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Let the Professionals Help: Six Solutions to Help Secure Your Server
Filed under: Heroic Support,How To,Industry Insights  October 24, 2014

In our previous post celebrating National Cyber Security Awareness Month we discussed six simple things you could do on your own to secure your server. While our DIY security tips in that post can be extremely helpful in securing your server, we couldn’t end the conversation without mentioning a few solutions that play a very important role in server security. The following six items are not only important to include in your security plan, but many of them are invaluable in the fight to protect your data.

  • Firewalls

    Firewalls act as the first line of defense for your server, protecting your data by filtering traffic according to a customizable set of rules. With the firewall in place, a barrier is created between your server and the rest of the Internet. Any traffic that attempts to connect to your server is analyzed, and if it is deemed malicious, that traffic is blocked. Our Heroic Support® team can help you set up either our physical Cisco firewall for your dedicated server, or our cloud-enabled firewall for a Storm® cloud server. You can also see our Knowledge Base for help enabling firewalld, a newly implemented firewall, on CentOS 7. In either case, firewalls are necessary for securing your hosting environment against unauthorized third-party access.

  • DDoS Attack Protection

    Denial of Service or Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DoS or DDoS) are common types of attacks that allow hackers to bring down a network without having to gain internal access. There is no way to prevent these attacks from occurring and no way to anticipate whether you’ll be a target, so DDoS Attack Protection is necessary if you wish to avoid downtime in the unfortunate event you are attacked. A DDoS attack occurs when hackers flood the access routers with fake traffic and overload the system until it fails. Our DDoS Attack Protection system works to differentiate between legitimate and malicious traffic by monitoring a selected network of IP addresses and analyzing traffic that attempts to reach the server. In addition, our Heroic Support® team works with our customers during attacks and regularly tweaks the system to ensure it is working effectively.

  • SSL Certificates

    An ecommerce business has to reassure its customers their private data will be kept safe and secure or risk losing business. SSL Certificates are the standard for online security, encrypting online transactions to prevent data exposure to hackers. We sell a number of different types of SSL Certificates from GlobalSign, one of the most respected names in the industry. Our SSL Certificates even come paired with Netcraft’s continually updating phishing detection to provide real-time alerts that warn site owners when their websites becomes compromised, ensuring even more protection for your customers’ sensitive data.

  • PCI Compliance

    A website that is PCI Compliant promises customers that your business has taken all the necessary steps to protect their data when shopping online. The Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) require businesses to protect customer data through requirements for both their hosting infrastructure and server configuration. We offer a scanning service that can verify your server meets all the PCI DSS requirements, so you can reassure your customers their data is safe. See our Knowledge Base for more explicit information on how to ensure your electronic payments are PCI DSS compliant.

  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    A virtual private network, or VPN, is a tunneled private network of remote sites or users utilizing a public network, like the Internet, to connect to each other. A VPN uses encryption to secure your computer’s connection to the Internet and guarantees that all of the data you’re sending and receiving over the VPN is secured from any potential prying third parties. A VPN can be an extremely useful for a growing business to increase productivity without sacrificing security. Learn how to configure your Liquid Web VPN with the help of our Knowledge Base.

  • ServerSecurePLUS™

    Add additional security services and modifications to your server with ServerSecurePLUS™, an exclusive Liquid Web product. ServerSecurePLUS™ greatly enhances the security, reliability, compatibility of your server through daily CSX scans and a number of server hardening initiatives including email protection, service hardening, brute force detection, and secured access via SSH, FTP and RDP. Saving you hours of installation time or the hassle of hiring a system administrator, ServerSecurePLUS™ guarantees that your server’s important data will be protected.

  • The goal of National Cyber Security Awareness Month is to spread awareness of cyber threats so consumers can learn how to protect themselves. Depending on your business, one or two simple things, like a firewall or SSL certificate, can go a long way to ensuring your server is secure against many of the common cyber attacks seen today. Let us know if you have any further questions about cyber security – our 24/7/365 Heroic Support® is always here to help.

