Do you run a business? Whether it’s a large enterprise or a small business that you run from your home, you probably have a website where you can post products, glean customer sign-ups for your emails, and inform the world about who you are and what you do. However, the instant you push your website out of its developmental stage to the live web world, you become a target for hackers.
You may think that hackers are not interested in you or your business; but there are many, many hackers out in the cyber-world, and some of them just think it’s fun to destroy what isn’t theirs. Others are interested in stealing anything that might possibly be worth something to them. So if you have customer account information, specifically payment information or banking details, you are an even greater target. It’s your job to protect the vital pieces of data that your customers have entrusted to you. Read on to gain tips for securing your company website.
- Keep Yourself Informed.
Talk to other business owners. Read articles about website security online. Find out what other people in your position with your kind of company are doing to defend themselves and their customers.
- Improve Access Controls
At the administrator level, keep everything locked down. Develop a tough-to-crack, lengthy username and password for each account with admin privileges. Be sure to include no real words in your usernames or passwords; instead, use randomly generated combinations of numbers, letters, and characters for a mixed-up result that’s impossible for anyone to guess. Then use a password manager such as KeePass to store the information for you. Never email or text the administrator username and password information to anyone.
- Update Software
Keep all of your company’s software up to date, even if it costs time or money. Often, these updates include tightened security, closing up loopholes that the software manufacturer has discovered. If you put off the updates, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable.
- Put a Firewall in Place
Set up a firewall that filters everything coming to your website server from the cyber world. You can use a cloud-based web application firewall (WAF) that protects your website for a nominal monthly fee. It’s like putting a gate in front of a house; no traffic can pass through unless the gatekeeper deems it to be harmless. With a WAF in place, you should be protected against most spammers, hackers, and malicious bots.
- Conceal Admin Pages
Instead of leaving your admin pages open to indexing via search engine, use the robots_txt file to confuse those search engines. Without those indexed listings, hackers won’t find your admin pages as easily.
- Enact SSL Encryption
Implement an encrypted SSL protocol to move your customers’ data back and forth between your client database and your website. That extra layer of encryption makes it more difficult for hackers to grab the information while it’s in transit.
- Back Up Your Data
Back it up, and then back it up again. Back it up multiple times a day, in multiple different locations. The larger your business is, the more vital these backups are. That way, if a hacker should get in and start to wreak havoc and destroy information, you’ll still have a failsafe in place.
Don’t waste money on software that promises to hide your website code; there are easy work-around methods that hackers use for that sort of protection. Instead, enact simple procedures like extra sign-in steps and security questions for users, limiting file uploads, and including free security plug-ins. With some common sense, ongoing research, and carefully chosen security measures, you can keep your website safe.