A study by Juniper Research says that 33 billion records are supposed to be stolen by 2023. Further, according to Techjury, there is a 92.7% growth of ransomware attacks in 2021, 30,000 websites are hacked daily worldwide, and 64% of companies are victims of cyberattacks. We don’t want to threaten you with these stats. But you must be aware of the fragility of the internet. And as a hosting reseller business owner, it’s your responsibility to take care of the security, especially, the sensitive information of yours and your customers.
But the good news about starting a reseller hosting business is its market demand.
Especially after the COVID-19 surge in 2020, when most businesses want to go online, the number of hosting providers has also increased.
According to allied market research forecast, the web hosting industry will reach $183.05 billion by 2027. And as you are researching all parts of doing business online, understanding the possible threats and finding the solution should be your top priority.
If you are planning to take the reseller hosting service from a parent hosting service provider like VNET India, here is the guide to the possible security risks and the tips to fight against them. Let’s get going!
What is reseller hosting?
Reseller hosting is just like shared hosting. The most crucial difference between them is that a reseller gets access to the WHM or WHMCS panel where he can set up cPanels for all of their clients and have permission to manage resources and all clients hosted on his reseller Panel. In contrast, you will only get a single common panel for a shared hosting service.
In other words, reseller hosting is a business model for people who already have a website design, development business or agencies that provide online marketing services. Anyone can start their reseller hosting company by taking some server space for lease and a WHMCS service that allows you automated billing and invoicing.
Some of the benefits of taking a reseller hosting business include;
- Low Cost
- No Hassle of infrastructure maintenance
- Separate control panel access
- Variety of features
- More control over server resources
- Have a recurring revenue model
Sounds good? That’s the reason for the increased familiarity with reseller hosting.
Possible threats to reseller hosting businesses
But, more popularity takes you into higher risks. And your hosting reseller business can also have some security issues.
Here are the five critical challenges every reseller must be aware of!
1. Lack of a secure site lock (SSL)
The lack of a Secure Socket Layer or SSL can change the course of your small reseller hosting business.
When you don’t install an SSL certificate, anyone with malicious intent can quickly check your and your user’s data on your website.
That means anyone anonymously can also steal your customer’s website info and use it for their benefit.
To prevent this problem, in 2014, Google declared HTTPS as a site ranking factor in protecting the privacy and security of webmasters.
2. DOS Attacks
According to data from Adviser smith, in the past year, about 14.8% of small businesses have faced Denial of Services attacks. And with increasing internet usage, the risk will increase in the upcoming year.
Although you can be a small or medium reseller, the risk of DOS attacks is always there.
3. Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks where the user is tricked into opening a malicious link and following the instructions as per the fraudster can also lead the users to malware attacks or ransomware attacks.
The user can download malware into their system through the malicious link only to leak sensitive information. And that sensitive information can be used against the user to pay a ransom.
According to studies, anyone in the internet business, including reseller business owners, can fall into the trap of phishing attacks which can further lead them to shut down the business.
4. Noisy Neighbor Syndrome
If you are aware of Cloud Computing, there are more chances you heard of the term Noisy Neighbor Syndrome. It’s when you need to share resources with your neighbors in a single cloud server.
However, it’s the same for shared and reseller hosting. With reseller hosting, your customers may face many issues with their neighbors.
You never know the intent of the people. If someone is doing something suspicious, everyone else will suffer. Further, people can face loading speed issues if someone has installed something heavy.
5. Human errors
Lastly, human errors are non-negotiable. For example, if you have a small business, multiple people have to handle various roles.
The result of such work is errors. For example, someone may quickly create a weak password. In addition, you might neglect regular moderation and maintenance due to work pressure.
You can forget to create backups. There can be internal attacks or suspicious internal activities due to negligence.
The only way to run your reseller business securely is by gaining knowledge and practising effective security strategies.
10 Tips to Secure Your Reseller Business
Let’s dive deeper into the security practices for a reseller hosting business.
1. Let’s Encrypt (SSL) all the sites under your belt
Providing Let’s encrypt SSL to all your customers should be your topmost priority. No matter who you are and what’s your goal behind opening a reseller business, SSL certificates are your best friend in giving excellent customer service.
One of the benefits of an SSL certificate is that it provides a high level of security between browsers and servers. Further, it provides a secure connection and browsing experience to the end users.
SSL also prevents data theft, eavesdropping, identity theft, impersonation, and a similar range of attacks by creating multiple layers between devices.
Besides, as a ranking factor, SSL helps your users improve their SEO.
cPanel provides auto SSL services which finesse the process of SSL installation for you and your customers.
2. Leverage CDN for all your customers
CDN, or Content Delivery Network, is the global network of servers for distributing content equally. CDN improves the performance of the website by reducing latency. Besides, CDN also helps in caching, saves costs, and increases the reliability of a server (by lowering the overburden on a single server).
Therefore, you must provide CDN to all your clients as a small reseller business owner. This is because CDN helps immensely with security. Specifically, CDN helps prevent DOS (Denial of service) attacks by absorbing the server access requests and resolving cache pollution. Some other attacks that CDN helps with are API abuse and web reflector attacks.
