Website popularity and demand
In this day and age, almost every business must have a website if they want to survive in the fierce competition. Having a business website opens doors for new clients and prospects.
Most business owners seem to understand the essence of business websites, which explains why there are so many websites today. According to a recently released report, approximately 71% of businesses now conduct online business under the name of a business website. According to Internet Live Stats, there are more than 1.9 billion websites today.
Website Security – Every Website Owner’s Nightmare
While having a business website is one of the key determinants of success, it can also be a reason for your failure.
Website security is a global concern. Hackers have even managed to take down gigantic websites that seem almost impossible to crack. No website is completely immune to the wrath of attackers.
There are many examples of large corporate websites being hacked. For example, the Equifax website attack in 2017 exposed sensitive information belonging to 143 million people.
Daily Motion, one of the leading video sharing platforms, was also compromised in 2017. The Daily Motion website was hacked, and hackers extracted over 85 million user accounts containing sensitive information.
Adult content site Brazzers was also hacked, with more than 800,000 usernames, passwords and email addresses compromised. Other large sites like Instagram and Snapchat have also fallen victim to site attacks. These are just a few examples of hacked websites.
If you have a business website or plan to have one, you must always be on your toes. It is correct to say that website hackers want you to have a website so they can destroy it.
Plus, you’re not ready to hear the consequences of a successful data breach.
Did you know that 60% of small businesses cease operations within the first six months of a successful data breach? Now you know.
Cybersecurity measures to protect your website from attackers
You don’t have to be paranoid about the web security aspects of your website.
The fact that you own a commercial website does not necessarily mean that you will be a guest of hackers. You can build a strong security wall that keeps attackers from accessing your website.
This section will explore some of the best cybersecurity measures to protect your business from attacks.
1. Migrate your website from HTTP to HTTPS
The HTTPS protocol is one of the most important measures to keep your business safe from cyber attackers.
HTTPS was used as an alternative to HTTP, which proved to be less secure due to its lack of encryption strength.
HTTP communications are in clear text, and anyone who successfully intercepts the communications can easily read and understand them. However, the situation is different for the HTTPS protocol.
HTTPS has a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. SSL certificates are the engine behind the cryptographic strength of the HTTPS protocol. With it, data is not transmitted in plaintext, but in ciphertext.
The ciphertext can be in a text format that has been scrambled and cannot be read or deciphered. This means that even if an attacker successfully intercepts HTTPS communication, they still cannot understand the communication due to the lack of the decryption key.
But how to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS? The answer is simple. Get an SSL certificate. Some resellers offer low-cost or inexpensive SSL certificates to ensure maximum security for your website.
SSL certificates such as DigiCert SSL, AlphaSSL Certificates, Sectigo SSL Certificates, and RapidSSL Certificates will provide your website with the encryption strength it needs to protect itself from attacks. What’s even more exciting about SSL certificates is that in addition to security, they also have benefits for websites, such as increased visibility and user trust.
2. Choose a Smart Password
Many programs and databases on your website require password protection. However, it’s important to understand that this has nothing to do with whether or not your website has a password. Instead, the nature of the password you use matters.
Previous cases have shown that hackers can bypass passwords and gain unauthorized access to user accounts. 80% of hacking incidents in the past have involved compromised login credentials. The remedy is to use smart passwords.
You might be wondering what I mean by smart passwords. Below are some of the characteristics of smart passwords that I highly recommend you use when creating passwords to protect your website programs and databases.
- Combining characters (numbers, letters, symbols) when creating a password
- Change your password frequently
- Store your passwords securely – avoid writing them down on paper or revealing them to a second party
- Use a password manager tool
- Avoid using obvious passwords like your name or the name of your favorite football team.
- Make your password long enough – eight or more characters would be ideal.
3. Update your software and plugins frequently
We’ve seen that the Equifax data breach is one of the largest breaches on corporate websites.
It’s more interesting to understand how the attack happened. Attackers take advantage of security flaws that exist in the software. Even so, the software update was in use two months before the breach; only Equifax failed to make the update.
Equifax is just one of many sites that have been compromised for failing to make software updates.
The reason for these updates is to address some security issues present in the software and to optimize its functionality.
Failing to perform an update is like staying in a security hole. Sooner or later, attackers will exploit the vulnerability to carry out a devastating attack on your website that could sink your business.
If you want to survive the current wave of website attacks sweeping the internet, you have to take software update notifications seriously.
You can simplify your work by enabling automatic updates. Updates should span operating systems, software, themes, plugins and extensions.
4. Choose a secure web host
You’ve probably heard how the web hosting provider you choose for your website can make or break your business.
Think of your website’s domain name as the street address, and the web host as the plot that “hosts” your website.
Before choosing a plot to build your home (read the website) you have to do your homework and establish some relevant aspects of the plot. You don’t want to be in a place where your safety could be compromised.
In other words, you must consider partnering with a web hosting provider that takes the security of your website seriously.
Part of your homework you must do before choosing a web hosting provider is to look at the security features and factors a web hosting provider offers. Some of the elements you must check when choosing a web hosting provider include:
- Check if your hosting provider offers Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).
- Check if FTP for unknown users is disabled
- Check if your hosting provider uses a RootKit scanner
- Check if the host provides file backup service
5. Restrict user rights and permissions
It is a good idea to give all senior staff free access to all elements of your website.
You’ll be tempted to give them administrative access, thinking they’ll use the site responsibly. However, in most cases, this is usually not the case.
Some privileged employees generally do not consider security when using their privileges. They can easily make mistakes and ignore relevant security aspects, leading to potential security attacks.
Additionally, with insider threats on the rise, it can be difficult to know who to trust and whom not to trust.
The best strategy for dealing with this is to be vigilant. It’s best to limit employee access.
Only those businesses with specific website sections and servers are allowed access. Doing so increases security against insider attacks and increases accountability.
6. Use a Web Application Firewall
A web application firewall is one of the most important security tools that can help protect your website from attacks.
A web application firewall will read every traffic that passes through it and filter out malicious traffic that reaches your server.
Most of the web application firewalls available today are cloud-based plug-and-play services. The cloud service is the gateway to all incoming traffic, preventing hackers.
A web application firewall will also filter out other forms of unwanted traffic, such as malicious bots and spammers.
7. Use anti-malware software
Malware can bring all kinds of harm to your website. Malware compromises the user experience, and some malware, such as ransomware, can cause serious financial and reputational damage.
Anti-malware software is best at preventing malware infections from reaching your web server. The software will scan your website to detect and remove malware infections, thus protecting your website from attackers.
add them up
Having a business website is room for success. However, you must remain vigilant and watch out for attackers. It’s hard to know when a hacker will come knocking on your door.
The best strategy is to have appropriate security measures in place to prepare you for attackers. This article explores some of the best security measures and tips for protecting your website from hackers. It is wise to use all measures.
The more security measures you have in place, the more secure your website will be. Finally, remember to backup your website data. A data backup will help you when hackers get past your security wall and manage to gain access to your website.