A Real-Time Firewall
All our managed WordPress hosting plan include a real-time firewall. This is not a plugin but a proactive service that monitors and filters all your website traffic. The firewall protects your site from distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, brute-force login attacks, SQL Injection, rogue bots and many other threats.
Without such protection in place, there are literally thousands upon thousands of automated attacks on the internet that scour websites at random looking for security vulnerabilities (you don't actually have to piss anyone off to become a target). When a vulnerability is found the attack is launched, taking your site offline, injecting it with malware (only good if you are in the market for super cheap viagra... and identity theft) or hurting your users by spreading viruses.
Our firewall service inspects all traffic before it gets to your website, filtering out the bad and allowing only legitimate traffic to reach the server and your website. The web firewall protects against:
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks
- Bruteforce login attacks
- Known software vulnerabilities
- SQL Injection
- Bad bots
Did you know that the majority of web-based cyber attacks come from China, Turkey and Russia? Unless you’re doing business in these countries we can block them completely (and others), thus decreasing your overall threat profile altogether.
In 2016 Google reported a 32% increase in website hacks as compared to 2015
As if that is not enough, Google currently blacklists ~20,000 websites per week for malware and another ~50,000 a week for phishing attacks.
Did something bad happen?
Backups are a critical part of any comprehensive website maintenance plan. It’s surprising how many hosts out there either do not provide automatic backups, or rely on the account holder to turn them on. It’s a hard lesson to learn after your data becomes corrupt, critical files or data is deleted by human error, or a security breach is experienced.
Almost more insulting is when a backup does exist but it’s way out of date.
When we ask potential clients if they have backups, we are surprised by the number of times the response is something like, “Yeah, I think so. Doesn’t the host do that?” Well, you better check before it’s too late ... Seriously, go check or call us today.
At FatLab we take the guess work out of a backup strategy, and follow a best-practice of having multiple backups in multiple locations.
Are we OCD?
All of our hosting systems are load balanced for performance and redundancy. Typical web hosting utilizes a single server, often for both web files and the database. This means that if the server has an issue your site will be down until server techs are able to get it back online.
Unlike typical hosting configurations, our hosting platform utilizes multiple servers to serve every site. In fact, we have separate systems for web files and databases, each load balanced. This basically means that we can suffer server outages without your website being offline. If one server were to experience an outage, the other servers pick up the load until we are able to get the problem server back online.
We are also able to quickly add servers to the array if the system should come under a heavy load. This level of scalability ensures that we are always delivering a performance focused WordPress hosting service.
Backups & Disaster Recovery
Though our systems are built on redundancy and failovers, backups are an absolutely critical part of any website maintenance plan. They provide an insurance against disasters including natural and man-made (i.e. human error).
Our backup systems take a daily snapshot of your files and database, twice. One backup is held in the same datacenter as the rest of our infrastructure and we can typically reinstate any files within minutes. The other is a remote backup and held at a completely different facility.
Holding backups in the same datacenter as the website and files would do us no good if an absolute catastrophic event should occur at that facility. This is why we also take a second back up that is held in completely different physical location and on a separate network.
The goal here is to protect your organization's critical digital data.
- Full server snapshots. A complete copy of our primary servers are taken every day and are held for 4 days. This protects us against full server failure or other major event.
- File backups. All files associated with your website are backed up 2 times in 2 different locations. These are taken daily and held for 30 days
- Database backups. The database associated with your website is backed up 2 times in 2 different locations. These are taken daily and held for 30 days
Only we have access to our primary onsite backup service and can reinstate files and databases upon request. However, you have direct access to our offsite daily backup service and can login any time. This service provides full versioning for 30 days, easy downloads and reinstatement.
Backups are so critical that we actually keep two copies of both your website files and database.
- Backups are taken daily
- Held on-site AND off-site
- Held for 30 days
Included with our hosting is 24/7/365 monitoring of your site and our systems. We not only monitor for uptime and performance issues but we have a team that monitors the entire infrastructure 24.7.
We monitor all infrastructure 24/7/365 for any issues, and react to any issues. However, every hosting service does this. What makes us unique is that we actually monitor your particular website.
Our entire infrastructure is monitored 24/7/365 for issues by a dedicated server team. This team takes care of network and hardware and regularly patches our servers with the latest security updates. Absolutely all infrastructure maintenance is done with a strategy of minimal (if not zero) downtime.
We check the health of your website every 5 minutes from over 48 geographic locations in 28 countries. If either a performance or uptime issue is found it’s automatically verified from multiple locations and an alert is sent to FatLab so we can look into it.
Global Individual Site Monitoring
Most web hosting companies do monitoring of their infrastructure, but what makes us different is that we monitor your actual website. Under a standard hosting plan, your website could be completely down, while the server it’s on remains running. This scenario does not result in an alert and it is up to you to notice and report the issue. Due to our overlapping monitoring systems, this situation simply cannot occur.
We monitor each and every website for uptime and performance issues. Websites are tested every 5 minutes from dozens of locations around the globe. If a problem is detected, that problem is automatically confirmed by up to 3 additional global locations and an alert is sent to a member of the FatLab team.
How do we monitor our infrastructure?
- With 180 Testing nodes
- In 42 Geographic locations
- And 28 Countries
- At 5 Minute intervals
Load Balanced Web Servers
Our web servers are load balanced. This means that we actually use more than one server to host your web site. A copy of your website is kept up to date across multiple servers and as requests come in for your web content, a load balancer figures out which server currently has the lightest load and sends the request to that server. This happens at a rate of thousands of transactions per second, always ensuring that the the total load on our servers is evenly balanced across the entire infrastructure.
Not only does this help ensure the highest level of performance for your site, it also protects your site against down time. If a server were to become unresponsive or suffer an issue that kept it from continuing to serve your website, the load balance would immediately recognize this and direct traffic to the healthy servers. As soon as the trouble server was fixed, it would then be added back to the available servers.
Load Balanced Databases
Load balanced web servers do no good if your database server goes down, right? Sites run on WordPress rely on both web files and a database. Both of these have to be functioning to successfully serve your website.
In order to further protect your site against downtime, all sites utilize a load balanced database system. Like the web servers, this means that a copy of your database is held across many machines and the system automatically routes requests to the fastest database instance. If a database instance were to become unresponsive then it is taken off rotation while the other copies keep your site up and running.
Call us. Seriously. We love to talk.
We love to talk and spend a lot of our time consulting and advising our clients – we don’t avoid the phone. If an action item comes from our conversation a support ticket will be created immediately. If a ticket needs clarification and discussion we will arrange a call with you at your convenience.
Our phone lines are answered by a (real) human during business hours. They will be happy to patch you through or if someone is not immediately available a message will be taken. Calls are typically returned in less than 2 hours during business hours and if a critical issue were to arise, our team will ensure your message is delivered ASAP… no dead voicemail boxes.
703.662.5792 / 888.742.2131
We wrote the book on website security.
We seriously did.
A short and easy second-edition read by FatLab's founder Shane Larrabee that covers the basics of website security.
We admit, it's written by a nerd, but you don't have to be a server geek to get it. The goal was to document in easy-to-understand terms the requirements of maintaining a secure (as possible) website.
Use it as way to start a conversation with your current provider, or use it as a checklist to see how secure your website is today. Heck, print it out and use it as a coffee table book, we're just trying to be helpful.