    Have you ever been the target of a cyber attack?

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KB Weekly Wrap-Up 10-24-14
Filed under: News  

Knowledge Base Weekly Wrap-Up 10-24-14
This week’s wrap-up of our Knowledge Base, is (almost) all about databases. Learn how to install MariaDB on CentOS6, Cassandra on CentOS 7, and how to solve an error you might encounter while using Cassandra’s ‘nodetool.’ Unrelated to databases, our technical writers have provided a helpful checklist to reference whenever you’re preparing your server for maintenance that requires a reboot.

Don’t see what you need to know? Contact our Heroic Support® team and we’ll help! If you’d like to request a specific article for our Knowledge Base, let us know at support@liquidweb.com.

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KB Weekly Wrap-Up 10-17-14
Filed under: How To,Knowledge Base,News  October 17, 2014

Knowledge Base Weekly Wrap Up 10-17-14Our Knowledge Base is updated multiple times every week with new articles designed to help you through common web hosting issues. If you ever find yourself stuck on a problem, take a look through our hundreds of articles, the odds are you’ll find one to help. This week you can find articles about installing lsyncd and MongoDB, updating Bash, and a list of a few common chkconfig commands.

Don’t see what you need to know? Contact our Heroic Support® team and we’ll help! If you’d like to request a specific article for our Knowledge Base, let us know at support@liquidweb.com.




Six Things You Can Do Right Now to Secure Your Server

Six Things You Can Do Right Now To Secure Your Server
It’s that time again! October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This entire month is dedicated to raising awareness of cyber security. At Liquid Web, we’d like to do our part in helping raise awareness of ever-increasing cyber threats with a few DIY security tips. Learn what six simple things you can do on your own to secure your server. For step-by-step instructions on how to execute these tips, we have linked to any relevant corresponding articles from our Knowledge Base.

  1. Update Outdated Content Management Systems

    If your website utilizes a content management system (CMS), then one of the most important things you can do to keep your site secure is to regularly and responsibly update the CMS and any plugins you may have. However, it is important to keep in mind that it might not be necessary to upgrade immediately every time you discover a new update for your CMS. Pay attention to how your plugins may be affected and talk to one of our Heroic Support® staff members about how the latest update might protect your data.

  2. Confirm Brute Force Detection Is Installed

    Brute Force Detection, or BFD, is a service on your server that watches various log files for brute force attacks, an attack attempted via rapid logins using a dictionary file. Specifically, BFD looks for several failed login attempts in a short period of time from the same IP address. If detected, the guilty IP address will be blocked in the server’s firewall.

  3. Change The Default SSH Port

    Changing your SSH port to something other than the default port 22 can help secure your server against brute force attacks scanning for vulnerable servers across the Internet. While it isn’t a guaranteed fix, many brute force login attempts are generally only looking for servers using the default port, and changing that port is a small thing that can greatly reduce the chances of you suffering from a brute force attack.

  4. Disable the Root User Login

    One of the common methods that brute force attacks use when attempting to gain access to your system is to focus specifically on root passwords. To avoid this, it’s best to disable root user login in the SSH server entirely. Creating a new user and using an alternative login that you can switch to root when needed, will both protect your server and allow you to still have access to root-level functions.

  5. Update Your Root User and SSH Information in Manage

    Once you’ve made the above changes to your SSH port and root user logins, you’ll want to make sure you update this information in our Manage interface. One of the best resources you can rely on for server security is our Heroic Support®. In order for our team to address any issues you come across, we’ll need access to your login details. Maintaining this information in Manage allows us to quickly login to your server to diagnose and solve any problems you have. In addition, we’ll be able to login into your server proactively to fix any problems or apply any updates so you don’t have to worry.

