Website security is crucial. Cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated which has made it more important than ever for website owners to implement robust security measures. Whether you own a small business or a multinational corporation, a safe website experience will be expected by your users and is essential to keep your business operations running smoothly.
ESSENTIAL WEBSITE SECURITY MEASURES
SSL ENCRYPTION AND HTTPS
Secure socket layer (SSL) encryption is the foundation of a secure website. It encrypts the data exchanged between the user’s browser and the webserver to prevent unauthorised access or data interception. Not only does an SSL certificate enhance website security but it also boosts your website’s credibility as users can see ‘https’ in the URL.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PASSWORD
Make sure to enforce strong password practices for all users. Sites should require complex passwords with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. It is useful to regularly remind users to update their passwords and implement multi-factor authentication for an additional layer of security.
MAKE SURE TO KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE AND PLUGINS UP TO DATE
Keep all software, including your content management system (CMS), plugins and third-party applications up to date. Software updates will often include security patches that show vulnerabilities discovered by developers or hackers. Wherever possible, set up automatic updates to ensure that your website is protected against the latest threats.
MAKE SURE YOUR WEB HOST IS SECURE
Reputable website hosts ensure that their servers are equipped with the latest security protocols, firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Regular server maintenance, timely software updates and robust security measures implemented by the hosting service contribute significantly to the overall security of your website. Having this secure hosting provider will protect your website against common vulnerabilities and cyber-attacks.
KEEP A RECORD OF USER ACCESS AND ADMINISTRATIVE PRIVILEGES
Limit access to sensitive areas of your website, only grant the necessary permissions to users and ensure that each user has the minimum access required to perform their tasks. Regularly reviewing and updating user roles and permissions will also help to keep your website secure, especially when there are changes in things such as the workforce.
CHANGE THE DEFAULT SETTINGS ON YOUR CMS
CMS platforms will often come with generic settings that might be well-known to potential attackers. By customising these defaults, you make it more challenging for cyber threats to exploit vulnerabilities. This includes changing default usernames and passwords, adjusting controls, tweaking file permissions and configuring secure authentication methods.
KEEP YOUR WEBSITE BACKED UP
Regular website backups are a crucial part of a website security strategy. In the event of a cyber-attack or data loss, having a recent backup allows you to restore your website to a clean state. These backups should be stored in a secure location, separate from your web server, and the restoration process should be tested frequently.
SECURITY AUDITS AND MONITORING
Conducting regular security audits allows you to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in your website’s infrastructure. You can also implement real-time monitoring tools which promptly detect and respond to security incidents.
TIGHTEN THE SECURITY OF YOUR NETWORK
Strengthening your network is an essential component of safeguarding your website against external threats. A robust network defence system establishes a protective barrier around your website’s infrastructure. By limiting unauthorised access to your network, you can mitigate the risk of potential attacks on your website.
APPLY FOR A WEB APPLICATION FIREWALL
Installing a web application firewall to filter and monitor HTTP traffic between a web application and the internet will help to protect against online threats including SQL injection, cross-site scripting and other common attack methods.
When you invest in the security of your website, you are not just protecting the site, you are also committing to the integrity of your digital presence as well as the safety of your users. Incorporating these essential security measures significantly reduces the risk of cyber threats and creates a safer online experience for both you and your audience.