Website security is an understandably hot topic in the tech world.
In fact, it’s estimated that as many as 12.8 million websites are infected with malware around the world. Meanwhile, data breaches cost businesses an average of £4.24 million each time they happen, with over half of those breaches caused by deliberate attacks.
These statistics go to show that people aren’t just obsessed with website security for the fun of it. It also shouldn’t just be an afterthought, especially because by the time you’ve been attacked, it’s already too late.
This isn’t just a concern for multimillion dollar companies, either. Small businesses are at just as much risk, and while bigger companies might be more of a target, they also tend to have more resources to put towards protecting themselves.
So what exactly should you do to boost your website security? Let’s take a closer look.
Protecting Your Website
1. Use a CDN
Content delivery networks (CDNs) are essentially web services that are designed to keep your site online even when it’s experiencing an abnormally large number of visitors. They can also provide faster loading times. They do this by using a network of servers from all over the world to serve your website to its visitors, meaning if one server goes down, another one can take the load.
2. Use secure connections
Secure connections are those that are secured with an SSL certificate, and you can tell whether you’re accessing a secure website if there’s a padlock icon next to the URL in your web browser. You should use secure connections anyway, but they’re particularly important if you’re processing financial information such as bank details or credit card numbers, as well as if you’re allowing people to create accounts and log into them.
3. Deploy a firewall
Firewalls sit between your website and any web traffic and basically filter through all of the requests your site is receiving to look for malicious users. You might be familiar with firewalls due to using them on your regular computer, and website firewalls basically do the same thing. They’re particularly good at fending off distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in which people to try to take your site down by flooding it with resource requests.
4. Use tiered permissions
The idea behind tiered permissions is that you don’t need to give every user of your website the maximum amount of access. For example, your SEO team might only need access to your analytics, while your content team will need to be able to publish articles but won’t need to install new plugins or edit your themes. By doing this, you reduce the risk of attack because even if an attacker compromises someone’s account, it doesn’t mean they’ll have access to the whole admin dashboard.
5. Take backups
Taking backups is super important because they ensure that if something goes wrong, you can restore your website to its earlier state. The more often you take those backups, the less data you’ll lose if you have to use them, and it’s a good idea to store as many of those backups as you can. Otherwise, there’s a risk you’ll roll back to an earlier version but the backup will still have the problem. Oh, and don’t forget to backup your databases, as well as your files.
6. Have a plan in place
If you’re unfortunate enough to fall victim to an attack, you need to be ready to spring into action. If you stop to figure out how you’re going to respond and what you’re going to do, you give attackers more of a chance to consolidate their foothold or to sell any data that they’ve compromised. Instead, you should develop a crisis plan that outlines the response you’ll take so that if someone attacks your site, you’ll be ready to take action.
7. Update your software
This piece of advice should be obvious, but you’d be surprised by how often people fail to do this. If you’re running a popular piece of software like WordPress or WooCommerce, you should update your software whenever it prompts you to. Oftentimes, these updates are prompted due to a security vulnerability being discovered and patched, and so running the latest version of your software will help to protect you, though it doesn’t mean you’ll be invincible.
Now that you know the basics of website security and protecting your digital assets, it’s over to you so that you can share your thoughts. How do you go about protecting your website? And will you be doing anything different after reading this article?
As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts, so be sure to let us know in the comments so that we can keep the discussion going. You can also follow us on your favourite social networking sites for more.
Oh, and of course, if you need some help maintaining and protecting your website, we’d be more than happy to help. Get in touch with us today to find out more!