  6. Practice Safe Passwords

    Even if every other security precaution is taken, an insecure password can make an entire server vulnerable. Longer, complex passwords are best when it comes to your server. Carefully choose your passwords when setting up your server, keeping in mind that secure passwords are often at least 10 characters, omit dictionary words, and contain a mix of numbers and special characters. Alternatively, just visit one of the sites listed in our above linked Knowledge Base article to randomly generate a strong password.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month focuses on spreading awareness of cyber threats, but we want our customers to be able to protect themselves as well. By following the step-by-step instructions in the above linked Knowledge Base articles, you can be sure your server will much more secure against many of the common cyber attacks seen today. But don’t worry, if find yourself in need of more aid, our 24/7/365 Heroic Support® is here if you need them.




KB Weekly Wrap-Up 10-10-14
Filed under: How To,Knowledge Base,News  October 10, 2014

Knowledge Base Weekly Wrap Up 10-10-14
Have you encountered any errors that you’ve been unable to solve on your own? Make sure you check out our Knowledge Base whenever you encounter a question you can’t answer. Not only have our content writers have been busy this last week writing tutorials for Logwatch and Firewalld on various operating systems, but they’ve also solved a few of those frequently seen errors for you!

Don’t see what you need to know? Contact our Heroic Support® team and we’ll help! If you’d like to request a specific article for our Knowledge Base, let us know at support@liquidweb.com.




Press Release: Liquid Web Launches Redesigned, Responsive Website
Filed under: News,Press Releases  October 9, 2014

LANSING, Mich.— Liquid Web Inc., a premium web hosting provider with locations in Michigan and Arizona, has launched its redesigned website at LiquidWeb.com. With the completion of the full rebuild, the company has added new and enhanced content, including a featured area on the front page for up-to-date customer support statistics as well as a revamped shopping cart that simplifies the ordering process. The website has also been developed to feature a responsive design, adapting its display for optimal viewing on any size/resolution screen.

New Website Details: https://www.liquidweb.com/blog/index.php/new-responsive-website-focuses-on-transparency/

Liquid Web Marketing Director, Jason Grasshoff, on the Decision to Redesign:
“The redesign of our website is a task we could not approach lightly because our customers are some of the most knowledgeable on the Internet when it comes to what makes a great site. We have been updating our LiquidWeb.com on a page-by-page basis for some time, but a full redesign has been on the agenda since our customers began accessing our site on many different devices, from phones to tablets to different monitor set-ups. We are excited not only by the enhanced user experience, but also by the fact that this version maintains a useful, attractive look, regardless of how you choose to view it.

Another primary goal of ours was to ensure the site is representative of our company’s identity. When Liquid Web is brought up in the hosting community, often the first thing people talk about is the speed and availability of our support. Since our Heroic Support team provides that excellent experience, they’re the true star behind our brand. With this and our commitment to transparency in mind, we’ve put them front and center on the new site, by including regularly updated support stats directly on the landing page.”

Changes to the LiquidWeb.com’s appearance and design will be apparent upon visiting for anyone familiar with the website. The company states that it has significantly modernized this user portal to accommodate a growing customer-base, expanding as the company continues to branch out into new areas with its ongoing development in the United States, as well as Europe.

ALSO SEE: Company Named to INC5000′s Fastest Growing Companies for 8th Consecutive Year

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Liquid Web Inc. is a privately held, managed web hosting company founded in 1997. The company owns and operates three data center facilities located in Lansing, Michigan in addition to having a software development office and a data center in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. In 2014, the company also launched development space in Ann Arbor, Michigan as well as extending hosting operations to Europe (attaining space in Amsterdam, NL). It has established itself as a leader in the professional web hosting market with an unwavering dedication to providing the best hosting products customer service available. With a client-base that spans beyond 120 countries, the company has assembled a world class Heroic Support staff and a proactive Sonar Server Monitoring team, professionally educated and easily accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The rapidly expanding web host has been recognized amongst INC Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies for eight consecutive years, beginning in 2007.
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New Responsive Website Focuses on Transparency
Filed under: Heroic Support,In 60 Seconds,News  October 8, 2014

Liquid Web Website Boasts Responsive Design
As a part of our ongoing efforts to improve customer experience at Liquid Web, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new website! The new LiquidWeb.com boasts a number of features designed to improve the site’s overall usability, organization, speed, and clarity. Not only have we refined and modernized the content and design, but the new site also emphasizes our dedication to transparency in our Heroic Support®.

