Future of Web Hosting Providers


Web hosters are always concerned about sustainability, continuity, and business growth as business needs continuous up-gradation and updates to keep pace with continuously changing technology. Big companies take over the small companies, and those who want to run their companies struggle to cope with big brands’ sophisticated, long-term hosting models. The big brands have money & human resource to plan, create strategies, and appropriately implement their processes. They apply various methods to interact with multiple stakeholders, especially their customers. The support team interacts with the technical or back-end team to help customers solve problems or issues related to their managed applications or infrastructure.

I’ve found some small hosting businesses are also managing smartly, with a limited number of customers. Runs their hosting services on public cloud VPS servers, cPanel Control Panel, Cloud Linux, and Immunify365. Their clients are individuals or small businesses with limited resource requirements. They also keep their support systems always manned to provide the best connectivity.

Most hosting businesses are emerging as Software As A Service Providers, where they have hosted applications on AWS, Vultr, or Google Cloud Computing Server. Their client needs minimal functionality, as they are more concerned with hosted applications. The hosters are termed differently, like e-commerce platform providers, educational platform providers, and health platforms. These platforms provide all the sector-related operations. SaaS providers are emerging quickly in the market and can gain a customer base by offering complete solutions.

Thus, the hosting industry seems to be divided into Public & Private Cloud Providers, Data Centers, and SaaS Providers.

Salacious, Messy Anonymous Hacking


It has become the old story now; cybercriminals steal users’ information, and customers or members are notified by hosting or social media websites. The customer’s situation is a complete mess; they shared the details with complete trust, and how such big websites get compromised. Wasn’t their security enough to stop hackers? The situation becomes salacious when they know that the hacker’s group is anonymous.

The companies claim the complete security of their user’s data and promise that they won’t be sharing or selling with 3-party companies without the user’s consent. But what if hackers breach the data? Why don’t companies take security as the topmost priority to stop such breaches? After the data gets compromised, news often comes out from such companies that the cyber security team has taken remedial action and then starts assuring customers with high priority security and privacy. The worst is when companies don’t know about such leaks for even months.

The mysterious online hacker community Anonymous always remains in news headlines. In February, a Twitter account with 7.9 million followers named “Anonymous” declared a “cyberwar” against Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. The group claimed responsibility for cyberattacks that disabled websites and leaked Russian government agencies, state-run news outlets, and corporations’ data.

The Anonymous hacktivists employ coordinated cyberattacks against various world governments, corporations, or other groups, often in the name of social or political causes. On March 6, 2022, Anonymous claims to have hacked into the Russian streaming services Wink and Ivi (like Netflix) and live TV channels Russia 24, Channel One, and Moscow 24 to broadcast war footage from Ukraine. But that doesn’t make them heroes. Let’s have a look at their past deeds.

On November 17, 2021, Godaddy, an Internet domain and web hosting company based in New York, revealed a hack on September 6, 2021, which exposed its 1.2 million customers’ emails and numbers, putting them at risk of phishing attacks. An attacker sends a fraudulent message designed to trick the victim into giving them sensitive information. The company filed an incident report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stating that it had identified ‘suspicious activity in its Managed WordPress hosting environment by an unauthorized third party. They immediately began an investigation with the help of an IT forensics firm and contacted law enforcement. SSH File Transfer Protocol, a network protocol that provides file access, transfer, and management over a data stream, and database usernames and passwords got exposed for active customers. The company immediately blocked the unauthorized third party and reset both passwords.

The company spokesperson said: ‘We, GoDaddy leadership and employees, take our responsibility to protect our customers’ data very seriously and never want to let them down. We will learn from this incident and are already taking steps to strengthen our provisioning system with additional layers of protection.’

Why are hackers so high? Can they impact thousands of websites and bring down businesses? Even with so many protections, firewalls, anti-malware, anti-viruses, and best security, how the hosting accounts get compromised still is beyond one’s thinking.

It’s not only Godaddy; almost every big company is the target of hackers. Amazon’s Twitch, a video streaming service, suffered a data leak after an anonymous hacker posted a computer file containing a vast amount of data for the public to access. Users Called ‘Disgusting Toxic Cesspool’ in a post on 4chan by a hacker. CNBC reported that the data leak included details on payments to content creators and an unreleased product from Amazon Game Studios.

Most companies use two-factor authentication (2FA), but not all their customers or members use the same. The companies always recommend changing passwords periodically. It’s time for users to know the difference between public and private information, ‘what to be shared and what not to be.’ Undoubtedly, the threats of cybercriminals will remain in the future also, but it’s the company’s and user alertness that can minimize hacking possibilities.

