and News
26Sep/140

Improve your business with a better digital infrastructure

With an increase in online business trends, a company’s digital infrastructure should be beneficial to your business and not interfering with its growth. A strong framework is therefore essential to a business’ performance.

Learn the qualities of a good digital infrastructure:

1. Have options.
Your employees should have multiple ways of accessing business applications. With a soaring number of portable electronics being used, employees should have the ability to access their work applications on their phones, tablets, laptops, etc. This increases the rate of communication internally and with customers.

2. Have multi-media applications.
Business applications should be able to handle any type of communication, not just text-based. Think of videos, voice, and other data that could be easily passed between employees and with other businesses and clients.

3. Allow for collaboration.
Increase productivity by using applications that allow for collaboration in real time. Employees that can view and edit projects together save time and get better results.

Understand your current digital infrastructure:

1. Know what your current infrastructure can and cannot do.
Do you know what components you have and whether are necessary?

2. Employees need to know how to use it.
Your employees should have a clear understanding of how to use your digital infrastructure.

3. Think about your physical limitations.
The digital infrastructure needs to be able to handle the environment it is in, such as extreme weather conditions. And when problems arise and employees can’t physically get to work, they need to be able to access your digital infrastructure remotely. Customers also need to be able to get in touch for support.

How to improve your digital infrastructure:

1. Ask your employees and customers.
Find out what they think is missing. Employees and clients are the ones using your infrastructure and providing business.

2. Modify applications and come up with your own if necessary.
Find what’s right for your company and tweak it to make it perfect.

3. Virtualize it.
Use business applications that are accessible outside of your office. Store these systems on a remote server. Virtualizing also helps save you money by lowering support cost.

4. Be up to date.
Consult IT professionals and stay on top of your game. Don’t be spending money and time on developing applications that are soon out of date.

 

 Sheila W.

@CAWebHosting
@CWHUpdates

25Sep/140

GNU Bash Critical Vulnerability

There is a serious critical vulnerability in all versions of GNU Bash (Bourne Again Shell). It allows a hacker to execute shell commands any time a BASH shell executes with environmental variables set by the attacker. This vulnerability, CVE-2014-6217 was patched by upstream providers on September 24. For details, refer to https://securityblog.redhat.com/2014/09/24/bash-specially-crafted-environment-variables-code-injection-attack/.

If you are running Linux operating system under VPS, cloud or dedicated server environment, you can patch the system by logging into shell:

yum clean all
yum update bash -y

Then run

env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable' bash -c "echo this is a test"

If you receive the following response then the system is patched:

bash: warning: x: ignoring function definition attempt
bash: error importing function definition for `x'
this is a test

However, this was a partially implemented patch.

CVE-2014-7169 is the second vulnerability for GNU Bash. This second CVE covers attack vectors that were not fixed in the initial updates for CVE-2014-6217. Targeting CVE-2014-7169 is more complicated for an attacker. The authors of GNU Bash are currently working on updates to address CVE-2014-7169. This article from Red Hat has additional details about this flaw: https://access.redhat.com/articles/1200223

NOTE: This does not affect Windows environments, only Linux. Customers hosted on shared servers are already patched since September 24.

Here's a detailed explanation with video from Symantec.

UPDATE: September 25, 10:48PM PST

Red Hat and Debian released a patch to address CVE-2014-7169. This resolves the incomplete patch for CVE-2014-6271 (''ShellShock'' aka ''Bash Bug'').

https://rhn.redhat.com/errata/RHSA-2014-1306.html

http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2014-September/020594.html

http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2014-September/020593.html

http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2014-September/020592.html

https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=762760#56

https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/bash

Red Hat/CentOS

yum update bash -y

Ubuntu/Debian

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install --only-upgrade bash

Run this command to confirm Bash is patched for CVE-2014-7169

env X='() { (a)=>\' sh -c "echo date"; cat echo

If the above command outputs the current date (it may also show errors), you are still vulnerable.



Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru
Canadian Web Hosting

Filed under: Web Hosting No Comments
19Sep/140

Canadian Web Hosting goes volunteering!

Canadian Web Hosting visited Union Gospel Mission on Tuesday. Some of our staff spent the morning doing some hands on volunteering in their kitchen.

Matt C., Kings W. and Sheila W. working hard to prepare lunch for residents and staff.

Union Gospel Mission is an urban relief organization with locations spread throughout Metro Vancouver. The organization aims to overcome poverty, homelessness, and addiction. The facility we visited is located in Downtown Eastside, an area that is noted for high level poverty, drug use, sex trade, crime and violence. Senior Development Officer Nicole Robson took us on a tour of the building and explained that there are many people who live and die within those eight city blocks of Downtown Eastside and never have the opportunity to leave the area their whole life. UGM’s aim is to help this group of individuals overcome their situation by providing them with basic needs of food and shelter, and then provide assistance and education to help alleviate their poverty and addictions.