Our site redesign was done with our customers in mind, with the goal to improve the overall experience when they visit the site and present to them an honest and transparent representation of Liquid Web. With this in mind, we added monthly support statistics front and center on our home page detailing how quickly we answered our customers’ questions via phone, LiveChat, and email. Our Marketing Director, Jason Grasshoff, explains why these statistics were so important to include on the redesigned website.

“A primary goal of ours was to ensure the site is representative of our company’s identity,” Grasshoff said. “When Liquid Web is brought up in the hosting community, often the first thing people talk about is the speed and availability of our support. Since our Heroic Support team provides that excellent experience, they’re the true star behind our brand. With this and our commitment to transparency in mind, we’ve put them front and center on the new site, by including regularly updated support stats directly on the landing page.”
Transparently Displaying Our Heroic Support Statistics
We’ve included a number of additional changes to that improve the site’s usability – and make our customers’ lives easier. The inspiration for these changes is our Heroic Promise, which starts the moment a customer visits our website. We want to ensure that all the information a customer is looking for is easily accessible and clearly explained. With this redesign, we’ve made improvements to everything from the site navigation to the purchasing process, including:

  • Reorganized Site Navigation
    Our revised site navigation puts all the most important pages right up front, and makes it easy for our customers to browse the site and quickly find what they need.
  • Speed & Efficiency
    We know how valuable our customers’ time is, so we’ve enhanced the site to decrease our page load times, allowing customers to find exactly what they need in less time.
  • Simplified Ordering Process
    We’ve eliminated unnecessary content and clutter from our shopping cart, making the ordering process even easier for customers.
  • Modern Site Design
    Our new site design is clean and modern, eliminating distractions and allowing customers to focus on the important part of our website, the content.
  • Responsive Design
    Our customers access our website from many different devices, so we made sure to create a responsive website that would not only look beautiful, but also function beautifully on all screen sizes and resolutions.
  • Updated Content and New Media
    In addition to small content revisions throughout the site, we have also included new media, including new diagrams and our “In 60 Seconds” video series to help our customers further understand our products.
  • New Photography
    We’re proud of our Heroic Support staff and make a point to use real Liquid Web employees on our website, rather than stock photography. Every photo you see is taken within our data centers and many of them showcase the actual Heroes helping customers every day.

Our new website is a reflection of our customers’ needs. Every new feature was designed with the goal of educating our customers and helping them purchase and set up their hosting environments even faster. Improving the customer experience is always our top priority and we’ll continue to find new ways, like our redesigned website, to go above and beyond in every way possible.

Have you checked out our new website? Let us know what you think!




Always Available. Always Fast.
Filed under: Heroic Support,News  October 3, 2014

Our Heroic Support Staff Upholds Our Initial Response Time Guarantee
There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to reach a human being when you’re trying to contact a customer service department. If you’ve ever been stuck on hold for an extremely long amount of time or had to navigate seemingly endless phone trees to get to someone, then you know what we’re talking about. Because we value our customers’ time and energy, we make a point to ensure you are actually able to talk to a real person within minutes of calling, emailing or sending in a LiveChat. It’s a measure of pride for us that our Heroic Support® is not only available 24/7/365, but also available immediately when you reach out. We even publish our monthly statistics front and center on our website detailing how quickly we answered our customers’ messages, all in the name of transparency.

