Websites are the digital front of a business and can be visited by thousands of people every day. This makes them an attractive target for hackers who are looking to break into servers to steal business or client information, or just to create mischief or make a point according to some agenda.
If a website has been hacked, repairing it is a time-consuming and expensive operation which may or may not succeed because hackers could create backdoors in different places while they have the access.
Hackers are sifting through thousands of sites every hour and they’re a well-connected group so if one hacker manages to find a way in, many others will too within a very short time.
It is important to keep websites secure to safeguard company and client data and also prevent blacklisting by Google and even the website host. While there is much that can be done for web security, some steps are listed below.
Keep software up to date
This is the first, most basic and most important step to keeping a website safe.
Software companies regularly announce updates to their platform and all users should pay immediate attention to notifications regarding the same, especially if they are related to security.
A delayed update to software means it is vulnerable to hackers who will lose no time in breaking in and possibly wreaking havoc with your website.
Web security tools
Once your website is live, it is important to test the security of the site with the help of webs security tools.
There are free and paid versions of these tools, most of them very effective. These tools use methods hackers would to test for any loopholes or weaknesses that can leave the site vulnerable to attack.
While these tools can prevent a nerve-rackingly long list of problems, you can decide which problem is high priority and which ones can be fixed after the more urgent problems are resolved.
Errors happen. The best thing to do is fix the error and move on. However, at times the error message displayed can reveal more information that is needed, which a hacker can use to break into the site.
Make sure any error messages that show when your website is experiencing a problem gives away the least possible amount of information.
Strong passwords recommended by websites are frustrating. It’s impossible to memorize the complex combination of letters and numbers, which is why we often use passwords that are simpler and maybe even used in multiple places.
However, this makes it easy for hackers to break into the system.
When storing passwords for admins and users, it is important that they be stored as encrypted values.
Your team might inadvertently be giving hackers a way into your website servers. Having to access the data stored there frequently means hackers can pick a pattern and find their way in.
Make sure all users who have access change their passwords regularly. Their login sessions should expire after a brief period of inactivity and that all machines plugged into the network are checked for malware each time they connect.
These are the most basic steps one can take to prevent an attack. It is recommended that businesses that don’t have a dedicated team for this work hires a third party to keep websites and servers safe.