Website attacks and cyber attacks are growing in numbers every day and the importance of creating a secure website and website security, in general, is increasing rapidly. Unfortunately, hackers are just too smart these days and know all sorts of tips and tricks to break into your site’s vulnerabilities (some of which you might not even be aware of). Being secure in the online world becomes more and more important every day and it is more than important to protect your website and the data it holds now.
There are some website security must-haves in order to maintain your website and protect your visitors and yourself from security threats.
Strong admin passwords
The value of a strong password cannot be understated. Weak passwords make hacking your site very easy, especially when using open source CMS like WordPress. Therefore, it is important to ensure administrative passwords are lengthy, do not resemble an actual word or represent information about you that is easily found online – like your pet’s name for instance. Use a strong password generator. In an ideal scenario, your website should only accept strong passwords, and make you change your password every 90 days.
You can no longer ignore SSL certificates. SSL certificates are an absolute requirement for websites today, whether a small blog or a large scale e-commerce site. The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate encrypts all sensitive information between a customer and the browser, making sure that the connection is secure. That green lock icon and secure text beside your domain name when someone visits instantly put a visitor at ease. In addition, a properly deployed SSL cert also improves your Google search.
Block malicious bots
Friendly spider bots from Google crawl your website to collect information to index your site efficiently. However, malicious bots may scrape critical information from your website that can be sold and used with nefarious intent. Distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks, whereby multiple systems target a single network, causing it to overload and crash can also be perpetrated by bots. They also result in a misrepresentation of your traffic analytics by unduly inflating it. Avoid all these concerns with security tools that can provide protection from malware and bots, automatically blocking known troublemakers.
Run regular software updates
Do not skip the button whenever a software update reminder pops up. However, updates are important to patch security holes in the system. Owners whose websites are powered by open source platforms such as WordPress, Drupal & Magento need to be vigilant, as hackers can easily take advantage of sites that are not updated.
If you’re running an e-commerce business, then you’re most likely not just using a content management system to create and run your store. You need specialized software to do that for you. With this additional integration, you’ll want to make sure that they are PCI compliant and provide a secure platform through which your customers can shop.
Payment gateway software
To round out your on-site e-commerce tools, you’ll need to check in with your payment gateway provider as well (if you have one). If you’re not already using one, you may want to rethink that decision as the majority of them are fully PCI DSS compliant and will take care of the extra security piece when processing your customers’ payments on your behalf.
In addition to the inconvenience of having to clean up after a cyber attack as well as the general cost of it, there are two other important things to remember:
Your customers. They trust you to provide them with a secure online environment. While you might lose money (and face) from a cyber attack, they could lose private information about their identity, lose money of their own if payment information is compromised, and their physical security could be put in jeopardy too.
Your business’s reputation. You’re not going to get too much sympathy from your customers. They’re going to see it as a reflection of how you conduct business. Everything that happens on your website is a direct reflection of you, the people that work for you, and your overall brand.
Bots, spam emails, and possible downtimes are the real security threats to your website. Having a reliable website security and monitoring service is helpful in identifying patterns and tracing the sources of your possible attackers. After going through the different types of security software systems, you’ll be more equipped in determining the right security tools for your business site. Take into consideration your budget, network and device protection needs, and how it can affect your system’s performance.