Importance of Website Security


Security researchers claim that hackers and cybercriminals attack big web hosting companies and domain registrars. There is an increase in backdoor payload attacks against the big hosting providers. Wordfence, a popular security service, analyzes that the WordPress hosting providers and resellers gets the most affected.

The hackers exploit the vulnerabilities, gain access to configuration wp-config.php, and modify parameters to have complete control. They get a template that refers users to pharmaceutical sector spam links and injects malicious pages into search engines results. The spam templates intend to incite victims to purchase fake products, exposing money and payment details to the threat actors. The hackers with complete control alter or modify website content like links, titles, menus, or images; thus, the site appears compromised instead of the original one.

Cybercriminals steal data, passwords, and users’ personal information. The hosting customers prioritize protection and want absolute and higher standards of security measures for their websites, emails, and other resources they host on servers. Thus, the website’s reputation is maintained. The user experiences get impacted, leading to a negative experience and losing trust with website downtime or affected vulnerabilities. The website security threat leads to potential financial losses; thus, hosting consumers want to strengthen digital presence security and take a longer-term view on protecting the investment.

Over 90% of GoDaddy APAC customers participating in its 2021 Global Website Security Survey consider cyber security important for small businesses. Nearly 80% of respondents agreed that small businesses are at risk of cyberattacks. At the same time, half said they had already experienced a security breach, and a third described themselves as unsure of how to deal with a cyberattack.

The hosting providers always advise their customers to keep everything updated and upgraded. Wordfence strongly recommends that users scan the wp-config.php file immediately to detect potential backdoor injections.

Last year in November 2021, up to 1.2 million users of Godaddy’s WordPress websites got affected by an unauthorized attack. GoDaddy In. empowers millions of entrepreneurs worldwide looking to expand their online presence. The hosting provider offers tools for domains, website creation, e-commerce, content creation, and online security capabilities like Firewall and malware protections, site cleanups, and secure backups to help safeguard your customers’ and business information.

Free Speech Social Media Platform Parler


Parler is based in Nashville, TN, founded in 2018, and has over 16 million growing global community of content creators. The site is an American alt-tech alternative to Twitter, a microblogging and viewpoint-neutral free speech social media platform to connect like-minded people or individuals. The users have chosen Parler, as it uses the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as a guide and welcomes everyone to the civil debate around diverse topics, emphasizes free speech, and promotes open dialogue, political views, and honest discussions without worrying.

The site allows people to speak freely without fear of being suspended or labeled ‘dangerous’ and banned. The users feel protected against the authoritarian powers of Big Tech, Big Government, and cancel culture. The site includes users banned from mainstream social networks or who oppose their moderation policies.

“We believe in more speech at Parler, not censorship, and empowering people to think and share freely. Parler is proud to help mark monumental moments in American history and Free Speech, bring attention to injustice, and bring timely and timeless art to our growing NFT and social communities,” added Parler CEO George Farmer. “This collection is perfectly aligned with our marketplace and our values and mission, something Twitter sadly doesn’t share.”

“Parler values free expression, transparency and data privacy. While our new premium NFT marketplace is working to redefine the opportunities and experiences for both collectors and creators, we are doing so with the same approach to accessibility and security found at Parler.”

It’s associated with Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, conspiracy theorists, and far-right extremists. The site has a bold vision to make freedom of expression, security, and privacy a reality through social media and Solana blockchain technology. Posts on the service often contain far-right content, antisemitism, and conspiracy theories such as QAnon. 

The site does not allow users to violate its Terms of Service and bans them if they engage in spam or abusive behavior or are reported by other users. The website does not allow creating multiple accounts, posting pornographic content, engaging in illegal activity, sending unsolicited messages, posting repetitive content, or harassing or abusive behavior towards other users.

Parler filed a subpoena requesting documents regarding Twitter’s alleged collusion with Amazon Web Services resulting in Parler’s deplatforming and removal from APP stores on January 10, 2021.

“Parler will continue to fight against Big Tech companies like Amazon Web Services and Twitter that attempt to stifle innovation and free speech through anticompetitive practices. We will continue to stand against cancel culture and the mob mentality,” said George Farmer, CEO of Parler.

People questioned the social media platform’s role in the Capitol riots on January 06, 2021, leading to the removal from the Apple App Store, and the ceasing of its web availability from Amazon Web Services. The founder and previous CEO of Parler, John Matze, was fired. George Farmer is the current CEO of Parler, and he has been working to revive the platform. The app rejoined the Apple App store.