22 Million Accounts Hacked (Yet Another Reason to Move Away From Big, Old Hosting Companies)

What happened?

22 million accounts were compromised in the recent hack of Network Solutions, Web.com and Register.com (These three are all the same company). If you are a customer of any of these companies, you should have received instruction via email on how to update and verify your account information. You NEED to update your account and change your password. You might also take the opportunity to move to a more secure hosting company.

When is bigger not better?

In the fast paced, quickly evolving, ever-changing business of web hosting, being nimble is essential. Large companies in this space try to identify threats and implement the latest best practices and solutions. Unfortunately, they have to migrate solutions across large numbers of servers and the nature of large organizations is to have layers of approvals before taking any action. These organizations struggle to be nimble and this is an inherent disadvantage. In addition to not being nimble, their size makes them a target (there is more data to be taken).

Should I keep my registration and hosting with Network Solutions/GoDaddy/1and1?

If security or performance matter to you, then probably not.

The problems with these big hosting and registration companies aren’t just that they’re insecure. When you are slower to adopt best practices, that affects your performance more than anything. In fact, the reason that most of our web development customers aren’t facing this issue, is because we tried to convince our customers on Network Solutions to move to a better host. We did this not because we predicted they would have security breaches (though it makes total sense in hindsight), but because we kept seeing a difference in performance.

While being large gives them purchasing and other minor cost advantages, when it comes to delivering security for an individual hosted site, they fall short. As a client looking to select the right hosting environment, you should weigh the cost benefit that you derive from these large providers with the security and performance trade-off.

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