When developing and hosting websites, it is imperative that customers’ data protection is adhered too, and it is important that website owners are aware of the risks associated with storing data online. Data protection is one of our main priorities; Stories of website hacks, data theft and data ransom are all too common, we all remember the comical Edexcel website hack but often the effects are a lot more sinister.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are, hacking is a real and present threat and it is vital that websites and the servers that host them are properly secure; we are always looking to keep our client’s data safe. To comply with recent changes in server security policy we have recently upgraded all of our clients’ hosting provision.

The initial reason was the operating system the server was running came to its End of Life date, meaning that the technology was not advancing.  This also meant that the server no longer supported and would not receive updates of any kind – not even security updates! Willingly running a server that cannot be kept up to date and secure would be irresponsible, so the requirement to upgrade before this date was non-negotiable.

The secondary reason for moving to a new server was PayPal announcing plans to require all payment requests and responses between it and client sites to use TLS v1.2 for all HTTPS connections. An HTTPS connection is one where the data is encrypted when it is sent between two points, while TLS v1.2 is the current and most up to date protocol for doing this. These functions are core to the everyday running of the server, so updating just this part could have had knock-on effects for other processes running on the server.

Due to the old operating system being near the end of its lifecycle, the necessary version of software to be able to conform to these requirements was not available to be used without the possibility of service disruption or degradation. Migrating sites to the brand new, up to date server allowed us meet the requirement while continuing to provide the best level of hosting service in the least disruptive way to our clients.

If you accept PayPal or store any data securely then it may be that your hosting needs to be upgraded – this could also mean you need some coding changes to the site to ensure it can run in a new environment. We are available to provide advice along these lines if your current providers have not notified you of any necessary updates, please contact us for more details.

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