HostingCon Reveals Top 2 Challenges for Hosting Providers

April 12, 2017

Written by: Michael Shinn

Atomicorp-Lessons-HostingCon-2017

 

At HostingCon last week there was a jeopardy-like game that collected feedback from the attendees. One question related to the top business challenges facing hosting providers today. The answers:

  1. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  2. Cybersecurity

Nothing else was even close. While AWS is a clear and present danger, it is a typical competitive threat. Every growing industry sees new entrants that erode incumbent market share and margins. The challenge of cybersecurity is different. On the surface, it consumes cost and time for IT teams. But, beneath the surface, it can irreparably undermine customer relationships and business reputation. Cybersecurity may be an existential threat for many hosting providers. It only takes the right hack at the right time to create a cascading set of negative consequences.

The AWS Threat

It is no surprise that AWS came out on top. That could have included Azure and maybe Google. However, AWS is simply gobbling up the cloud business with 45% market share in public infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and over 30% share of the public platform as a service (PaaS) segments.

cloud-market-leadership

Some will push back and say cloud is still less than half the size of managed hosting services and they would be right. In 2018, cloud is expected to be $127 billion while managed hosting services will clock in at $256 billion. But, I suspect everyone at HostingCon recognizes that the cloud IaaS segment is growing at twice the rate of managed hosting, and some sub-segments of PaaS are growing six times faster. Amazon has proven to be a tough competitor. Everyone can see it plainly.

The Cybersecurity Threat

Cybersecurity is a threat you typically cannot see until it’s too late. No wonder it makes the top two for industry challenges in the HostingCon survey. Most hosting providers don’t even know what they are dealing with much less how to react.

This problem is compounded by the complexity of cybersecurity technology today. Thousands of cybersecurity hardware and software vendors offer slightly different approaches and many address only a small segment of cyber attack threats. A CSO article reported that typical large enterprises have over 60 security products installed. I don’t know many hosting providers that can manage that level of complexity or even 25% of it.

What are the risks for hosting providers that get hacked? We all know of the DDoS that impacts service levels. What about malware that compromises the credentials of hundreds of customers, a cryptolocker used as ransomware or even political attacks such as what the Syrian Electronic Army did to BlueHost, FastDomain, Host Gator and Host Monster? The long-term economic and reputation damage can take years to recover from.

The Cybersecurity Defense Solution for Hosting Providers

The fashionable trend in cybersecurity circles is to focus on detection and response and just assume that prevention is impossible. The implication is that you are always in breach and always throwing resources at cleaning up the mess. Frankly, this is the lazy cybersecurity approach. Attacks are definitely more numerous and sophisticated, but many of them can be prevented. It’s much better to prevent as many attacks as possible and save on the costs of recovery and unhappy customers.

Atomicorp has detection and response capabilities. However, we also have unmatched Linux server protection that prevents even advanced attacks from taking hold in your environment. We are the only software solution that starts defense at the kernel level and takes it all the way up the stack. You can prevent attacks. Atomic Secured Linux (ASL) and Atomicorp Modsecurity Rules users see that every day.

We also have detection, investigation and automated recovery features when attacks get through your defenses. There are plenty of weaknesses that software won’t address including employee carelessness. However, our focus is to take what might be dozens of cybersecurity solutions mentioned in the CSO article and put them all in a single, easy-to-manage package. Prevention plus detection plus recovery.

I was happy to hear a customer recently comment that he saves four hours of engineering time every day using ASL and even more time by preventing the constant barrage of attacks. The integrated approach to server protection works and that is why thousands of companies use Atomicorp products to protect over 20,000 servers.

If you would like to try Atomic Secured Linux or Atomicorp Modsecurity Rules free for 30-days and see for yourself, click here.


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