6 Quick Tips to Increase Website Security
With cyber security spending set to exceed $1 trillion in the next year or two, it is obvious that web security is a top concern for many businesses. But what can you do if you are just a small or middle-sized business that doesn’t have a huge IT budget? As a top web development company we understand that predicament of balancing concerns versus cost which is why today we wanted to share 6 Quick Tips to Increase Website Security without breaking the bank.
The Important of Security
The most important reason for website security is to protect your reputation. Any sort of hack or data breach can negatively impact the reputation of your business, even if the damage caused is minor. While some hacks are like when people spray graffiti on a building, there are also those that are much more serious with loss of customer’s data.
According to an article from 2016, the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 percent of small companies are unable to sustain their business over 6 months after a cyber-attack.
A few additional comments about website security:
- It can lead to blacklisting – Google blacklists about 75,000 websites per week for malware and phishing issues. When your site is blacklisted it will not show up in Google’s searches. While you can recover from being blacklisted it takes time and energy.
- Attacks happen a lot – Hacking has been around as long as the internet and the more sophisticated our technology gets, the more sophisticated the hacking methods become. Over the past few years the number of attacks has been on the rise, although exact numbers are difficult to calculate because numerous sites are already infected and don’t know it.
- Hacking is very random – While specific targeting does occasionally occur, especially for political or ideological reasons, for the most part hacking is very random. Hackers target specific vulnerabilities regardless of the business. When they find these unpatched vulnerabilities or holes in a specific system, program or plugin then they attack. For those businesses that think, “Who would want to hack me?” the answer is they are hacking the system regardless who owns it.
6 Tips to Increase Website Security
These are six things we feel every business should be doing:
- Purchase an SSL Certificate – A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is standard security protocol that creates an encrypted link between a browser and a web server. This encrypted link is then used for any customer data submitted on your website such as email addresses and credit card numbers. Hackers can’t intercept this data on an encrypted link. Typically you can get an SSL certificate for less than $100 which is well worth the peace of mind for you and your customers.
- Upgrade your hosting provider – The more protected the hosting provider is, the more protected your website will be. The reason being that a good web hosting provider provides network monitoring, firewalls, damage recovery programs, anti-malware, and even free SSL certificates.
- Use reCaptcha to verify form submissions – Using reCaptcha is not always a popular choice. The reason being is simple; users find it annoying. Even people that understand the value and security it brings find them annoying. With that being said, using reCaptcha will protect your site from about 90% of the various form hacking and spam tactics used on the web today. Yes, it will delay users about a half-a-second to confirm they are not a robot, but that delay is worth it when you consider how many customers you will lose from a data breech.
- Checkout pages on a separate platform – Using a separate checkout page is simply adding another wall in the defense of your castle. Your products are on one page which then sends customers to another secure page to complete the purchase. There are third-party vendors available that can provide this service as well.
- Limit plugins – Plugins can be the bane of the IT security department. On the surface they are extremely useful. The problem arises when you use too many and don’t keep them updated. There are many great and safe plugins that have great reviews and pose a very small threat to security. However, there are also plenty of not-so-secure plugins. Rather than opening the door to potential problems look to limit the number of plugins, have them reviewed by your web designer or IT security person, and then always keep them up to date.
- Use a secret login page – A common hacking tactic is called a brute force attack. In this type of intrusion, a hack goes to the login page and attacks with software that attempts numerous username and password combinations. Of course, that type of attack can only work if the hacker knows where the login is. If they can’t find the door, how can they bash it down? With WordPress you can use a custom login address which helps hide the front door, limiting attacks.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that there will always be hackers in the world. For that reason, you should always take security seriously. Our 6 quick tips to increase website security can help increase your protection which will help protect your customer’s and their data along with your reputation.
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