The proliferation of websites in the last ten years has created a wealth of opportunities for criminals with the skills and motivation to go after confidential data. Whilst many high-profile hacks affect big businesses such as PayPal, a worrying one in three attacks affects small businesses and e-commerce sites. Unfortunately, these are the very people who are least likely to have the right defenses in place. No website is 100% protected from a cyber hacker, but follow the tips below and you reduce your chances of being targeted.
Anyone with an online information security degree understands just how difficult it is to protect websites from cyber criminals. After all, more often than not the criminals are just as skilled as anyone with an MSIA degree! Cyber criminals are there to make money and personal information hacked from vast databases is worth a fortune on the Dark Web. As more and more businesses choose to store their information online, there are rich pickings a plenty for those with the means and the motivation. The good news is that you don’t have to leave the door open and a welcome mat out waiting for them.
Update Your Website Plugins and Themes
Plugins and themes are incredibly useful, but they are also a major security risk. Most people download plugins and themes for their website because it makes life easier. You can use plugins to create a contact form or add extra drag and drop features. A theme makes a site look more professional. The problem is that you need to keep your plugins, themes and any other software you use up to date. If you don’t install new patches, hackers will find a backdoor into your site.
Shield Your Admin Page
WordPress and other content management systems provide an Admin user interface where you can add new content, change the design of your site, and manage other essential tasks. One way to make it harder for hackers to gain access is to prohibit search engines from crawling and therefore indexing your admin pages. Add a robot_text file to hide your admin pages.
Hacker Proof Passwords
You should always use a password to prevent illegitimate access to your website. However, don’t make it too easy! All too many people use generic passwords such as ‘password’ or ‘admin’. If you do this, you may as well invite people in.
Use Encrypted SSL
Do you ask users to leave an email address or hand over payment information? If so, make sure you install an encrypted SSL shield to prevent hackers stealing important information while it is being transferred from your website to the database.
Denial of Service attacks are very common. Hackers don’t need to gain access to your website to bring it down with a DDoS attack. To prevent this from crippling your business’s site, install security software that can spot the difference between legitimate and malicious traffic. If you store confidential data on your website, it’s also worth installing a firewall and other security software.
Lastly, always make regular backups of your website database, as it might just save your business if the site is hacked.