Online security often seems like a perpetual game of cat and mouse. On one side you have the developers who look to implement new security measures and identify and fix vulnerabilities, whilst on the other side hackers, acting in direct opposition, search for exploits and work arounds.
And as hackers are constantly looking for new ways to circumvent website security its important to take a proactive approach to security as failure to do so can result in some very serious ramifications for your business. Fortunately, there are some simple yet highly effective measures you can use to help safeguard your website.
Companies/developers work constantly to improve their respective products with a focus on improving functionality, fixing bugs and heightening security. Obviously, we’re mostly concerned with security in this post, however none of these things can occur if the updates which are made available are not applied.
A lot of popular website applications including content management systems and plugins have automatic update features and if they don’t they should at least provide update reminders. Nevertheless, its well worth making checking for and applying updates a regular part of your website maintenance schedule.
Also, because the large majority of programs and applications you’ll use to run your website are browser based its important to ensure that web browsers and other local programs are kept updated in order to deny this route to hackers as a means of accessing your website.
Although hardly ground breaking simple security procedures can greatly bolster the security of your website.
Perhaps chief among these is the use of strong passwords; these are typically 12 characters or greater in length and make use of both upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
Don’t base your passwords off of something blatantly personal to you such as a loved ones name or your home town, nor should you employ obvious character/number substitutions such as w4t3r as they are easy to guess. You also shouldn’t use the same password in multiple places as this provides a means for one security breach to lead to several others.
Encryption & Antimalware
An SSL certificate is a cost effect means of securing the data transferred between your web server and the browsers of users wishing to interact with your website. Branded products start from as little as £10 per year and there are even free options with programs such as LetsEncrypt.
As a point of interest its worth mentioning that the providers of SSL encryption are so confident in the security they provide that they offer substantial cash warranties in the event that the encryption is broken.
Cloud based malware scanners are a similarly useful tool for ensuring that your website and the various files stored on your web server remain free and clear of viruses and malware. Again, prices are very reasonable and you can schedule regular scans for the sake of convenience.
The above actions are not particularly time consuming and many can in fact be automated, yet they are highly effective methods for ensuring the security of your website and maintaining the integrity of your business.
Maintaining a secure hosting environment is always going as we must constantly work to stave off the efforts of would be hackers as they seek to evolve with the implementation of new security enhancing features.