State of the Sanctuary 2015

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Happy New Year from all of us here at File Sanctuary! We hope you had a great Christmas and New Year, and have returned to work revitalised and raring to go!

In 2014 we launched new products, kept you safe from major security threats, had excellent uptime and much more. This post is a summary of what we’ve been up to, intended to keep you informed of any changes and new products that you may have missed.

Security

Heartbleed and POODLE were 2 major security alerts that occurred last year revolving around SSL and TLS (you may remember the extensive news coverage). File Sanctuary worked around the clock to keep you safe. Some of these vulnerabilities didn’t affect us, and others were patched within a few hours of them being reported. Some were even patched before they were reported!

We recently conducted a review of our customer accounts, we have noticed that not all accounts have a security question and answer set. This is something we require when you contact us via phone or our live chat so please ensure that yours is set and that any additional contacts on your account also know the answer to this question if they will need to contact us. You can check if you have a security question set or change an existing one in the customer portal by visiting the security settings page on the customer portal.

If you have a smartphone, we also recommend that you also enable two factor authentication on that page to secure your account even further. More information about securing your customer portal account with two-factor authentication can be found in our blog post.

We are now also proudly one of only a handful of Cloud Server providers who are on the Xen Project security issue predisclosure list, meaning we find out about security issues in Xen before they are made public (Xen is the hypervisor technology at the heart of the File Sanctuary Cloud). Finding out about security issues in Xen before they are made public means we are able to provide you with an unprecedented level of protection against threats.

Cloud Servers

Our Cloud Server business has seen rapid growth over the past year, which has led to us launching two new host nodes in our Coventry datacenter providing a huge amount of extra capacity for new Cloud Servers.

File Sanctuary’s Cloud Servers are being used by customers like you to perform a wide range of tasks, ranging from health and transport web applications, to mobile app backend services, to powering 3G mobile data networks, to providing TV broadcasting services… some clients even run their own web hosting companies from within our cloud!

We continue to add new operating systems to our Cloud Server lineup as and when they become available. Recent additions have included Ubuntu 14.04 and CentOS 7. We also removed some older operating systems that are no longer supported by their distributors from our order process, to ensure your safety and security.

Our Cloud control panel also saw an overhaul this year, with a brand new Bootstrap-based interface to dramatically improve usability. We’ve also introduced a new VNC client for HVM Cloud Servers that’s powered by HTML5’s canvas element to allow management from devices where you either can’t or don’t want to run Java. Haven’t seen these improvements yet? Visit the Cloud control panel now and take a look!

Web Hosting

The uptime for our hosting platforms during 2014 was an amazing 99.909%! We work hard to ensure that your site, your email, and all your other services are always available and usable and we’re extremely happy with the uptime stats in 2014.

To cater for our customers with requirements for lots of storage we have added Option 30, doubling all the features of Option 15, but at the same price as the old Option 15 (£32.99 or $54.99 / mo). We have also dropped the price of Option 15 down to £27.99 or $43.99 / mo. Both of these changes make getting extra space more affordable than ever.

Many of our customers make use of our Roundcube webmail client. We’ve performed many upgrades to Roundcube over the past year, and it now has even more features, including the ability to search across multiple folders, improved keyboard navigation in messages list, tablet friendly optimized user interface and perhaps our favourite addition: an attachment reminder if you mention the word “attachment” in an email but haven’t actually added one by the time you click send. Gone forever are the apologetic follow up emails with the attachment you meant to send in the first place!

New features have been added to Virtualmin throughout the year such as support for backups to Google Cloud Storage, optional automatic cleanup of messages in all mailboxes, the ability to enforce an email retention policy or save on disk space, and the ability to independently configure redirects for the SSL and non-SSL websites of a virtual server, to name but a few.

