16/11/2022 Fox Technologies
Many organizations invest heavily in their website, paying for setup costs, hosting fees, SEO optimization, and more. But do companies know what security issues may be lurking beneath the surface of their websites? Anthony Green, CTO of cybersecurity firm FoxTech, discusses what company owners can do to secure their most important online assets before businesses see their investment go to waste with poor security planning.
An unsecured website is like an unlocked door for hackers. Through website hacking, cybercriminals can steal sensitive customer data and use it to blackmail companies, insert backlinks to scam websites, launch phishing attacks to lure customers into making fake payments, or make money selling data on the dark web. They can also launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, rendering websites unusable – preventing sales and damaging customer trust.
Many business owners believe that as long as their website doesn’t crash frequently, or get spammed by bots, they don’t need to worry about online security. Unfortunately, even an apparently calm website can harbor a host of security issues. If an organization has never investigated the strength of their website’s security, it likely needs improvement.
How Do Hackers Gain Access to Websites?
Cybercriminals can access websites and their data in a number of ways. They usually target the various types of software a site uses to run, from web servers and content management systems (such as WordPress) to database servers and their operating systems. Web hosting providers can also fall victim to attacks where a successful breach gives hackers access to all the websites they host. Brute force password attacks can also be used.
Shockingly, it’s not uncommon for organizations to unknowingly expose entire customer databases to the internet — so sometimes hackers don’t have to work hard at all to gain access to sensitive information. Businesses can use FoxTech’s CyberRisk assessment tool to obtain an initial report on their Internet-facing properties for free.
While investing in vulnerability monitoring and responding quickly to new threats is the best way to continuously protect your website, most businesses can make huge improvements simply by implementing a few simple security policies. At FoxTech, we’re committed to helping businesses improve their cybersecurity.this is ours Five Top Tips for Preventing Your Website from Hacking:
Always install software updates
A common method hackers use to gain access to websites is by exploiting vulnerabilities in the software that websites use to keep them running. Software companies routinely scan their systems for weaknesses and create fixes that are rolled out to users through software updates. By always installing these updates in a timely manner, you can ensure that your site will not be exploited by hackers who target those using older software with unpatched vulnerabilities. You need to install updates for all software, including security plugins, web servers, and CMS.
Enable two-factor authentication
Enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on your website means that even if a hacker gains access to your or your users’ passwords, they won’t be able to log in without entering a code sent to a device linked to the account. This is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to protect any account associated with your site from falling victim to a data breach. If you’re running a WordPress site, popular 2FA tools include SecSign and the Google Authenticator plugin. Businesses can also strengthen protection against password attacks by following the National Cyber Security Center’s guidance on updating password policies.
Make sure your security products are configured correctly
Security products such as antivirus software and firewalls are designed to scan for and block hacker attacks. But if you just install these products and leave them alone, you’re wasting money. Any security product needs to be properly configured and monitored, otherwise they won’t provide the comprehensive protection you expect. Businesses that don’t have the in-house capabilities to perform these tasks can rest assured that hiring a third-party cybersecurity consulting firm to properly configure any product should do so at relatively low cost.
Be picky about your hosting server
Choosing the wrong web host can wreak havoc on your website. It may be tempting to use cheap hosting, however, low prices come at a price. These providers often have significant gaps in their security measures, making them, and the websites they host, vulnerable. While trusted web hosts do cost more, they offer strong server security. Look for a host that offers real-time scanning and monitoring and alerts you immediately if any problems are found.
Create regular backups
If your security measures are inadequate, creating regular backups will not stop hackers from gaining initial access to your site. However, it does mean that you have the power to cut them off at the source. When you have an up-to-date backup of your site, in the event of a breach, all you need to do is delete the hacked site and re-upload your backup. Of course, prevention is always better than cure, and you should never reupload your site without first addressing the security issues that led to the hack. But, having said that, having a backup will give you the confidence that you can stop hackers from getting in their tracks without having to rebuild your website from scratch.
Don’t wait until you have a problem to think about security—it’s never too early to start protecting your biggest online asset.
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