These days, it is getting easier to launch a website. Although, that does come with a few caveats.
Still, there are a lot of people who do not understand that it is crucial to keep their site secure. There is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to why you should have a secure website, and whose responsibility it is.
In this post, we will walk you through with the eight solid tips on why you should strengthen the security of your website.
Perform a security audit
Doing an audit for your site is a rather straightforward process that can be done by an IT professional with a variety of selection tools. Alternatively, you can also contact the third party to do the scan for you.
On the other hand, if you are planning to purchase a web hosting service, the provider might also give you a security tool to ensure that you are reasonably secure from the outset.
Consistent software updates
We cannot stress this enough. Countless websites are compromised because of insecure and outdated software.
That's why you must update your site if there is a brand new CMS version or plug-in that is available for your website. Chances are, these updates will enhance your security and patch up any vulnerability.
Note that most website attacks are automated. Bots are scanning every single site out there for any chance that they can exploit it.
Meaning, it is no longer enough that you update once a month or once a week because those bots are likely to find a vulnerability before they even patch it.
Ideally, it is recommended that you have a website firewall, which will help patch every security hole out there as soon as it released the updates.
Enforce a strong password policy
A secure site depends a lot on your site security. Passwords can threaten your site security as well.
There are lists of passwords that are breached online. Hackers will incorporate these dictionary word lists for them to generate a more expansive list of prospective passwords.
If your password happens to fall on one of those lists, then it is only going to be a matter of time before your password gets compromised.
Here are some tips on how to have stronger passwords:
- Never reuse your passwords: Create unique passwords. Using a password manager will make things a lot simpler for you.
- Longer passwords: Go for passwords that are longer than 12 characters. The longer your password is, the more difficult it will be for bots to crack it.
- Random passwords: Those password cracking programs can easily guess millions of passwords in only a matter of minutes if they contain words that are found online or in dictionaries. So, if you have real words in your password, then it is not random anymore. If someone can speak your password, then it is not considered strong enough. Character replacements are not strong enough either.
Leverage a secure web host
Selecting a secure and reputable web hosting company is crucial when it comes to maintaining the security of your site.
Ensure that the host you choose is aware of the threats that are out there, and they are devoted to keeping your site secure.
See to it that the host backs your data with their web server so that it is easier to restore in case your site gets hacked. Also, pick a host that offers you ongoing technical support as much as they can, like 24/7 live chat, phone, and email service.
Perform data backup regularly
A hacked site is probably the last thing that you want to experience. That said, you do not want to be caught off guard when worse comes to worst.
Backups are crucial when you recover your site from a big security incident. While it should not be considered as a replacement for a website security solution, having a backup helps you recover damaged files.
Ideally, it should aim to fulfill the following requirements:
- It should be off-site: When you have backups that are stored in your website server, they will be vulnerable to attacks, as well. You should keep your backups off-site to ensure that all your stored data will be protected by hackers or from any hardware failure.
- It should be automatic: Use a backup solution that is scheduled to meet your website's needs.
- It should be reliable: It is best to test them to make sure that they work. Ideally, you must have multiple backups for redundancy. That way, it is easier to recover these fail the moment the attack happens.
A Secure Sockets Layer or SSL certificate will encrypt the connection between the web server, to the browser, so that it is even challenging to hack your site.
Investing in an SSL certificate is worthwhile. It will protect you all your sensitive data, such as bank information and other personal details from hackers and viruses.
Utilize an advanced web application firewall
A Web Application Firewall that is properly managed and configurated will better protect your site from attacks like Application Vulnerability Exploits, Injected code, and SQL Injection.
Not to mention, a Web Application Firewall will give your website a “virtual patching” the moment when a zero-day vulnerability is released.
This kind of protection will give you time to test the patch and update the system, knowing that your site is secure and protected.
Define user roles and access rules
If you have a site with multiple logins and users, then you should have clearly defined user roles and access. Let's say, someone wants to do a guest blog for you. You can limit their access by making sure that they don't have full admin privileges.
Once you have these access roles and clearly defined roles set up, it will be much easier to limit your mistakes on your site.
Over to You
Following these steps will boost the overall security of your site. By doing so, you will be able to protect it from a large majority of automated attacks and reduces the overall risks.