Website protection has never been more important. There’s a misconception that only major sites get hacked, but that couldn’t be further from the truth: if anything, small businesses without dedicated security teams are even more vulnerable to attack. Amping up security and being very rigorous about your safety measures really is the only way to ensure that you are as safe as possible.
Website hacking has reached an unprecedented rate and even small to medium-scale businesses have become targets. Hackers these days tend to target machines en-masse, hoping to find somebody who hasn’t properly secure their system. This means that anybody could be a target, but it also makes it easier to keep attackers out, if you know what you’re doing. If you do not want to face this huge hassle, it’s time that you toughen up your act and revamp your website’s security with these tips:
Keep updated on the latest hacking threats
Follow tech sites that regularly publish the latest types of hacks, and use this information to develop the necessary safety precautions that you will need for your own site. Organisations like OWASP keep track of major threats and post updates and guides that are absolutely invaluable.
Beef up your access control
Make sure that your passwords as well as usernames for admin levels are not easy to guess. Instead of using the “wp6_” default prefix, make it more random. Add limits to login attempts for certain times, and this includes password resets that are really quite easy to hack into. A very common sort of attack is a “dictionary attack”, where the hackers input common usernames and passwords into as many places as possible, hoping to find somebody with a weak password or somebody still using the defaults—if your admin user is still called “admin” then you’re going to be in trouble.
Make sure all software is up-to-date
This is probably the most important website security tips in this list. True, software updates can be time-consuming and disruptive, but behind each one is a vital security vulnerability that is being addressed. Passing up on an update is practically an invitation to be hacked. Keep in mind that hackers work in a network that scans websites by the thousands in mere minutes. When yours is spotted, you’ll have hundreds of different hackers throwing a party on your server that you aren’t invited to. Many hackers are reliant on the fact that people hate updates, because it means they can bombard machines until they find somebody who hasn’t patched the hole.
Tighten up your network security
You never know if other computer users in your office accidentally provide easy access routes right into your website servers. Make sure that you implement login expirations, password changes (including strength requirements), and device scanning every time someone logs into the network with their smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Install a web application firewall
This can either be software based or hardware based. A WAF is setup between the site server and its data connection, reading and scanning every single bit of data that passes through it. Many of these WAFs are cloud-based and require a modest subscription fee every month. It would do you well to invest in this as it will protect your business and everything you have invested in it.
Install security applications
If you do not have a WAF, you can still add a good measure of security through free or paid plugins that will hide your CMS identity. Doing so will make your site extra resilient against countless automated hacking tools. Be sure to properly vett any plugins: a bad plugin is worse than no plugin at all, and can open up new vulnerabilities in your system.
Conceal admin pages
Make sure your admin pages cannot be indexed by all search engines, which is why it is important to use robots_txt file to keep them from being listed. Remember: if they remain unlisted, it will be much harder for hackers to find them. Hackers are rarely targeting a specific site: they tend to go broad, then attack once they’d found a weakness. Concealing admin pages cloaks you, rendering you invisible to a lot of attackers.
Put a limit on file uploads
Any time you let users input data into your website, you open yourself up to attack. Form fields and comments sections are common attack vectors, but a lot of security-minded folks overlook a potentially far more devastating vector: uploads. Depending on how you’ve configured your upload system, everything from basic scripts to whole executables can find their way leaking into your system. Even if system checks run every second, you can’t discount the possibility of something sneaking through. Store downloaded files outside root directories and use scripts to pull them up if needed.
Safety isn’t something you do in post, it’s something you work on from the start. If you need a team to help with web development and maintenance, you can always hire dedicated programmers from CodeClouds. The team consists of over 200 experienced developers who can help your website from genesis to completion and beyond. While you’re here, if you found our website security tips useful, you may also be interested in installing a free SSL certificate for your website.