VPS Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting: A Security Perspective

Garima Khandelwal

Senior Writer

Hosting is an essential aspect of website performance. Hosting can seem complicated, especially with all of the available hosting options. In this post, we want to focus on two types of hosting, cloud hosting and VPS hosting.

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First, we want to give you an overall idea of what these hosting options include. Then, we want to highlight the security pros and cons of each type.

What is VPS Hosting?

VPS hosting is virtual private server hosting. With VPS hosting, there is one physical server that is virtually divided into two smaller servers. Each virtual server functions as if it were a dedicated server.

Cybercrime has grown as a lucrative market for nefarious overseas hackers. One of the primary targets of most hacking campaigns is business hosting solutions. Acting as a honeypot, a shared hosting server can allow a hacker to access thousands of websites and use them as hosts to launch further attacks. When choosing to host, it’s important to look for a web hosting companies that offer free 24/7 security monitoring.

With VPS hosting, you are given a set amount of resources that you are able to customize and configure to your liking. Your virtual server is completely isolated from the other virtual servers on the same physical server. There is no transfer of information, data, or files between different virtual servers.

Unlike a dedicated server, VPS hosting will not give you a separate physical server. So, you might have to share the physical machine with other users. But VPS hosting gives you the ability to scale your virtual resources anytime you wish.

VPS Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting

A downside of VPS hosting is that all of the virtual servers are dependent on the physical server. If the physical server goes down, the virtual servers go down as well. Although the majority of resources used in a virtual server are isolated from the other virtual servers on the physical server, there are some shared resources. If one site is hogging resources on the physical server, other virtual servers can be impacted.

Pros of VPS Hosting

  • They can be fully customized
  • They offer high-performance
  • They are incredibly secure

The downside is that they are not a scalable solution. You are given a set amount of resources, and it’s difficult to scale these resources up if you have a traffic surge.

What Is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is a web hosting service that uses a number of servers to balance the load, offering maximum uptime. Instead of only having the resources of one server, your website can pull from a cluster of servers or resources. This means that even if one of your servers fails, there are other servers that instantly kick in and keep everything running.

You might imagine a number of computers that are interconnected and working as one machine. As more machines are added, more resources are available to the entire cloud.

With shared hosting, for example, websites are stored using a centralized approach. One server has a number of websites. However, if the server goes down, so does every account on the server. Cloud hosting has a distributed approach. Since each website is distributed over a number of locations, there is no downtime if only a couple of servers in the cluster have a problem.

Large websites, such as social media networks or search engines, use cloud hosting because there is no one server that can handle the load of these websites.

Pros of Cloud Hosting

  • Better uptime
  • High availability
  • Better performance
  • Scalability and flexibility
  • Rapid deployment
  • Lower cost
  • Backup and disaster recovery

There are also some drawbacks to cloud hosting. A major drawback is an expense when compared to third-party web hosting solutions. Sure, it’s a lot cheaper than having your own server, but it’s going to be more expensive than shared hosting or VPS hosting.

Security Risks of Cloud and VPS Hosting

1. VPS Hosting

VPS hosting has a lot of positive aspects when it comes to cybersecurity. The downside is that in order for you to take advantage of the security features, you need to have some technical know-how. Unfortunately, the casual VPS web hosting customer doesn’t have the tech knowledge to configure their virtual server for optimal online security. To get the most out of VPS security, you need to have a qualified systems administrator configure and monitor the security settings, thereby preventing security attacks.

When a VPS web hosting service is poorly configured, it can create more damage than a shared web hosting website. With shared hosting, you get the basic web security protections. This is not true with VPS hosting. When configured properly, VPS hosting can offer you a secure environment to prevent cyber attacks.

2. Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting environments are at risk of the same high-level threats as a traditional data center environment. Cloud hosting software has vulnerabilities, and adversaries will try to take advantage of said vulnerabilities.

Unlike traditional hosting, with cloud computing, both the service provider and the customer are responsible for mitigating vulnerabilities. This means that customers have to understand what their responsibility is to protect their server, and they need to be able to trust that the cloud service provider is going to hold up their end.

When an organization transfers its assets to the cloud, they naturally lose some visibility and control over these assets. They will have to trust that the cloud service provider they are using will hold up their end in protecting their information.

A major security concern is data breaches and data leaks with cloud servers. Data breaches allow information to be accessed and extracted without the right authorization. There have been a number of cloud-based data breaches that have allowed confidential information to be given to the public, sold, or held for ransom.

In order to prevent these breaches, a cloud security system has to have a multilayered approach that covers the whole extent of user activity. The security system must check every single step. This could include things like multi-factor authentication, data at rest encryption, and other security features.

When comparing VPS hosting and cloud hosting, you need to look at the experience of the individuals who are responsible for managing the security of the hosting. Cloud hosting can be secure if you trust the company that is providing the service. VPS hosting can also be secure if the individuals responsible for administering the virtual server understand a proper setup.

As always, we love hearing from our readers. What have you found to be more secure, VPS hosting, or cloud hosting? Let us know in the comments section below.

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