But it doesn’t end there! We’re getting ready to launch an upgraded Virtualmin hosting platform based on Ubuntu 14.04 later this year, which will bring thousands of improvements across the entire operating system and all the services we provide. We’re offering you the chance to be amongst the first to try out the new platform — if you would like to gain early access during this beta period, please create a support ticket mentioning the domains you’d like us to move across and we’ll get you added to the beta programme!

As with any beta there may be a few glitches, and your site may not be compatible with the newer versions of software (PHP is a lot newer, for example), so if you do have any problems we can easily move you back to the normal platform.

SSL/TLS

In August last year, Google announced that sites secured using SSL certificates will be given higher rankings in their search engine results. We added Trustwave’s certificate range to our lineup last year, increasing our range to 24 different SSL certificates, all of them cheaper than buying direct! Improve your security and search ranking at the same time, get protected by SSL today. Find the certificate that fits you or contact support if you need help choosing.

During 2014 it was announced that all major web browsers will stop accepting SHA1 certificates from 2017 as these are now deprecated. In order to keep you safe, when you order your next SSL certificate, we will issue you with at least a SHA256 certificate to ensure that your content is protected by the best possible security.

Another change was made during the past year to the minimum security requirements of SSL: going forward, 1024-bit RSA keys can no longer be used to sign SSL certificates. We now only accept Certificate Signing Requests generated using either 2048 or 4096-bit RSA keys.

Livedrive

During the latter half of 2014 we introduced a 30-day money back guarantee for new Livedrive accounts to give you the opportunity to try the service completely risk-free, and it’s staying put!

To give our Livedrive service a spin, just sign up for any new Livedrive account and if you’re not completely happy with it, just contact us within the first 30 days and we will refund your money, no questions asked. (We think you’ll love it once you give it a try though!)

In 2014, new desktop clients were released for Windows and Macs, and support was added for Windows 8.1 with a selection of new features such as an improved video streaming service, and live tile notification which displays real time information about your account… like the amount of space remaining, how your uploads are coming on and even what song you are playing, all without opening the app.

There’s also a gorgeous new Windows Phone app for Livedrive which was released in November, bringing all your files, backups and streaming media to your phone.

Domains

2014 was the year that everything changed in the world of domains!

We added over 200 new gTLDs to our lineup. We launched new domains almost every week of 2014 and this will continue throughout 2015. The amount of new gTLDs and the new uses possible for them is simply staggering and we’re excited to see what you’ll do with them.

There were also changes to UK domains, with the launch of the new .uk TLD. Many of our customers have got a .uk domain reserved for them, ready for the taking! If you have a .co.uk domain through us that you owned on June 10, 2014, you have automatically had the .uk version of the same name reserved for you. This reservation will remain in place until June 10, 2019, but why wait? Get your .uk now! Create a support ticket to get started.

During 2014, both ICANN and Nominet introduced new registrant contact detail verification rules that we are required to adhere to. Domains ending in .uk, .co.uk, .org.uk, .com, .net and .org all have extra verification steps now. After your next renewal (or your initial order, if it’s for a new domain), we will contact you requesting some additional information, which you will need to supply within a certain amount of time. If you have any questions about this, contact support.

Endpoint Security

An exciting new addition to our product line up is Protection Service for Business by F-Secure, and despite the name, we’ve found that it’s perfect for your computers at home too!

PSB combines F-Secure’s award-winning anti-virus and firewall products with a software update manager, and then has File Sanctuary’s team manage the whole thing on your behalf.

Similar to how a monitored burglar alarm system is watched over and controlled by a monitoring team, PSB sends all your computer’s anti-virus, firewall and software update alerts to the team here at File Sanctuary, allowing you to transfer these often complicated tasks to us so that you don’t have to worry about them.

PSB is available for Windows and Macs and enables us to offer award winning online security and anti-virus which protects all your devices, data, communication and the best part is we do all the updates for you. Visit our Protection Service for Business page for more information.

We’re also excited to be launching F-Secure Mobile Security for Android later this month!

To the future

We will be launching exiting new products and offers throughout the year. Keep an eye on our website for further information, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay upto date with our latest news!