Cyber-criminals make a career out of exploiting networks, computer systems, and technologies. Unfortunately, intelligent hackers evolve their tactics to overcome protections and gain access to a company’s most sensitive data, such as business-critical information, employees’ social security numbers, and customers’ financial details. It is for the above reasons why you must take the steps to defend your site from potential hackers. Here are 11 cybersecurity tips to protect your website.
Strengthen Your Site with Password Management Tools
Password management tools are a must-have for small and large companies looking to strengthen their website’s security. Rather than spending your days manually creating un-crackable passwords, which your team might have difficulty remembering, a password management tool will do so on your behalf and will ensure you are never locked out. You also could increase your website security with two-factor or multi-factor authentication.
If you don’t want to invest in password management tools, you must ensure each password contains a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols. It should be at least eight characters long, frequently changed, and you will need to update it when an employee leaves the business.
Understand Phishing Scams
It might shock you to learn that 1 in every 99 emails is a phishing scam. Each of your employees could, therefore, receive an average of 4.8 phishing emails for a five-day working week. Unfortunately, if you and your team don’t have a firm understanding of phishing scams, your business could fall vulnerable to a cyber attack.
If you are unfamiliar with how phishing scams work, they will attempt to trick an email recipient into submitting personal information. Introducing a new cybersecurity policy could prevent your employees from making a mistake that could provide a cyber-criminal with access to your network, data, and company website.
For example, you must instruct your employees:
- Never open emails from unexpected contacts
- Review the email address from senders – always look for grammatical errors
- Check all links within an email are safe – hover over it to see where it will lead
Introduce Antivirus Software:
Combat potential cyber attacks by installing antivirus software, as it can prevent malicious viruses, malware, and rootkits. You also must introduce a software solution from a respected vendor, and you must only run one tool on a device. Respected vendors can include Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky.
Train Your Team:
It is reported that 90% of data breaches are caused by human error, which shows the importance of training your team on cybersecurity vulnerabilities. It is crucial for your web security to improve your team’s knowledge of the dangers of weak passwords, phishing scams, malware attacks, and more.
It is also advisable to either hire a cybersecurity expert or provide cybersecurity training to a talented IT professional. For example, you could fund for an employee to gain a computer science masters degree, which will provide them with the knowledge and tools to expertly protect your systems and data from malicious events and actors.
Pick a Reputable Web Hosting Provider:
It doesn’t matter if you have the best cybersecurity processes in place on your end; a poor-quality web host could result in your site becoming compromised. Never choose an unknown provider solely due to a low rate, and always pick a reputable web hosting solution with a positive reputation.
Backup Your Site Daily:
Don’t underestimate the importance of a daily website backup. It will provide you with an up-to-date copy of both your content and data, which will ensure you can recover your site should it fall into the wrong hands. Many reputable web hosting providers will often back up a website, but it doesn’t hurt to keep an off-site backup yourself for additional security and peace of mind.
Encrypt Data with HTTPS:
Protecting your customers’ data should be a business priority. It cannot only ensure their personal information doesn’t fall into a cyber criminal’s hands, but it will protect your business from legal consequences, such as a huge fine, and it will preserve your positive industry reputation. An HTTPS address will also provide customers will confidence that your site is safe and secure, which could increase the likelihood of them browsing your webpages and placing an order.
Separate a Database from a File Server:
Most cybersecurity experts would suggest you separate your database from the file server for added security. There are two benefits for doing so: you will have less data to secure, and it will be stored in one place. It is a smart option if you are responsible for safely storing customer data.
Rename the CMS Login:
Many webmasters make the mistake of choosing “admin” as the username for the main administrator account when installing WordPress, Joomla, or another CMS. Instead, you must create a unique wp-admin (WordPress) or administrator (Joomla) login, which can prevent a cyber-criminal from successfully guessing an admin name.
Limit User Access and Permissions:
An attacker will target registered users to gain access to a site. If you have many users on your site, a hacker might suspect there was an issue during the registration process. As a result, it could lead to them attempting to spam your website with fake content. It is essential for security reasons to limit user access and to protect your critical data by providing each user with specific permissions, which will reduce access across the website.
Disable Unused Features:
Your website must run like a well-oiled machine for productivity, profitability, and security purposes. To do so, you must disable features you don’t use, such as removing unnecessary plugins and inactive web themes. You also should disable registrations and comments if they provide little or no benefit to your site or business.
Hackers will not hesitate to take advantage of a website vulnerability to gain access to the system and your data. It is your responsibility to look for ways to protect it, such as providing cybersecurity training, encrypting your data, and backing up your website daily.