A Guide To Website Protection & Security
Website protection and security is an issue faced by businesses and online users every single day. For many businesses, it doesn’t just translate into an inconvenience. Not having a secure website with the right security measures put in place can cost you money too. When you work with an experienced website designer, like the team here at Media Orb, this will form a priority in the website structure and design. However, having a firm understanding of what threats are out there and how these can be prevented also keeps you informed and capable of making important decisions.
This guide to website protection & security will help you to get just that.
Why Is It Important To Have A Secure Website
The main reason why you need to prioritize safety for your website is due to information. Hackers and cyber-thieves can infiltrate websites that aren’t properly protected and gain access to sensitive information. With this, they can either steal information or data from your customers, spread or escalate malware, attack other websites or work. As technology continues to develop, hackers are becoming more skilled and educated in the ways to break into websites. They create programmes that, if successful, can spread from computer-to-computer without an easy way of tracking back to the source.
How Much Does Cybercrime Cost Businesses?
According to research from the Ponemon’s Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study, the overall cost of cybercrime to businesses globally is around $13 million. This number has increased by a staggering $1.4 million between 2018 and 2019 and is predicted to continue rising. These costs are an accumulation of different areas that impact business profit, including:
- Delays caused during an attack
- eCommerce businesses unable to take sales or fulfil orders
- Reputational damage resulting in less custom
- Data loss and the financial implications that come as a result
- Equipment damage (relevant to issues such as ransomware)
- Loss in investor income due to lack of confidence
Different Types Of Web Attack
A web attack or cyberattack is a malicious attempt to breach the informational system of an organisation or another individual. This could be in an attempt to damage the reputation or success of a competitor or to hold something to ransom. Some of the main types of web attack are:
This form of malicious software includes spyware, ransomware and worms. It aims to breach a specified network through a vulnerability. This is generally through spreading a dangerous URL or email attachment which, when opened, will install the software. Malware cyber attacks can block access to certain parts of the network, install harmful software, transmit data to another hard drive and cause certain systems to be inoperable.
The sending of fraudulent communications to individuals within a business with the intent of stealing sensitive data is known as phishing. It is one of the most common cyber threats out there right now and generally finds it’s way into our email mailbox. Hackers can use phishing to obtain credit card information or even install malware onto a device.
MiM attacks (Main-in-the-middle)
These attacks work when the hacker inserts themselves into a two-party transaction. They interrupt the traffic and can be used to steal data. This can be by using unsecured public Wi-Fi where each visitor passes on their information through to the attacker. Once this has been achieved, hackers can install malware software to gain the information they want.
DoS attacks (Denial-of-Service)
Here, the hacker attempts to exhaust a server or network’s resources and bandwidth, making it unable to fulfil legitimate requests. They will generally use multiple devices that they have compromised to launch this attack.
Any one of the attacks above can leave your business and it’s data open to complications. Therefore, it’s important that you work with a company to secure your website and prioritise security.
How To Secure Your Website
Use Secure Passwords
It’s common knowledge that complex passwords are vital when it comes to website security. These should be used across all areas of your online presence – including server and website admin. The best password has a minimum of 8 characters, includes an upper case and a number. When storing these, you should use an encrypted process, such as SHA. These ‘hashed’ passwords can help to limit damage during an attack. It’s also advisable to change your passwords regularly to reduce the risk of them becoming leaked or accessible to others.
Know Where Your Emails Come From
A Lot of the cyberattacks we’ve mentioned above can be spread through emails. Here, hackers can install software that infiltrates other devices or include URLs to harmful websites. Knowing who is sending you emails and whether they are safe to open is important. Avoid opening spam emails and flag these to your tech departments.
Install Software Updates
Software develops and grows alongside technology – even that which hackers use to infiltrate your data. You should update your server operating system and any software that you use. It is the holes found in software that are often abused the most by hackers. A good hosting company should take care of these updates for you but make sure to specify these requirements before signing a contract so that you know where you stand.
Use A Secure Hosting Service
A secure hosting system will have structures put into place to minimise access to your sensitive data. Without this, there is every chance a hacker will be able to pull as much information as they wish. A secure hosting service will perform regular backups of all data on a site. In the event that your website is lost or damaged beyond repair, this data will allow you to rebuild it quickly and get this corner of your business back on track.
If you run an eCommerce business, you need to ensure there is an SSL certificate. This provides a secure connection between two parties – namely yourself and the customer’s computer. This connection is encrypted and prevents the data shared here to be intercepted by hackers. SSL certificates provide authentication to a website to affirm your identity. They also help to boost SEO rankings and improve customer trust.
Check Your Website Regularly
It is good practice to regularly check your website for security breaches. Use an online website security scanner to highlight any vulnerabilities. It also works to use a penetration testing or pen testing tool which tests all exploits and attempts to compromise your website with common methods. If these systems find issues, focus on the critical ones first – the reports normally come back with information on the potential for vulnerability.
Here at Media Orb, we offer website protection and website security services that help you to keep on top of the latest technology and emerging trends. If you would like information on how best to protect data and improve the security of your website, get in contact with us today.