The last decade allowed us to experience all the digital technological advancements that had to take place for the next generation to take a step ahead. Now what seems so reasonable to us in our daily online lifestyle was going back ten years something different for people to adopt. But as things have advanced and become more efficient and upgraded, it has readily increased the risk of online privacy and cybersecurity concern as well.
The security threats have become real. As much as we would agree that it is difficult for someone to hack into our accounts or to feel vulnerable regarding the data we put out, we would also agree that it is not something completely impossible. And to validate this point, news flashes of something as big as companies losing data or as mere as celebrities losing their Twitter accounts to a hacker, has been true from time to time.
According to recent security research, many companies have poor cybersecurity practices and unprotected data streams that make them vulnerable to threats and cause data loss. However, as per Gartner, to tackle this very situation, an estimated $133.7 billion worth of spending is forecasted to be made until 2022 in the name of cybersecurity. Now, these figures clearly suggest that many companies have started to take this very seriously and would be willing to spend whatever it takes to reduce the threat.
Let’s see what you can do initially to cover up this gap and keep your website secure.
Top 12 Tactics to Improve Your Website Security
Here are the top twelve of the most effective tactics that are readily applicable to make your website a safe place for both your business and your customers.
1. Update Your Software
Over the years, many companies of all sizes, whether large or small, have diligently used platforms like WordPress and Joomla for their websites. The main reason behind this move is that these platforms provide a built-in security framework that keeps the website at bay from potential hacks, viruses, and spams. But the focal point here is that you can completely leave it on these software frameworks to guard your site of potential threats. The most they would do it provide you with an update every now and then with upgraded fixes and installation. It is up to you to update your software, maintain it, and consistently keep a check on it for any vulnerability.
2. Have A Solid Password Policy
What we don’t realize most of the time is that hacker is not there out to play and have fun hacking a website. They do so because they have a game plan — a purpose of accomplishing. So undermining your security concerns by thinking that why would somebody want to hack onto our website or account, and what would they get out of it is ridiculous, to begin with. Thus, you must regulate a strong password policy. It should be maintained throughout your organization to mitigate the risk of password sharing. Your passwords should be regulated at least every week.
3. Customize Your Admin Path
Many attackers and hackers tend to work their way through the admin page of the website. It is easier for them to begin their attacks by using automated techniques looking for standard configurations on websites like the admin path created through the website link. What you do to counter that is changing the admin path as a direct link to multiple locations you would want to make it a lot harder for the attacker to find a standard configuration admin page to initiate the attack. You can also ensure that only a handful of people know your custom admin path so that in case of any unfortunate events, you know exactly where the loose end was and get hold from there.
4. Login Page Encryption
One of the more basic tactics that almost every website owner and manager would know, but it is crucial to mention just the same. Make sure you use SSL encryption for your login pages. SSL or secure sockets layer is much like its name suggests a networking protocol layer that secures connections between the web clients and the web server over the internet. For instance, much of the sensitive information like the credit card information or social security number of your clients are then encrypted thanks to SSL that allows the information to be transmitted safely. Hackers cannot easily access your private data if your website is SSL encrypted.
5. Choose The Right Host
As we mentioned above in the very first point for updating your software, the very same reason applies here. Make sure you use a safe and secure web hosting software like WordPress or Joomla. Don’t go for the fake ones that are available for free online and market themselves cheaply but don’t apply half of the things they say. For instance, as a clothing eCommerce store that sells wolverine jacket, if you are investing in building your website from scratch, the very first step you should take is to decide which web hosting platform best fits your needs as an online retail store and move forward from that. Platforms that have an easily customizable framework and built-in security options are your way to go.
6. Enhanced Security For Malware
Malware or malicious software is the bane of some website’s existence. It is an umbrella term that covers all criminal and hacker activity. Many times it has happened that a website suffered through a security breach and afterward found malware introduced in many aspects of their domain, like:
- A virus to provide later access.
- Other malicious software in the middle of being loaded on the website.
- Stolen information and data most of the time.
What makes malware a sticky, complicated issue to deal with is that sometimes it is not detectable through external website scans. It requires deep cleaning of a website through a security expert (discussed later on) to detect a malware making way through potential loose loops of the website.
7. Cleanliness For Your Website
Any potential database, plug-in, application, or third party installation carries a possible threat for hackers and attackers to enter. It is why any data which is not that useful to stay on your website should be deleted. Website owners should understand that decluttering your website is just as necessary as cleaning your surroundings is. Keep your data structure organized, relevant, and clean. Make sure you avoid any third party intrusions completely. Never allow any software than that of your web hosting domain to make way through your website by installing a feature, theme, file, etc.
8. Monitor Your File Changes
This is more of a signal that your website might have been introduced to an intruder person or software. This is why you should always keep a check on your data and file structure for any changes. In this regard, communication is the key between the website owner and or manager or other people who have access to the webpage as the administration. All of you should be aware of any changes anyone among you makes. If the change is not intentional for the team, you need to be alert that your website has an unwanted guest amongst you.
9. Managing Users
This brings us to our next point that is managing our users. As we mentioned above, if your website has multiple login ids and users, it is important that you:
- Know each other
- Know what role every administrator plays
- Assign the needed permissions according to that role
- Not break communication
- Have a team lead to manage things across the board and call final decisions
Active management is crucial because the more users a website has, the more it becomes easier for a hacker to enter as one of them or through one of their ids. Where ever a hacker would find a chance to make way because a user was careless with their login credentials, your website would be at a vulnerable spot.
10. Creating Backup For Data
Make sure you back up your site regularly. All your files, data, and information should have multiple backups made religiously to counter losing them all. The logic of don’t put all your eggs in one basket applies here because if the basket falls, all your eggs will break. Similarly, if your website is at threat for a potential hack, then at least your files and information should be safe on a cloud software or a company hard drive. A recent reinstallation and website cleansing should be all that is required to put your business back online instead of costing you precious time and resources.
11. Analyze Website For Potential Threats And Vulnerabilities
Religiously conduct analyses of your website from both as a business owner and your customer point of you. Make a checklist for every step you take through each perspective. Markdown if you successfully take every step and smoothly complete your process. Stop and fix any step that takes more time than required, clean your website, change passwords, etc.
12. Hire A Security Expert Service To Do It For You
Last but not least, all of the mentioned steps above can be achieved very easily if you just hire a security expert that does it for you. Never undermine the value of a professional doing its job as it is ten folds better for your business for mitigating security risks.
Website security is not complex if done rightfully. Consistency is the key to achieve a smooth process to keep your website clean and secure from any potential hackers and virus threats. All in all, hire people you trust and keep an eye on your competitor in business, you never know who’s out there to get you.