Developing a website for any small or big business requires time, effort, and money. Not only a website earns the living of the website owner but it also holds sentimental value. So, it only makes sense to protect the website as much as possible. However, the subject of website security may seem complicated and intimidating. So, let’s get into the basics of website security to make it easier.
What is website security?
Website security is an action taken to protect your website from the schemes of hackers and other cybercriminals. This action includes educating yourself about potential hazards like phishing emails, using strong passwords, and protecting your site. You may also need to take steps to secure your website from accidentally deleting important files.
Potential Website Threats That Website Security Can Resist
Website security should be able to secure your website from these threats:
- Data theft and accidental data loss
Hackers can access your website and steal sensitive information like customer details if it is not secure. Moreover, sometimes your website may be hit by actions that are not malicious but are damaging. Accidental data loss may take down a website just like a cyber-attack, but good website security can protect your site against it.
Malware is a short form of malicious software. It can take many forms. Hence, it is very difficult to detect. High-profile malware attacks can steal both the site’s data and visitor’s data, and even infect their devices.
If a hacker can access your website, they can also make changes to it. Sometimes they may inject malware and some other time they would display a message. Either way, it would disrupt your site’s function.
- DDoS attacks
DDoS stands for distributed denial of service. It refers to cybercriminals flooding a website with automated traffic that stops real visitors from accessing the site. Criminals demand payment in exchange for ending this attack sometimes.
Why must you take initiatives for website security?
You may have to face endless problems if you do not take website security seriously, including:
- Data loss
An attack from a hacker can wipe out your site. So, whether you run a personal blog or a business, you may end up losing your valuable data.
- Data theft
If your site is compromised by malware, cybercriminals can steal customer data like passwords and payment data entered or stored on your site. The hackers may also set phishing pages on your site that would appear legit but are designed to steal data.
- Financial loss
If your site generates income and it is taken down by hackers, you will lose money every day. In the worst-case scenario, you may also face fines.
- Search engine blacklisting
Google strives to keep people safe. So, it blacklists unsafe websites.it means, if someone hacks your website, Google could remove it from search results. Moreover, potential visitors will see a warning that the site is unsafe.
- Malicious links and redirects
Hackers can redirect your visitors away from your site to a malicious site where the visitors will also be at risk of being hacked. Moreover, hackers add these links to your site to boost the search engine ranking of that site.
- A blow to your reputation
If your site is unsafe for your clients and they get their data stolen by hackers by visiting your site, then they would stop using your service. Cyber threats not only cost your money but also hurt your reputation.
Please understand that it is very hard to spot hacking attacks. So, it is very important to take necessary website security measures.
What steps can you take to secure your website?
There are several actions you may take to protect your website, such as:
- Installing an SSL certificate
When you or your clients enter data on your website, like email addresses or credit card details, hackers can access the data. To stop this, you can install an SSL certificate to your data that ensures complete data encryption. It means that even if hackers intercept it, they will not be able to view it.
- Using a web application firewall
If you have a business site, you should consider a web application firewall (WAF). A WAF prevents hackers from installing malware on your website and makes it even more secure.
- Using malware monitoring
Since malware is sneaky, you should use a malware monitoring tool on the site. It can detect malware on your website and remove it.
- Making regular backups
If a cybercriminal attacks your website, you can get it recovered and running again easily and quickly with a backup. You should also make sure to backup any business-critical data that is kept somewhere else, like on your laptop.
- Detecting phishing emails
Clicking on suspicious links can put your data at risk. These links are often sent by cybercriminals through phishing emails. So, you must learn how to spot phishing emails so you never click on something you should not.
- Using DDoS protection
If your website generates income, then it is a potential target for a DDoS attack. So, you must consider having DDoS protection by using a content delivery network.
- Using strong passwords
No website security can help you if cybercriminals can guess your password easily. So, make sure to use unique and strong passwords for every online account you use, including everything related to your site.
- Encrypting all sensitive data stored offline
Apart from keeping your website secured, you also need to focus on securing the important and sensitive business data that you have stored offline. This data must always be password protected and encrypted so it does not fall into the wrong hands, and even if it does, it remains inaccessible. Another thing you can do is admitting to your customers that someone could access their sensitive personal information because of your mistake like leaving your laptop somewhere, and then seeking an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s office.
- Making a disaster recovery plan
Regardless of the steps taken by you, there is never 100% protection assured against cyber threats. This is why it is very important to come up with a disaster recovery plan. This plan should include the threats faced by your business in detail, the steps you took, and what you will do to get your business back on track when a problem arises.
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