Creating a company website has become easier than before for businesses today. At the same time, it is not simple to keep the business website secure over the internet. User data needs to be protected, and as businesses are enabling online transactions, it is important to secure the financial information of the customers.
It is also seen that over the past decade, content management systems such as WordPress and sites developed on the platforms such as Larvel have gained immense popularity. This has also inspired the hackers to take full advantage of the template-based and custom websites to steal data from business owners who are unaware of the security measures which are necessary to protect their online assets.
Daniel Griggs is the founder of ATX The Brand, which is a tech agency that is dedicated to solve problems and build a business that supports communities. Griggs states that have encountered several entrepreneurs and business owners who have been the victim of the hacking activities. These businesses are also an easy target of online fraud and cybersecurity breaches.
He further adds that businesses that have developed their business website with the help of content management systems (CMS) come to them for customized coding and development activities to make their website and mobile applications more secure against online threats.
So what is a Security Breach?
Hackers can infiltrate a website through several ways, which are quite common. For instance, Griggs says that they had a client who wants to take their services as their previous website code has been hacked. In fact, the code was changed to such an extent that the website was redirected to an adult entertainment website. Any time any user typed the name of the website, it was directed to this new website.
In the second case, a company that provided home services was facing issues with loading its website. It was later found out that someone had inserted malicious files that made multiple copies of itself over and over. This was created a lot of lags and correction issues on the website. In another case, they had been working with a company that required the users to create user accounts. The website was attacked by a malicious bot that started creating fake accounts that further led to the issues with the server and started to impact the loading speed of the website. The attack was so severe that the Giggs and their team cleaned over 40 000 fake accounts.
Such issues are not just frustrating for business owners. They seriously harm the business reputation. Such attacks are more likely to affect small businesses as their websites are more likely to be developed using CMS. Also, these companies do not have an IT staff which is needed to resolve issues when they arise.
How to Protect your Website
If you are unsure whether your small business website is secured or not, Giggs has shared five security best practices to implement in your website to make it more secure.
- Secure Server with an SSL Certificate: If your business website collects personal information from the website users, you need a hypertext transfer protocol (HTTPS). This security mechanism prevents the interception of data. At the same time, SSL will encrypt all personal information so that it cannot be breached.
- Complex Passwords: One of the best ways to secure user data is to encourage them to input only complex passwords at the time of sign up. This will help to keep their user accounts secured from malicious users. You can ask the users to use Capital letters, special symbols and numbers when they choose their passwords.
- Include a Firewall: Using a firewall is an effective way to block duplicate internet protocol (IP) addresses automatically. The concept prevents spammers and hackers from registering multiple accounts from the same computer.
- Custom Coding: The website templates which are built through the CMS, such as WordPress, are more susceptible to be hacked. The best approach is to use custom coding, which makes it more difficult to breach.
- Update the Plugins: You can face security vulnerabilities if you fail to update your software and plugins. A regular update is, therefore, beneficial for your business.
Developing the website using the CMS is a convenient way to get your business online. However, such an approach with the use of third-party plugins opens your website to possible security risks. Security of your website is important as a cyber-security breach can affect your business for days and can hamper your reputation severely.
Small businesses usually do not have the resources to fix such issues. Such an event might lead you to completely redesign and redevelop your website. Experts say that there is not a foolproof method to secure website data. However, following the above security practices will help to ensure website security.
Source – Forbes