September 2014 Support Statistics

  • Telephone Initial Response: 10 seconds
  • HelpDesk Initial Response: 29 minutes, 39 seconds
  • LiveChat Initial Response: 19 seconds
  • Customer Satisfaction: 98%

Providing our customers with highly responsive Heroic Support® is part of our Heroic Promise®. We call it our Initial Response Time Guarantee. This guarantee states that all HelpDesk tickets will be responded to within 30 minutes, all LiveChats will be responded to within 59 seconds, and all phone calls will be answered within 59 seconds. Not only are these guarantees some of the quickest available, but we often come in substantially under the these time limits in our average monthly support statistics. In addition to these industry-leading response times we offer a 1000% compensation, as outlined in our SLA’s 100% uptime guarantee. That means if you experience downtime, we will credit you at 10x the amount of time you were down.

Our response time guarantees exist for you. While we strive to make every interaction a positive and enjoyable experience, we realize that our customers have hectic lives and want their questions answered or their problems solved as soon as possible. Our response time guarantees mean that you can rely on Liquid Web to answer your questions quickly and thoroughly, allowing you to focus on the purpose of your service rather than its status.

Have you experienced a heroically fast response time from Liquid Web?




KB Weekly Wrap-Up 10-3-14
Filed under: How To,Knowledge Base,News  

Knowledge Base Weekly Wrap-Up 10-3-14In this edition of our KB Weekly Wrap-Up you can learn how to install PostgreSQL, Docker, and Git on the new CentOS 7 operating system. We also provide detailed instructions for updating a self managed or core managed Ubuntu 12.04 kernel.

  • How to Install and Connect to PostgreSQL on CentOS 7

    Learn how to install and connect to PostgreSQL, an object-relational database management system, on CentOS 7.

  • How to Install Docker on CentOS 7

    Learn how to install Docker, a container-based software framework for automatic deployment of applications, on CentOS 7.

  • How to Install and Configure Git on CentOS 7

    Learn how to install and configure Git, an open source, distributed version control system, on CentOS 7.

  • Upgrade Your Self Managed and Core Managed Ubuntu 12.04 HWE Kernel in Liquid Web US Central Zone B

    As of August 8th, 2014, Ubuntu 12.04.2, 12.04.3, and 12.04.4 will no longer received software updates for the kernel. If your server is self managed or core managed in Liquid Web’s US Central Zone B, you’ll need these instructions to upgrade your kernel.

Don’t see what you need to know? Contact our Heroic Support® team and we’ll help!

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Proactive Response Protects Thousands of LW Customers from Shellshock
Filed under: Heroic Support,Industry Insights,News  September 29, 2014

When the CVE-2014-6271 and CVE-2014-7169 Bash Vulnerabilities (Shellshock) were discovered on September 24th, we knew we had to act fast in order to protect our customers. These vulnerabilities had the potential to negatively impact thousands of our customers, exposing their servers to dangerous activity. Once our Heroic Support® team sprang into action, we were able to automatically update the vast majority of our customers’ servers before they even knew the Bash exploit existed and, in the end, successfully protected all of our affected customers.

Bash, or the GNU Bourne-Again Shell, is a Unix command line shell run by default on most Linux servers. The Shellshock vulnerabilities discovered in Bash were particularly dangerous because they allowed for remote code execution and many other types of command-line based attacks. The fix for this exploit was a patch that we were able to proactively implement for most of our affected customers. We immediately updated mirrors to ensure that the CentOS patch for this vulnerability would install upon each server’s next scheduled update. As an additional precaution, we also proactively updated our ModSecurity rules according to the recommendations from Red Hat.

Some users, however, remained vulnerable dependent upon update settings or other unforeseen intervening factors. The few customers that could not be automatically updated due to outdated software on their server were notified immediately of the steps they should take to protect themselves. Through a series of email notifications, Knowledge Base articles and tutorials, as well as passive updates on our website, we were able to reach out to all of our customers and proactively update their servers.

If you are still in need of assistance with your server, or simply have more questions regarding the Bash Vulnerabilities, we can help. Check out our Knowledge Base tutorials or contact our Heroic Support® for more information.

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