Our donations and support to UGM helps provide for men, women, and children alike. Services include outreach, emergency shelter, alcohol and drug recovery programs, affordable housing, and much more.

We had an amazing experience working alongside the friendly staff and we look forward to visiting again in the following months.

 

Sheila W.

@CAWebHosting
@CWHUpdates

 

 

16Sep/140

Canadian Web Hosting and AURO attends OpenStack SV 2014


AURO's Regional Sales Director Chloe Tottem with CEO and Founder of Cloudscaling Randy Bias

OpenStack is a free and open-source software cloud computing platform that began as a joint project between NASA and Rackspace. It is currently managed by OpenStack Foundation and more than 200 companies have joined the project, including AMD, Cisco, Dell, IBM, Intel, Mirantis, Oracle, VMware, and Yahoo!.

In April this year, OpenStack Foundation launched its ninth milestone release – Icehouse. Its focus is on testing and stability, as well as compatibility with third-party hardware and software configurations. It now supports 16 international languages. Icehouse’s core element, “Trove”, was promoted alongside other new programs that will be providing users with more options to plug into their cloud. These include OpenStack Bare Metal (Ironic), OpenStack Messaging (Marconi), and OpenStack Data Processing (Sahara).

Canadian Web Hosting and AURO attended OpenStack Silicon Valley 2014 on Tuesday, September 16th. It featured influentials from the OpenStack community, including the likes of CEO and Founder of Cloudscaling Randy Bias, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation Jonathan Bryce, and Senior Technical Director at Mirantis Greg Elkinbard. It has been a big year for OpenStack, with new releases intending to make cloud services more user-friendly and simple to implement. Companies are also working on the OpenStack backend for compatibility with other cloud services.

Founded in 2014, AURO, a Canadian Web Hosting company, is powered by OpenStack and is Canada’s only Enterprise-grade Public Cloud service. It was created for users that could benefit from a highly scalable and agile environment for hosting needs. One single dashboard allows customers to create, control, and deploy cloud infrastructures and keep their data within Canada. It has the ability to rapidly provision and achieve repeatable results. Paired with a high level of security and easy integration with new technologies, AURO helps enterprises, businesses, ISPs, developers, and Telco’s to cost-effectively manage a multitude of web sites and applications in Canada’s first enterprise public cloud.

 

Sheila W.

@CAWebHosting
@CWHUpdates

12Sep/140

Need a web-hosting company? Some key factors to help you choose:

Most businesses have their own website now and it is essential that the web-hosting provider is secure so data and business isn’t lost through malicious hacking or downtime. But how do we choose a reliable web-hosting company? Here are some factors to consider:

1.  Customer support
If any issues arise, whether your site is down or data is missing, it is essential that your web-hosting provider is there to support you. Settle for nothing less than 24/7 customer support so that your issues can be resolved in a timely manner. Make sure you can get help anytime and wherever you are located.

2.  Reliability
Check out the web-hosting provider’s guarantee of uptime. You want a reliable service and your website to have maximum exposure to potential business. Where 100% server uptime does not exist (if a company guarantees that, it is false), there are definitely web-hosting providers that will meet expectations of 99.9% - 99.99999% guaranteed uptime. Also make sure they provide backup services or other options to secure your data.

3.  Guarantee
Just like when we shop for any other product, we want to have the freedom to return something we don’t like or doesn’t fit our needs. Look for web-hosting companies that offer at least a 30-day guarantee or pro-rated money back guarantee. This trial period will let you cancel your service early with less penalty.

4.  Options
Check out the web-hosting provider’s website. A solid company will offer you flexible plans and a variety of packages to suit your needs. Compare the prices and inquire about differences in rate. If you’re looking for a web-hosting plan to resell web space, make sure there are reseller plan options.

5.  Extra charges
Are there limitations in your plan, such as bandwidth? Providers will often charge extra when you exceed your plan restrictions and as a result, your site could go offline. Check and compare that these prices are reasonable and that the company will keep your site online when these charges are paid off.

6.  Discounts
Once you have narrowed down a few choices, chat with the sales representatives to inquire about discounts and special offers. Many providers will offer free software installers or domain names.

7.  Reputation
Finally, check reputability of a company. Instead of using forums or other unreliable sources, consider looking into accredited business directories with ratings, such as the Better Business Bureau.

 

Sheila W.

@CAWebHosting
@CWHUpdates