For a lot of web designers and web site developers, a way that they try to make extra money is by hosting their client’s web sites on their server.
While this may seem easy on the outside it can very quickly grow to be a big problem.
You will hear from your clients for every little thing and they will start to mix up your duties as a web host operator with your duties as a webmaster, meaning that even if they are not paying you for the upgrade, they will ask you to make changes to their actual site.
Another thing that most web developers are not ready for when it comes to hosting their client’s sites is the fact that they will now have to worry about server security.
Your Customers Can Leave You Vulnerable
As a web host you never know what your customers are going to do.
This is why you must set down clear guidelines of what they can and cannot do on the server that you host them on.
Your customers will try to use that server in ways that you will not believe and it is up to you to make sure that you are able to put a stop to it.
The wrong application being used on the server can leave you open to a wide variety of the exploit holes that are out there.
This is why the trust factor on a piece of software like openVPN is very low with professionals who host their own servers.
And you must be careful of it as well.
What the software does is allow people to log into it and use the server as a regular computer.
They can surf the internet and do other things just like they would on their home computer.
The difference is that they might feel as if they can do riskier things on the computer since the IP address does not directly point back to them but it does point back to you.
So not only are your servers vulnerable to whatever malware the person might pick up while surfing the net, but if they do anything illegal, you might be liable since it is your IP address that pops up.
Most people who operate web servers will not even second guess letting someone run this type of software on their servers – the legal liabilities are too great.
Only One Of Many
OpenVPN is only one of the many software platforms that can leave you vulnerable to attack.
When you are running a web host you must be very explicit about the software that the person is allowed to install.
If you are not, then there is no doubt that some of your customers will try to stretch the rules.
It is your job to make sure that you monitor everything and make sure that it doesn’t happen.