Ensure a Secure Environment for your ColdFusion Web Application

ColdFusion is a hugely popular development platform used by programmers from the most prestigious companies and organizations to create data-driven web applications that are rich, interactive, and secure. The popularity of ColdFusion is due to several factors, including ease of use (its tag-based structure closely resembles the HTML language), reliability, and high runtime performance, which enable the applications built in ColdFusion to handle vast amounts of data effectively.

ColdFusion is used to build all types of web-based applications, including high-risk systems, such as ecommerce platforms, financial solutions, healthcare applications, and more. As a top-notch web development platform, ColdFusion has a number of built-in security features that enable software architects to design highly secure applications that are up to the challenges posed by mission-critical environments. Nevertheless, a sound application structure is only half of the solution. The other major aspect that influences the overall security of a ColdFusion-powered application or website is the ColdFusion dedicated hosting environment.

In the following article, we explore the features that should be included in any secure ColdFusion dedicated hosting solution such as firewalls and adequate networking technology. We also describe a few things about the most common threats that can affect a ColdFusion dedicated host, such as denial of service or SQL injection attacks, and what you can do to protect your app from malicious activities.

A quick look at the most common security issues that can affect your ColdFusion application

Some vulnerabilities that can affect your ColdFusion dedicated server stem from the code of the application or website, and therefore they can only be addressed by improving the code of the app. In this category, we can include SQL injection attacks, where hackers insert specially crafted code in a text field from the app, or session hijacking, a technique that involves the interception and alteration of legitimate data packets by hackers.

In other cases, the problems occur in the ColdFusion hosting environment, be it a Windows Server machine or a Linux machine. Hackers can exploit known bugs and vulnerabilities found in the OS or in other software installed on the ColdFusion dedicated host. In the worst-case scenario, cybercriminals can gain access to or even alter the information stored in your app’s database, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

To mitigate these issues, you need to make sure that the operating system and software installed on your ColdFusion dedicated server are updated and the latest security patches are applied. If you manage the server on your own, this will be your responsibility. But in the case of managed dedicated hosting, your provider will ensure a safe environment.

Other safety measures include using a quality antivirus program that is updated regularly, limiting the access to the ColdFusion dedicated server to trusted IP addresses, and eliminating or disabling components that are not used.

For maximum protection, choose a reputable ColdFusion dedicated hosting services provider

Think about your ColdFusion dedicated host as the home of your website or web application. Just like in real life you would want to avoid living in a house with cracks in the foundation and windows that do not close well. When choosing a ColdFusion dedicated hosting solution, you should pick a provider that has a proven track record of reliability.

The reputation of your ColdFusion dedicated host is especially important when security is a primary concern. Do a little research on ColdFusion hosting providers and ask: are there any red flags that come up, such as a history of data breaches or a general lack of reliability? Does the ColdFusion hosting provider have a modern infrastructure and proper security policies in place? Clean history alone is not enough to guarantee that your ColdFusion dedicated server host will be secure, but it is generally a good sign about the overall professionalism of your potential business partner.

Does your host provide an enterprise-grade firewall and adequate security technologies?

If the answer to this question is “no,” it may be time to start thinking about the safety of your ColdFusion dedicated server. A powerful firewall is an essential piece of technology that should be included in any reliable ColdFusion dedicated hosting solution. Just like a guard who only allows the entrance of authorized persons, a firewall keeps away intruders by blocking traffic to and from unauthorized web destinations.

Some cheap dedicated ColdFusion web hosting providers use substandard firewalls that cannot handle major security threats, or lack updated definitions of the latest malware found in the wild. The danger of trusting your apps to dubious providers is immense. A single data breach in your system can lead to stolen personal information, virus contamination, and embarrassing negative publicity.

Look for a ColdFusion dedicated server host that is transparent about the security equipment it uses, including routers, proxies, and firewalls. Serious providers use intrusion prevention systems (IPS), which are devices that monitor the inbound and outbound traffic from the network where your ColdFusion dedicated server is hosted. When the IPS detects anomalies in the system, such as unauthorized access attempts or dubious data packets, the device takes action, depending on its settings. From case to case, the IPS can send an alarm to the system administrators, drop malicious packets, or block traffic from offending IP addresses.

A quality IPS is an essential tool in the fight against hackers, being able to detect and mitigate multiple forms of malicious activities – denial of service attacks, distributed denial of service attacks, SYN floods, etc. Good IPS also protect the network, and implicitly your ColdFusion dedicated hosting solution, from threats like spyware, viruses, and botnets. With the growing number of hacking incidents, some of which have affected millions of users, you cannot skimp on security. Make sure to get a ColdFusion dedicated hosting provider that uses quality equipment from known suppliers like Enterasys, Top Layer, or Cisco.

Hostek.com hosts over 26,000 websites in a highly secure dedicated hosting environment

The talented team of experts from Hostek.com strives to ensure the best possible ColdFusion 9 dedicated hosting solution for every client. Since 1998, Hostek.com has been offering hosting solutions that clients trust. At the base of this longtime success stands the continuously updated technology used by Hostek.com, as well as the expertise of a group of dedicated professionals.

Hostek.com offers dedicated ColdFusion hosting, in various configurations, which excel in security and features. Protected by two enterprise-grade Top Layer Mitigator IPS 5500 firewalls, your ColdFusion dedicated server will operate in a stable, secure environment. Nightly backups and managed hosting offered as an add-on complete the picture of a reliable hosting environment.

To learn about secure dedicated hosting environments or to order a plan, visit www.hostek.com or call 918-392-7870.

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