Half of the cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses.
About 30,000 websites experience a cyber attack daily.
A Ransomware attack takes place every 14 seconds.
The largest DDoS attack was at 1.7TBps.
Staggering statistics isn’t it? As your website grows, there is every possibility that someone will try to hack it.
Any business website can be targeted by hackers. Hackers can use various security threats such as brute force attacks, malware, DDoS attacks and SQL injections to steal your customers’ data and other sensitive information. So, what are you going to do to keep your website safe?
A security checklist will help you take security measures needed to make sure that both you and your customers remain safe from cyber attacks.
Here is a checklist that you can consider to make sure your website is safe from various security threats before going live.
1. Prevent spam
Have you ever noticed a beautiful blog post with helpful information and creative images only to be ruined by spam comments like sketchy links, lame comments or errant marks offering herbal supplements?
Spam comments are one of the best ways that hackers can ruin your website. Such comments weaken the trust of people visiting your website. Take measures to ensure that your page does not become a place for hackers to write spam messages.
You can use plugins or comment hosting services that help identify and moderate comments.
2. Prevent brute force attacks
Brute force attacks normally occur with DDoS attacks. However, brute attacks are more focussed and attempt repeated requests on the server over and over to crack login details or expose encrypted data.
A great way to mitigate these threats is by tracking the IP addressed on form submission and monitoring them for repeated attempts. You can ask your web hosting provider to provide a line of defense against brute force attacks.
3. Protect from DDoS (Denial of service) attacks
In DDoS attacks, hackers bombard a website with fake requests. This causes the servers to go down and take the website offline. Sometimes, DDoS also helps hackers to enter the website and inject malicious code. When your website goes offline, it can affect your reputation and credibility.
To avoid DDoS attacks, make sure that you use a reputable hosting provider. They will perform regular pen testing which tests for vulnerabilities in a controlled way. Also, a good hosting provider will perform network monitoring consistently.
4. Block XSS cross-site scripting
XSS cross-site scripting is another tactic used by hackers to damage and compromise websites. Hackers inject bad codes into websites that can be passed onto people’s computers and steal their data and private information.
Amazon Web Service’s (AWS) Shield offers a great defense against XSS cross-site scripting. You can consider it so you don’t have to worry about any potential threat via XSS cross-site scripting.
5. Install SSL certificate
Most people hesitate to go to a website that does not have a lock symbol or https. Pop-up messages, security risk warnings, etc., add to their fear and prevent them from navigating any further.
An SSL certificate will encrypt data between a server and someone’s computer. It is an important security measure for a web page to have it installed. In fact, having an SSL certificate should be a standard.
SSL connection prevents sensitive information such as credit cards, login details and other important customer data that is entered into forms from being exposed.
6. Back-up of website data
There is no need to explain why you should get a back-up. Of course, you don’t have to manually do it. You can get your hosting provider to do it as a free service. Most hosting service providers will back-up all the versions(old and new) of your website automatically.
7. Safeguard from SQL injections
An SQL injection is another possible way that hackers can get access to sensitive information. Hackers force their way in their own SQL code, input it and gain access to sensitive data. Most web server databases are managed by SQL and servers that can’t tell the difference between normal SQL requests and illegitimate requests are the ones that fall victim to SQL injection attacks.
Amazon’s (AWS) shield can defend your website against SQL injections.
8. Use HTTP/2
HTTP/2 is much faster than the regular HTTP. Although some web hosting companies not offer HTTP/2, it is important that you have you on your website. HTTP/2 allows information to flow both ways thereby decreasing the time exchanged between the server and the client. Also, HTTP/2 is enabled automatically. Data requests have multiple lanes in TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) that speeds up the flow of information.
Google loves HTTP/2 and gives websites (with great web content and best SEO practices) an organic boost in SEO.
In general, HTTP/2 gives your website an advantage in both speed and security.
9. Use passwords to protect important pages
It is not only important to keep your admin credentials out of the hands of hackers but also good to password protect other page folders, content and CMS collections.
Give permission to only those who need access. Password protection will give you better control over who is allowed to make changes to your website.
Protecting your website and users’ information from hackers is an ongoing process. As technology is ever-evolving there will be newer ways to hack a website.
For better security of your website, make sure to find a reliable and trustworthy web hosting provider that puts security first always.