It’s impossible to say what the exact consequences of a cyber attack could be for a website, but there’s certainly a chance that the aftermath could prove highly disruptive and even catastrophic for anyone practicing in ecommerce.
Before we check out the different ways to make your website secure, let’s briefly explore a handful of the dangers that could result from a successful breach…
The Dangers of a Cyber Attack
- Financial Loss – For many people, their website is their main or sideline source of income, and for every second that it’s compromised/nonoperational, profits will reduce or stop altogether
- Data Loss – Should vital files become deleted during a cyber attack, your website may become unusable, become unreliable/unsecure, or entirely cease to function
- Data Theft – In the event of a successful malware infection, customer data (personal/financial, stored or entered on your website) could be stolen by cyber criminals; you could also face fines for breaking country/state data privacy laws
- Malicious Tampering – Among the many damaging things a hacker could carry out on your website are the creation of redirects and links to malicious sites, meaning your visitors, who currently trust your site, could now become unsuspecting targets
- Search Engine Blacklisting – Google rewards trusted, useful sites in its rankings, so the last thing you’d want to happen is for the search engine giant to blacklist your domain should its crawlers suspect malicious activity on your site
Click Here to learn why security is vital in keeping your site online.
10 Steps to Make Your Website Secure
1. SSL Certificates
If you’re running a website that handles sensitive information like customer details, including personal and financial info, you should bolster your site’s security by installing SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. Hackers are known for stealing this kind of data, but with an SSL certificate in your corner, even intercepted data won’t be readable due to it being encrypted.
2. Malware Monitoring
Depending on who’s wielding it, malware is renowned for being slippery, patient, leech-like, and just plain hard to detect. For most humans, it’s pretty hard to spot, but luckily a glorious thing named malware monitoring exists to weed out the awful stuff and delete it upon detection.
3. WAF Protection
When it comes to malicious software like malware, prevention is often a better course of action than curing it post-infection. Malware monitoring technology is great, but if you can combine it with a WAF (Web Application Firewall), your pistol just became a shotgun. With WAF in tow, the chances of malware getting through will be significantly reduced.
4. DDoS Protection
DDoS attacks can be a nightmare for websites, and ecommerce varieties often attract such attacks. There are many packages and plugins designed to protect against it, often offered by web hosts, and it’s worthy of your attention and investment.
5. Regular Updates
Since cyber criminals are constantly targeting security flaws in all kinds of software and apps, it makes sense to never neglect the entire updating process. Whether you choose to implement automatic updates or are happy to update everything yourself, just be sure to keep on top of it. Update everything, including WordPress, plugins, plus your operating system and Antivirus suite.
6. Phishing Emails
Remember to dedicate at least a small portion of your time to getting up to speed with all the latest news on phishing practices, specifically the email variety. This is pretty imperative since clicking on a seemingly innocuous link could quickly put business and customer data at risk.
7. Regular Backups
If you were writing an exhaustive report for work, you’d be sure to save it at regular intervals, right? Websites take a long time to design, build and tweak to be as user-friendly and profitable as possible. So, unless you like the sound of re-building it in the event of a cyber attack, it’s not only wise but essential to perform regular backups.
8. Strong Passwords
Nothing pleases a hacker more than a simple, easy to guess password. So it makes perfect, practical sense to ensure that your passwords are unique and strong, by using a combination of different symbols and letters that is significantly harder for a third party to crack.
9. Offline-Stored Data
If you have imperative/sensitive business-related data stored on your computer, laptop, a USB stick or other device, be sure to encrypt and password-protect that data. If a hacker somehow manages to steal it or you accidentally left a device behind in a taxi, for example, then at least it won’t be readable. Violating data privacy laws is serious stuff, and can lead to fines and investigations by information authorities.
10. Recovery Plans
Finally, have you ever considered drafting up an actual website recovery plan? By imagining all the different ways a cyber attack could unfold, not only will you be producing a plan of action to help get your site up and running quicker (should a breach occur), you’ll be creating a list of every threat your site currently faces. With every threat clearly identified, you can now use a checklist approach to methodically protect your site.
Click Here to have a look at HostGrids key features, including free built in security.