SiteLock President Neill Feather Talks Website Security in 2017 — How SiteLock and Your Host Work Together to Protect Your Business

Sitelock Founder Talks Website Security

TL; DR: The downtime and data compromises caused by DDoS attacks and security breaches not only create interruptions in day-to-day business — they also have long-term effects on user perception and revenue. SiteLock offers a cloud-based, comprehensive security platform to protect sites from those with malicious intent. The company’s DDoS protection, file scanning, and remediation tools help site owners achieve maximum security through continuous examination and frequent updates to threat databases. SiteLock is now partnering with hosts in an effort to educate site owners on the responsibilities of adding these layers of security to their individual sites. For SiteLock President Neill Feather, the mission is to create the awareness for SMBs that, while the host can provide a secure server, businesses must find solutions to safeguard their individual sites.

According to a recent survey of IT professionals and security experts, 40% of websites experience DDoS attacks on at least a monthly basis. Adding to this grim news, more than 30% of the respondents said these attacks have grown in frequency in a short period of time, and 56% noted DDoS attacks now pose a bigger problem than ever before.

For site owners and the general public, data security is perhaps one of the biggest concerns. Threats have become so pervasive and sophisticated, even the seemingly secure networks of large government agencies are at risk. In 2015, the United States experienced this firsthand when attackers gained access to more than 700,000 IRS accounts.

It’s no secret downtime and security breaches can damage user perception and negatively impact bottom lines. That’s why it’s integral for organizations of any size to employ effective security solutions to protect their customer and proprietary data. Fortunately, SiteLock can help.

 Collage of Neill Feather's headshot and SiteLock logo

SiteLock President Neill Feather told us how the company is helping SMBs protect sites with layered security solutions.

A global leader in website security, SiteLock offers cloud-based, comprehensive protection for businesses to guard against threats. With tools to mitigate DDoS attacks and scanning and remediation solutions, SiteLock works to ensure your online environments are safe from malicious intent. As SiteLock’s President Neill Feather told us, the company’s main focus is centered on partnering with hosts to help educate site owners on these essential security products. Through raising awareness, SiteLock has been effective in helping thousands of businesses identify and defend against the dangers in today’s threat matrix.

SiteLock’s Road to Securing More Than 6 Million Sites

SiteLock’s partnership with hosting providers is one step in the company’s mission to secure more than 6 million sites. SiteLock President Neill Feather stressed the importance of educating site owners of the need to employ security services in addition to the basic protections provided by hosts.

“There’s pretty good awareness of consumer security products such as malware, antivirus, and things like that,” Neill said, “but less so on business security products. A lot of people think their host is providing this for them, but that’s just not the case.”

Neill noted there is a general misconception among site owners that SSL is enough to guard against threats — a sentiment shared mostly by small businesses.

“80% of attacks target small businesses with less than 100 employees,” Neill said. “It’s like low-hanging fruit for cybercriminals. These businesses are much less vulnerable when they go beyond simple endpoint security and employ additional layers of protection on the web application side.”

SiteLock’s services allow for affordable and reliable protection for smaller businesses. Site owners in shared server environments are responsible for securing their own sites. If a site is breached or suspended, SiteLock works with the site owner and the host to get the site back online and guards against further breaches. The dynamic is simple — the host provides the secure server and SiteLock provides the layered security for the individual site.

Complete Website Security & Vulnerability Management for SMBs

Neill stressed threat mitigation is integral for SMBs to stay in business, and, again, lack of awareness is the leading factor for data breaches and successful DDoS attacks.

“All site owners want their sites to work well and be really popular,” Neill said. “But that also means they have a responsibility to protect them. We’re trying to get ahead of the problem and educate them before they have a breach.”

Businesses of any size can benefit from the affordable DDoS protection, cloud-based malware scans, and around-the-clock remediation services provided by SiteLock.

“Our goal is to help make site owners more proactive than reactive to the problem,” Neill said.

