Security is one of the most important factors when considering a web hosting provider. Lackluster security features can lead to your data being hacked and compromised, your customers not being able to access your site or just having to deal with the annoyance of being swamped by spam.
So let’s look at some of the measures that A2 Hosting have put in place to ensure that their service is safe and hassle-free.
A2 Hosting employs a number of security features that come with their web hosting packages to keep your assets safe; from the basic Startup to their Turbo Max plans, that use their Turbo servers.
A2 Hosting Keeps You Safe Through Perpetual Security
Like the old adage goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. A2 Hosting’s Perpetual Security initiative has several features to help in proactively protecting your website from malicious attacks. These include HackScan and KernelCare.
- What is HackScan?
Obviously, you wouldn’t want to get hacked. Aside from the integrity of your data being put at risk, it’s a major headache to fix things back to what they were. Enter HackScan, which is included for free and blocks hacks before they cause you any harm.
HackScan is basically an antivirus for your website that runs around the clock, 24/7, protecting you from all manner of malware.
- What is KernelCare?
Then we have KernelCare, which is a software extension that lets A2 Hosting update their kernel’s security every day without needing to reboot their servers. This means that the servers will be automatically protected against the latest threats without any downtime.
2 Authentications Are Better Than 1 With 2FA
Ordinarily, when you log in to any account, whether it’s for A2 Hosting’s Customer Portal or your Facebook account, all you need to provide is your username and password. Let’s face it, that’s the case for most accounts you probably have.
But A2 Hosting has an optional feature that you can turn on, so that you can activate Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).
2FA gives you an extra layer of security which greatly increases the level of protection you enjoy. It protects against phishing, brute force attacks on your password or using your credentials which may have been stolen from other sites.
It does this by requiring an additional piece of information in order to access your account. This piece of information is a numeric password generated on one of your mobile devices, like your smartphone or tablet.
Basically, this means that for A2 Hosting, turning on 2FA means that someone trying to get unauthorized access into your account not only has to find out what your username and password are, but they would need to have access to an actual physical piece of your property, such as your mobile device.
Pile on any security you may have on your mobile device, such as your screen unlock code or fingerprint biometric, this makes unauthorized access exponentially tougher.
Which Firewall Does A2 Hosting Use?
A2 Hosting also comes with a firewall. Firewalls have been around for a long time, since the 1980s, and started out as packet filters, which examined the packets of information shared between computers.
While they still filter packets, firewalls are much more advanced than their earliest interactions. A2 Hosting happens to use Imunify360 as its firewall of choice.
You can think of Imunify360 as a big bulky bouncer. He’ll let the right people in and block the rabble rousers. For this, he’s got a list of IP addresses, in fact, he has 3 lists. A White List, a Gray List and a Black List.
- White List
Those with IP addresses on the White List won’t be blocked and will be able to access the exclusive club that is your website, where all the cool people go.
- Gray List
The Gray List is automated and if someone violates the Imunify360 security rules, like entering the wrong password for example, then Imunify will automatically block access to this user IP address and add the IP address to the Gray List. They’ll have to enter a Captcha to prove that they aren’t a bot before being removed from the Gray List.
- Black Listed
Black Listed IP addresses will be blocked and there are options for who you want to block, such as specific IP addresses or even certain countries.
On top of that, Imunify360 is smart and uses cloud heuristics and artificial intelligence to detect new threats and protect your servers against threats, including brute force attacks.
How Good Is A2’s Brute Force Defense?
All the above technologies and a few others, come together to help protect you from brute force attacks as well as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
But to secure yourself with even more advanced Brute Force protection, A2 Hosting recommends that you add on Cloudflare’s Content Delivery Network (CDN).
Are Virus Scanners Available?
A2 Hosting also comes with a virus scanner which you can access from your cPanel. By default, the cPanel virus scanner is not installed on managed VPS and managed Dedicated servers, but if have one of these account types and would like this feature installed, simply open a ticket for A2’s Customer Support.
Anyway, the virus scanner in cPanel searches for viruses, trojan horses, malware, and other threats. With it, you can scan email files, files in the public web and FTP directories, or your entire account.
Have There Been Any A2 Hosting Security Breaches?
No defense is perfect and the threats out there are always evolving, which is why features like KernelCare which keeps the security up to date are so important.
On 23 April 2019, The Register reported that A2 Hosting suffered from a pretty nasty malware, which forced them to restore data from back-up in order to deal with it.
Wrap Up: A2 Hosting Has Plenty Of Security Features
A2 Hosting offers a slew of security features to keep its users safe while still being optimized for speed – from SSL, to firewalls.
No defense is perfect forever, as evidenced by the malware which temporarily took them down in 2019, but overall they provide you with a pretty solid defense which you can further improve.