So, when everyone uses CDN, your customers and their end users won’t get affected by false requests to access the website. Moreover, You can use the free Cloud flare CDN or take the CDN from VNET India.
3. Perform security scans frequently
Sometimes, there were some security vulnerabilities sustained without our knowledge. And security scans are the way to find them. Some companies provide regular updates and security checklists. However, if you want your customers to be happy to take your services, provide frequent security scans.
Some problems you can detect with security scans include open ports, firewalls, vulnerable application versions, information leakage, illegitimate services, and even poor passwords or carelessness.
Further, regular scans can help you to prevent cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection-like malicious activities on the server. It enables you to keep your business’s integrity while protecting the data of your and your customer’s end users.
Succuri, Acunetix, Wordfence, and Observatory by Mozilla are a few names to specify.
4. Enable 2-Factor Authentication
2FA or MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) are one of the most potent security modes when securing your reseller hosting.
When you enable 2-Factor authentication, the attackers or any suspicion would be asked for confirmation before allowing them to provide your information.
It can prevent you from phishing, spear phishing, credential stuffing, keyloggers, brute force, and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Tech Giants like Google also prioritized 2-Factor Authentication to its users as a non-negotiable security practice. According to a report by Google, this has been shown to reduce account vulnerability by 50%.
As an online business owner, you should also take care of the data of your customers by enabling 2-Factor authentication.
5. Update Software Regularly
Do you know why software developers release regular software updates? Well, they keep looking for ways to improve the software. But, most importantly, they install patches to close security vulnerabilities.
Got your ah-ha moment?
That’s why updating your software every once in a while is supercritical. Make a checklist to update your operating systems, panels, and other internal software or third-party applications needed to run your business smoothly.
Further, check the updates for antivirus or any other software that helps you with additional layers of security.
If your parent web hosting company provides a testing stage before updates, you can test how everything works together after updates. This can prevent you from affecting the performance of your customers.
6. Take advantage of Firewalls
You might already have used firewalls to protect your personal computer from security threats. If not, firewalls are the barrier between the internet (with malicious intent) and your computer. It helps you immensely to protect your personal information.
But how about your reseller business server? Can you use firewalls there? Well, yes. And ModSecurity is one of the most reliable firewalls, supported by IIS, Apache, and Nginx.
Moreover, Some advantages of firewalls include blocking hackers from using your website and network traffic monitor, preventing you from virus-infected files, blocking spyware and virus attacks, and promoting privacy.
7. Keep backups handy
Alone ransomware attacks can cost you a direct loss of $750,000, as per a recent study by Net Diligence. Besides, the victim would lose revenue from the downtime and all the management costs followed by the attack.
Not all the losses can be reduced, but if you have a secure backup, you can save yourself from a critical scenario.
Besides, backup is the only way to save your site from compatibility issues in case of software updates and also in case your server crashes; backup can help you immensely to transfer your data to a new, more reliable server.
As a reseller, your responsibility isn’t just your security and smooth growth but the success and peace of your customers. So, take backup seriously.
8. Install Cloud Linux
You’re responsible for checking your customers’ from using more resources than allocated. In case any of your customers have a huge traffic spike due to a seasonal business, the worst that can happen is the lagging website speed of other customers on that server.
This problem is unavoidable in a shared server atmosphere. However, you can make your customers’ lives easy by using additional software that regulates resource usage.
Cloud Linux is one software that provides high server stability, data security against security vulnerabilities, high server efficiency, control over resource use for a single user, admin interface within WHM, and multiple PHP versions.
9. Have a reliable web hosting company
Taking the server space from a reliable web hosting provider can reduce half your security battles as a reseller hosting provider.
You will get all the facilities needed to shield your business from attackers. Furthermore, some of the security services that we provide to our reseller customers include;
- Automatic software updates
- SSL certificates
- Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- 24/7 Technical and Security Support
- Regular backups
- Updates infrastructures
- Immunity 360
- Real-time monitoring
- Security patches installed
- Software testing
- Management and maintenance
Always look for a reliable and secure parent hosting service to ease your process for the umpteenth time. Learn more about providing constant support to your customers as a reseller.
10. Educate your customers about security risks
Lastly, provide security tips and awareness to your customers. Very few reseller business owners do this. But when you educate your customers, they trust you more, and as a result, you win a long-term business relationship with them.
Remind your customers to perform regular backups, and update the content management systems, themes, and plugins. This takes a little more effort; however, it results in superior growth of a small or medium business.
According to business news daily, small businesses face a loss of $55000 on average, followed by a cyberattack. This is a huge number that can go up if you don’t take your security system seriously.
These are a few ways to fight against the security vulnerability of the internet and protect your reseller hosting and your customers from possible cyberattacks. Follow the steps, and you won’t ever have to look back.
If there won’t be many security-related issues, your customers can happily focus on growing their business. And when that eventually increases your chances of having a successful reseller hosting company.
Do you follow these, or do you have anything unique to say? Let us know in the comment section!
Want to start your hosting reseller service? Try out VNET India’s reseller hosting with numerous great features. Click here to learn more.