1. Affordable and Scalable DDoS Protection to Ensure Your Site is Always On

DDoS attacks are one of the most diabolical and widespread threats for websites and come in many forms, including DNS flood, Ping of Death, and Brute Force. DNS flooding involves sending legitimate-looking requests to DNS servers in an attempt to overwhelm them, whereas the Ping of Death method is more direct, sending a malformed ping to systems unable to process them.

Brute Force attacks are some of the most common and devastating hazards involving user data, as hackers attempt (and often succeed) to crack passwords with them. Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks occur when multiple networks are used against a single system. Since servers are overloaded with requests, resources slow to a crawl and legitimate users are blocked out. DDoS attacks are cheap and easy to execute and can affect a very large user base simultaneously, thus making them a popular choice among cyber criminals.

Screenshot outlining the features associated with SiteLock DDoS protection

SiteLock protects businesses against the most sophisticated DDoS attacks to keep sites up and running.

Fortunately, SiteLock’s DDoS protection services provide security in seven layers — including protection for web applications, infrastructure, and DNS. Neill told us SiteLock provides site admins a risk score with 500 different attributes they look at when determining a site’s possible vulnerabilities. SiteLock’s “always on” option allows for automatic detection and quick mitigation. And automation is ideal for preventing DDoS assaults because of their sudden nature.

2. Malware and Susceptibility Scanning Compatible With Any Host Environment

Online attackers aim to exploit vulnerabilities in a site’s code by dropping malicious code in inconspicuous places. SiteLock removes clients’ worries about threats and lets them focus on their actual business.

SiteLock SMART works by scanning the files composing the website on the hosting server. Many websites, including WordPress-powered sites and sites utilizing other content managers, are typically driven by SQL databases that contain sensitive user information.

Screenshot of graphic depicting locking down SQL through SiteLock's SMART solution

SiteLock’s secure malware alert and removal tool (SMART) protects sites from SQL injection.

SiteLock also scans for file changes to give a heads-up on any potential outside interference. Because hosting on licensed Windows-based servers is often very expensive, small businesses gravitate toward open-source Linux-based systems for more affordable hosting, and fortunately, SiteLock’s software is cloud-based — meaning it can be run in any host environment, saving hardware and bandwidth costs.

3. INFINITY™ Provides Around-the-Clock Remediation Services

Remediation is an important factor in providing consistent protection. SiteLock doesn’t just scan files — the company’s tools also seek out less obvious vulnerability exploits such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection.

Among INFINITY’s arsenal are continuous scanning, automatic malware removal, and detection of vulnerabilities prior to potential exploitation. SiteLock’s INFINITY remediation and mitigation service provide an advantage in automation over other security services so web admins don’t have to work as hard to keep things running.

For the SMB, Neill said a security breach makes “the difference between being in business one day and closing up shop the next.” In some cases, malware hosted on a site can even block visibility from search engines by getting those domains blacklisted, barring numerous visitors and potential customers indefinitely. INFINITY prevents these issues from ever occurring.

Evolving Alongside Threats is Imperative in a Changing Landscape

As threats evolve, so too do the methods by which they must be combatted. To stay above the tide, SiteLock team members continually update their threat databases. Since so many new threats arise on a daily basis, the importance of real-time and up-to-date scanning and mitigation methods cannot be underestimated.

Neill explained how real-time protection involves constantly looking over potentially malicious code, analyzing any and all possibilities for exploits, and avoiding unseen issues before they arise. Since a disproportionately high number of viruses are released every day, a systematic approach to updating is in order. SiteLock is dedicated to overcoming the hurdles of changing technology to keep clients ahead of the curve and out of the crosshairs of internet criminals.

As the IRS breach and the rise in DDoS attacks tell us, any site can be compromised without adequate security measures in place. This is why SiteLock is employed by thousands of companies to keep sites up and running. Less downtime equates to a happier user base and reduced interruptions in the revenue stream — things any business can get behind.

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