SingleHop Introduces Shield Plus Premium Security Package To Its Cloud Service

SingleHop, a dedicated server and cloud hosting company based in Chicago, is upping its security game to meet the demands of customers looking for greater confidence in their cloud's resilience and safety.

The cloud provider said Tuesday it has folded all its default security features and best practices into a unified brand called Shield Core while also unveiling a new premium service called Shield Plus.

"Security has always been a big deal in our hosting company. We do a lot of compliance. But it's always been kind of hard to explain to customers what we do because there's all these different things," Jordan Jacobs, SingleHop's vice president of products, told CRN.

[Related: Security Researcher Warns Amazon Web Services Security Prone To Dangerous Lapses]

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Shield Core, while not introducing any new technology, makes SingleHop's standard security package more simple and concise for customers with unified data sheets and Web material.

Shield Plus, at $30 per server, per month, adds newly developed in-house technology to guard against the almost ceaseless distributed denial-of-service attacks that every hosting company faces these days. In addition to DDoS mitigation, the premium service offers automatic operating system patching and updates, a security layer hardening the operating system, and managed endpoint protection.

"DDoS is becoming so prevalent, we really need to make sure we're protecting customers," Jacobs told CRN. "Everything we do we wrap around security."

SingleHop's DDoS solution, engineered for the company's network, has spent nearly a year in development and integrates technology from Radware and some other top vendors.

The custom security kit helps SingleHop avoid the option of either buying an appliance from a vendor or contracting with another security firm, Jacobs told CRN.

"There really are no good options for protection," Jacobs said, adding both approaches are onerously expensive.

But at the same time, the problem is very real.

Any one cloud customer, depending on its type of business, sees an average of one to three DDoS attacks per year, Jacobs told CRN.

"When you're a provider like us, that means there are pretty much constant attacks going on," he said.

That's why companies like FireHost have seen success taking on the security niche in the cloud market.

"There is not a single conversation that security doesn't come up in the end. The big difference between us and a FireHost, they sell to companies only interested in security, and we're saying security is an important part of all solutions. It's in every conversation, and it really should be," Jacobs said.

And while most clouds are far better protected than on-premise IT facilities, customers just inherently feel safer with their data close to home.

"The fact of the matter is data is leaving the on-prem world that they feel is secure and going to this world they don't have any control over," Jacobs told CRN.

Jo Peterson, vice president of converged cloud and data at Clarify360, a Southern California-based IT consulting firm, told CRN her company maintains a vendor-agnostic approach to sourcing data center, cloud and CDN solutions, customizing a strategy for each client's business and operational needs.

Clarify360 partners with SingleHop because the cloud provider delivers flexible white-glove service and a security model that gives customers choice about the levels of protection they can deploy across their hosted environments.

"Every day, we hear about another company who has suffered one form of attack or another. SingleHop's Shield Plus allows us to offer a suite of services designed to offer security from the network, through the customer's entire solution at rates and delivery times that are disruptive as compared to an on-premise solution," Peterson told CRN.

Frank Ferdowsian, co-president of Denver-based Idea Communications, which helps enterprises deploy voice, data, cloud and mobility services around the globe, told CRN that SingleHop's subscription-based services allow his company "to offer highly scalable and secure solutions for our most demanding customers.

Security and performance are top of mind for all of our customers," Ferdowsian said. "SingleHop's Shield offerings cover everything from the data center all the way through DDoS protection, ensuring peace of mind knowing that their environments will be available and secure."

SingleHop was founded in 2006 as a bare-metal hosting service for small businesses. The company has a strong channel focus that it maintained as it turned to the private cloud market a couple of years ago.

"Almost overnight private clouds became our number-one-selling item," Jacobs said about the transition. "We went from automation and orchestration experts to today, we're really private cloud experts."

The bare-metal practice for which SingleHop developed a set of automation tools for rapid application deployment is still important to the company, but growth in that market is nowhere close to matching the cloud side of the business, Jacobs said.

Shield Core and Shield Plus were rolled out for customers in the first week of February.

PUBLISHED FEB . 10, 2015