Your website might be attractive and efficient in converting website visitors into long term customers. A website can be a crucial asset for your business; it could also be a liability.
Cyber insecurities and relentless hackers are the biggest threat to websites. It is not until a security threat has occurred that website security best practices become a priority for most website owners. Any perfect approach to issues of security must be proactive, up-to-the-minute, and defensive.
10 Steps to improve your website security
This article’s key objective is to spark a proactive mindset towards site security issues and elucidate ten of the most acceptable website security practices that every website owner should be acquainted with.
Let’s get started.
1. Use Password Best Practices
Passwords are like the key that locks your website from intruders. In site security, the complexity and uniqueness of a password count. Hackers will first try to breach out your password before using other means to get into your servers.
If you are using weak passwords, it might just be a matter of time before your website is compromised. The only remedy to this is to use strong and unique passwords. A strong password is made up of eight or more characters.
Characters should be a mixture of letters, numbers, and special symbols. Unique passwords are those that are only used on a single account. The essence of using unique passwords is that hackers will try to figure out your passwords and try to use it across multiple accounts.
When you have a different password for all your accounts, you are making it hard for hackers to compromise your website.
It would be best if you also considered how you store the passwords. Poor storage of passwords could render your website susceptible to hackers. Password manager tools will help safeguard and organize your passwords, keeping them away from vulnerabilities such as brute force attacks. Passwords manager tools are also capable of generating robust and unique passwords.
2. Choose a Steadfast Web Hosting Provider
The web hosting company you choose will play a significant role in shaping your website’s security walls. Websites usually benefit a lot from web hosting companies, especially in issues of security. If your web hosting company has robust and reliable security protocols on its server, then your website will benefit from those security protocols.
Most website owners will usually choose to go for a shared hosting plan. They pay much more attention to the price than the security aspect. As its name implies, going for a shared hosting plan means sharing a server with other websites.
In any case, one of those websites falls victim to a cyber-attack, your website will also become vulnerable. This is not to scare you from using a shared web hosting service. All I am saying is that if you care about your website’s security, you should contemplate choosing a reliable web hosting company.
3. Avoid Phishing Scams
According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), 32% of all confirmed data breaches result from phishing attacks. This report indicates that phishing attacks are a significant threat to security at large.
A phishing attack is where a hacker disguises himself as a legitimate person to lure and trick the victim into opening a malicious link. They will then capitalize on this to try and steal information from users.
Website owners should be very keen on the kind of links that they click. Better still, you should try as much as possible to avoid those phishing emails from malicious senders. It would help if you did your homework to verify the user’s real identity before clicking on a link.
4. Access Limitations
Here, the principle of the least privilege applies. This is where the users’ rights are limited to the bare minimum permissions needed to perform their duties.
The concept of the least privilege is so critical in website security. This principle should apply in limiting the access of your employees to your servers. If someone has no business with your server, that person should not access it.
5. Regular Security Audits
To strengthen your website’s security walls, you should make it compulsory for security audits. Security audits help discover the weak links and vulnerable spots that can quickly render your website susceptible to hackers.
To properly test your website’s security, you will need those tools that help you do so. Vulnerability scanners can help you carry out security audits. Furthermore, you can automate your website to conduct security scans and audits regularly. You can also conduct manual security audits or hire a security expert to carry out the task for you.
6. Use a Multiple Factor Authentication
Passwords alone can never be enough to protect your servers from intruders. According to a 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, 81% of all data breaches result from weak passwords.
We have already heard cases of breached passwords. An additional layer of identity verification should come into play. The two-factor authentication is well suited for this task.
In two-factor authentication, apart from just using a password and a username to access your servers, you will also be required to enter a unique code sent via mail or as a text message. Using different validity authentication processes such as fingerprint and face recognition could also be an added advantage.
7. Conduct Regular Updates
One of the most critical cybersecurity measures that will help safeguard your website is conducting those regular updates. Many data breaches that have occurred in the past were a result, unpatched patched software.
A good example is the Equifax data breach that occurred in 2017. The idea behind developers updating the software is to repair the vulnerabilities and seal all the loopholes in the previous software—installing these software patches the moment they are released and tested equals installing extra strengths to your security walls.
8. Conduct Data Backups
This is the hard reality- employing all these tips will not make you entirely immune from cyber attackers. Hackers are trendy and sophisticated. Before you know it, they will have come up with a new method to reach your website.
They are going the extra mile to carry out that data breach. The question is, what if they succeed in compromising your website data? The only thing that can save you is the backup files. A backup file is a contingency scheme that assures you of all your data even after a devastating data breach.
Also Read: What Are Honeypots? Definition and Security
9. Install SSL Certificate
SSL certificates are so critical in website security. No security plan can be complete without incorporating SSL certificates.
What is SSL?
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a security protocol concerned with protecting all the communications between your website servers and web browsers. To do this, the SSL certificate will encrypt all the communication, converting it into a coded format.
The transmission can only be decrypted by the intended recipients who hold the required private key to decode it. Encryption makes it hard for intruders to access communication.
What is HTTPS?
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is the full form of HTTPS, and it is the secure version of HTTP. The HTTPS protocol is tasked with transferring data between web servers and web browsers.
All websites, particularly those that hold essential data such as credit card and debit card information, login credentials, and other important personal information, should have SSL certificates.
For example, website owners should undertake to cover all the subdomains. You do not have to acquire a single certificate for all subdomains. A Wildcard SSL certificate is the best option because it offers a broad range to secure multiple subdomains.
10. Use Multiple Security Walls
The tenth and last tip is more advice. Always use various security layers. One is never enough. When you use many security measures, you will be making it hard for a hacker to access your website.
Websites are so vital in the success of any business. They can be a great asset. However, with the many security threats that exist on the internet today, your website could as well be a liability.
Security threats have become a big concern, and it is the role of every website owner to ensure that the website is kept secure from hackers. This article has given ten website security tips that every website should know.