The Power of Servers
On its simplest definition, a web server serves the files requested by a web browser. But what happens behind the scene is a marvel. So how does a web server work?
It goes like this: a user used a web browser and navigated to www.anexamplewebsite.com, the browser queries the DNS (which works like calling a telephone), and your web server saw an incoming request (or a call if you may). The request indicates that a client (the web browser, in this case) wants to fetch the homepage of your website, and so the web server finds the appropriate files and sends it over HTTP or HTTPS to your web browser and when your browser receives the necessary info, it will then parse the HTML files to ultimately render the page and that’s only for some very simple websites (for example, the homepage of Google). For more complicated requests, like putting an item into your online shopping cart and the checking it out, like for example, in Amazon will require additional queries to the web server. We can write a small booklet trying to explain how a web server works, but that’s not our focus right now.
If you noted, it seems quite a complicated process, but web servers are so powerful that all of those only happens in a fraction of a second and they can also handle hundreds or even thousands of simultaneous requests which clearly demonstrates their processing power. And seeing that, along with the possible precious data one can obtain from them, no wonder many attempted to break in into one.
Server Security is a Serious Matter
No matter how big or small your business is, protecting your server from malicious individuals and threats should be a vital part of your everyday routine. A compromised server can be used as a botnet (which can be used to send spam messages or attack other servers) or a way to spread worms and other viruses which can damage your reputation. What’s worse is that all of your files can be damaged or deleted and your confidential data stolen and exposed/exploited.
This can be detrimental to your business, so you have to make sure that your server is secured against threats. However, in theory, no server or software is invulnerable, but the damage can be lessened down to insignificance. Hosting your website through secure servers is highly recommended, though they can be a bit pricey if you need additional security measures. If you are on a budget, though, you need not compromise on security as there are plenty if cheap, secure VPS, shared or dedicated services available out there. Just make sure that your host is really secure and reliable.