July 5, 2018 | By:

Protect Your Website from Hackers with These 5 Security Tips

The privacy and security of a business website is critical for companies of all sizes, but more so for small businesses. According to research conducted by Ponemon Institute, small- and medium-sized businesses are more susceptible to malicious cyber attacks and malware infections. However, this doesn’t mean that larger corporations are safer; hackers can target just about anyone.

As a business, you have a legal and moral obligation to protect not only your customer’s data from malicious attacks, but also your employee’s data and other important confidential business information. A disruption in a normal business day due to a data breach can be very costly and the consequences can be severe. The same study reported that, on average, cyber attacks cost businesses around $1.2 million. Additionally, 60% of businesses who experience a cyber security incident go out of business within 6 months.

With cyber attacks on the rise, and hackers getting more and more cunning, it’s now crucial more than ever to ensure that your business has security measures in place to protect your business website from hackers. Here are five security tips to help you get started.

1. Use HTTPS

Ensure that your connection is secure by using an HTTPS server for your website. This enables that any data sent through your server is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by hackers. HTTPS is now becoming a security standard, and Google itself is strongly advocating for websites to adopt HTTPS encryption. In fact, doing so can also significantly boost your SEO rankings. If you haven’t made the switch yet, it’s high time to do so. Switching from HTTP to HTTPS is reasonably inexpensive. The first step is to obtain an SSL certificate to enable HTTPS for your website. For guidelines on how to upgrade to HTTPS, read Google Support’s article here.

2. Toughen access controls and secure your passwords

Your website’s admin access is possibly the easiest way for hackers to gain access to every critical customer and business data. The first step to securing your access controls is to ensure that user names and passwords are complex and hard to guess. Use a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, don’t use one password for all of your business website logins. Ideally, you should have a different password for every website you login to. Reinforce frequent password changes, and apply measures to prevent numerous login attempts.

3. Always update your software and antivirus

Regularly updating your website’s antivirus software and other related software is necessary to patch security issues. Failing to do so allows anyone, including hackers, to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data through the cracks and exploit security vulnerabilities that could have already been patched up if updated to the latest version of the software. Additionally, ensure that your operating systems are up to date and are still supported by its manufacturer. Running an outdated or unsupported OS leaves you vulnerable to ransomware, data breach, and ultimately, the loss of functionality of your hardware device.

4. Securely backup website and business data

Data backup is crucial in protecting your business’s continuity. Backing up your data regularly can help you quickly recover from a cyber attack or other unforeseen and untoward incidents, such as hardware failure or theft. While cloud storage is easier and more convenient, it can still also be vulnerable to data loss and cyber attacks. Backing up data in an external device such as a hard drive and storing it off-site, ideally in a secure safety box, is safer. If you have a local area network (LAN), consider backing up files to an off-site computer or server. If the LAN storage is in the same location, however, ensure that is installed in a fireproof, waterproof, and secure cabinet.

5. Hide admin directories

Hackers can gain access to your website’s data by going straight into your admin directories. They use scripts that scan all the directories on your web server for giveaway directory names such as “admin,” “login,” and “administrator.” Most content management systems (CMS) allow for folder renaming; choose imperceptible admin directory names that are known only to your webmaster to avoid the possibility of data breach. You may also protect your admin directories from being indexed by search engines by using a robots.txt file and by disabling directory listings.

While all these tips can help protect your website from malicious attackers, the best prevention is awareness. Studies show that more than half of cyber security incidents were caused by negligent employees or contractors. Educate each member of your team on common online threats and how to prevent them. The more they are made aware, the more likely they are to apply their knowledge in your workplace and help protect your business.

If you want to know more about website security, or if you need help in developing a safe and secure website, Ilfusion has the best experience and resources for you. Just give us a call at 888-420-5115, or send us an email to creative@ilfusion.com.

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