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The Security Benefits of Separate Systems

Risks of Integrated Systems

Many hosting configurations include email and web server functions on the same server. While that setup may allow for more convenient management, it increases risk. Problematic configurations may include:

  • Minimal or no firewall protection - Firewall functions are often managed by a server-side application rather than a separate appliance.
  • Basic or no spam filtering - If used, spam filtering is often done by the same server. In this case, an email attack could bring the whole server down.
  • Control panel vulnerabilities - Control panels, like cPanel or Plesk, streamline management. However, they are also common targets for hackers. Once breached, a control panel gives the hacker control over every aspect of your website and email.
  • More open ports - When a server is performing many different functions, it must have a greater number of open ports. This is especially true when a control panel is used for management. More open ports = higher server vulnerability
  • DNS management - In some cases, the control panel may also allow management of DNS entries. While convenient, this means anyone with access can reroute your web domain or email to a totally different site/server.

Benefits of Separate Systems

For business-critical web and email, Webservio recommends always separating the website and email on different systems. The benefits of separate systems include:

  • Reduce Vulnerability - Even if one account is compromised by a hacker or other vulnerability, it will not risk affecting the other.
  • Improve Reliability - "Don't put your eggs in one basket." While cliched, it remains true that separating systems provides for better reliability and security. Mail bagging, email continuity, backups, and geographical redundancy can be added to provide failover as part of a disaster recovery plan.
  • Optimize Security - Webservio engineers can improve server security by minimizing the number of open ports to only what is necessary for functionality of the respective services. Minimizing the number of open "doors" reduces the risk that an unauthorized visitor can slip in undetected. With the added controls provided by a firewall appliance and intrusion detection, a server has a much lower level of vulnerability compared to a system without these protections and safeguards.

Available Options

Webservio specializes in providing customized hosting services that fit the unique needs of your organization. Our consultants ensure you get a solution that is well-suited to your company and saves you money by excluding features you won't use.

  • Virtual Private Servers - With virtualization technology, we offer secure Virtual Private Servers (VPS) that are highly scalable to meet the changing needs of your growing organization. Our IzzyMail interface provides customizable email service. We also offer Hosted Exchange for a full-featured email solution with collaboration tools.

    Dedicated server and colocation options are also available with multiple data facilities to choose from.

  • Premium Shared Hosting - Webservio engineers have developed a unique offering that goes above and beyond most shared hosting offerings. Our Premium Shared Hosting provides a hosting environment designed to maximize security and reliability compared to typical shared server options. This option is well-suited to small companies with modest email usage and non-commerce websites under 10GB in size.

Not sure what type of hosting environment is best for your organization? View our Hosting Standards to see recommended scenarios or contact us to speak with a consultant.