Hosted Sites and Services Software Policy
Here at Enbecom, we take security seriously. Key to this is the security of web hosting accounts. With the internet unfortunately being open to abuse and e-crime, we do as much as is reasonably possible on our infrastructure to protect your website from being compromised (hacked). If your site is compromised, it can cause significant disruption and hassle to you and your business. In some cases, it can also affect services for other customers on our network.
We expect you to play your part in taking security seriously - in any case, it makes excellent business sense for you to do so, as the impact of a compromise can be massive.
As part of your Terms and Conditions for having a hosting account with us, you're expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure that all Web Sites, web applications, files, emails and configuration settings hosted with us do not pose a risk to the security, reliability and/or integrity of the technology and/or systems used to provide the Service, nor to those of other customers.
This includes keeping the software that makes your website work, such as a Content Management system or e-Commerce package, up to date. That is what this Policy page is about.
There are three main situations when you need to update your software for security reasons:
1. Updates are provided for your website's software
For common website software, updates are released on a regular basis, to fix security vulnerabilities that have been discovered, amongst other reasons. It's very important that you install security updates as quickly as possible after they are released, because the longer you leave it un-updated, the longer the details of the vulnerability are in circulation, and the higher the chance of being hacked. Some updates can be installed through your software's interface; more complex updates need more technical work. Always take full backups and read the technical instructions in full before you start carrying out an update. If you're not technically-minded and would like this managed for you, we can proactively monitor for updates, and install them, from just £14.99 per month.
2. An external resource needs you to make changes on your website
Many websites make use of external resources. An example of an external resource is a Google API - you may be using their reCAPTCHA, Maps, Analytics or other services, which require you to add code to your own site to make these services work. Sometimes, external resources update their technology and you need to make changes to your website's code. Again, make sure you do this as quickly as possible.
3. The software on the server that hosts your website gets updated.
As part of our security strategy, we take a number of measures on the servers that provide hosting services to our customers. This includes regularly updating core software on the server that your website and other web applications in your hosting account may make use of. This software could be shared by many of our customers, so vulnerabilities could be a risk to the integrity of many websites.
Sometimes, when server software is updated, the way it works can change, in some cases significantly. This can cause issues with some websites, particularly ones built many years ago, which need to be updated to work correctly with the change in server software.
A very common example of core software is PHP, the language that millions of websites are written in. PHP itself is regularly updated, and in some cases, the software reaches a significant new version, where functionality is added, changed and/or removed. When this happens, if a website doesn't work in the way that the new version of PHP needs it to work, there may be problems, ranging from errors being displayed to the website no longer working. Older websites can sometimes be 'broken' when there is a significant PHP update, but by refreshing your website's underlying software (e.g. Drupal, WordPress etc) every few years, and keeping all software components up to date in between, there usually isn't a problem.
As part of our commitment to personal customer service, we'll try to let you know in advance when there is a major update to a piece of core server software coming, that could affect whether your website continues to function correctly.
There are some hosting companies that run hosting accounts on older versions of PHP, as well as some that give you the option to use older versions for your site. We're not one of those companies. It makes good business sense for you to make sure your website keeps pace with technological developments, and this includes making sure your site works with newer versions of PHP and other core software.
There are other reasons why your site software may need updating, but the above outlines three common reasons. Nothing in web security is 100%, but we know that keeping software up to date plays a huge part in protecting sites - and businesses.
By the way, it's not always obvious when something needs updating, so keep a list of all the different components that make up your website and check the web / social media and subscribe to relevant mailing lists to stay as informed as possible.
We're here to help with any of the above updates - just ask for advice and, if you are thinking about asking us to carry out the updates, please just ask for a quote.
Thank you for playing your part in keeping your website and hosting account secure.