Many unwanted events can cause the progress of a business to be stalled and if you are a business owner, doubtless you may have had to overcome some of them. One that can cause a multitude of problems for you is if your website is hacked. Apart from the logistical, legal, and financial problems that it can cause for your business, a hacked website can cause significant stress and confusion for all concerned.
Much of that confusion can stem from the fact that most business owners are not website security experts. If your home is burgled you will at least know how the thief got in as evidenced by the smashed window or the broken door lock. However, if your website is hacked, and a website security expert starts reeling off terms like bots, keylogging, cross-site-scripting, and SQL injection, you might understandably shake your head wondering what the hell they were talking about.
What is often frustrating to business owners after the event (the event being their website being hacked) is when they realise that some relatively simple and inexpensive steps could have prevented it, or at least minimised the damage caused. The phrase ‘prevention is better than the cure’ could have been invented for the issue of website hacking. So, let us look at some methods of preventing websites from being hacked.
Regularly Update Software, Apps Related To Your Website
One of the most common routes to inners of websites that are used by hackers is vulnerable software. Your website almost certainly relies on software and applications to function and any one of them could present a security hole. Most reputable software manufacturers will take action to rectify any security risks their products are deemed to have and will publish those updates. As such you should be checking regularly for those updates and install them immediately.
Change Logins And Passwords Regularly
Whether you are the only person with access to your website, or you have an entire workforce who can access it, each one of those logins is a potential risk. Apart from the fact that hackers may attempt to find a password by simply creating multiple random passwords to see if they work, carelessness can reveal passwords to hackers too. Ex-employees are also a hacker’s best friend, especially if the ex-employee was sacked.
Ways to eradicate these risks include:
- Set the means for everyone to change their password regularly and make it mandatory
- Only give access to specific areas of sensitivity or the admin area of your website to those who genuinely need it
- Ensure that passwords include different cases, numbers, symbols, and are of a sufficient length
- Do not allow anyone to use the same password more than once
- Ensure that the login and password of anyone who leaves the company is deleted immediately
Install An SSL Certificate
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security protocol that encrypts data passing between your website and anyone who visits it. If you look in the address bar of any website you visit, you will know it has SSL if the URL starts with ‘HTTPS rather than ‘HTTP with the ‘s’ standing for secure.
This protects both the visitor and the website as data flows between them, however, you must be aware that SSL will not protect against a data hack on a server. To have SSL on your website you will need to obtain an SSL certificate. These can either be obtained via your hosting company or from a third-party website security service.
Utilise Website Security Tools, Software & Services
We would need multiple pages to explain all the available website security software that exists, so we will refrain from that. However, what we will say is that any business owner who wants to give their website the maximum protection should consider the many options there are. Web site scanners, malware detection, DDoS protection, website firewalls, automatic website backups, and hack protection are just some of the types of website security you can have in place.