There is nothing worse than having your website become a victim of cyber-attacks. As a web designer or developer, you need to be concerned about the consequences of data-theft and other kinds of malicious acts that some hackers perform. After all, your clients rely on you to keep them secure.
- What if someone decides to ‘rob’ your eCommerce store?
- What if a hacker steals sensitive data from your website?
- You wouldn’t want to let customers’ credit card numbers fall into someone’s hands, would you?
In order to avoid all these frightening scenarios, you should do everything in your power to make your website as secure as possible for your users. With each effort invested in its security, you are decreasing the chances of your website becoming a target of hackers.
Read on to learn how you can build a wall around your website that will keep the intruders out.
1. Reliable hosting
One of the first steps towards a safe and secure place for your visitors is to choose the right website hosting.
It is exactly through the web host that many hackers seek ways to gain access to your website. And, if they do gain access to your website, you can rest assured that your business will be adversely affected. Of course, this can result in revenue loss, data theft, and many other consequences.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to take every measure you can to ensure that your web hosting provider offers the best protection measures. This includes providing reliable malware and vulnerability scanners that detect and deter any malicious code that hackers may try to use.
In addition, the web host should have a strong policy against DDoS (distributed denial-of-service attacks). This way, the hosting system will be accessible at all times, even if it becomes a target of a cyber-attack.
So, be picky when it comes to hosting so that you don’t have to deal with removing malware and other viruses if a hacker targets your website.
2. Security plugins
A lot of people use a content management systems (CMS) to build their websites. And, there’s no wonder why. A CMS makes it really convenient to build a nice-looking website with all the functionalities you might need.
Another great benefit, in this case, is that you can boost your security with advanced website security plugins that prevent hacking attempts. To make it even better, each of the top CMS options has security plugins available. And, many of them are free of charge.
Take a look at some of the more popular security plugins:
- Bulletproof Security
- Antivirus Website Protection
- Watchlog Pro
The options listed above address the security vulnerabilities that are inherent in each platform, preventing more different hacking attempts that could harm your website.
So, it would be wise for you to check out each option and figure out how you can benefit security-wise from each of these plugins. Especially if you are using a WordPress website. Each WordPress security guide will recommend these plugins since they are really helpful.
3. CDN for security
DDoS attacks are a really popular way to target and sometimes even take down websites. Of course, the main reason why this way of harming a website is popular is that almost no hacking knowledge is required.
Oftentimes people hire botnets for little to no money and use them to direct a massive amount of traffic at a website. At first, this ‘only’ slows down the website, but soon enough it will make it entirely inaccessible due to the overload.
But what if someone told you that you can repel this kind of hacking attempt with the aid of a CDN? You’d probably want to learn more.
It may not seem obvious at first, but some content delivery networks (CDN) not only improve web performance, but they also help keep the website safe. CDNs are built to analyze and absorb unusual traffic spikes. Of course, these spikes don’t necessarily have to be malicious attacks, maybe you are experiencing the aftermath of a great marketing campaign.
However, that only gives you another reason to seriously consider a bunnyCDN for protection. Just be careful when picking a CDN since some of them claim to offer DDoS protection when in reality they only rely on their infrastructure to scale and increase the capacity of servers with PoPs (point of presence) placed around the world.
Instead, you should find a CDN that uses intelligent systems and not only its size to absorb attacks.
4. Keep everything updated
It is essential that you keep your website and all of its extensible components updated.
When you use a CMS with plugins and extensions, you are enjoying numerous benefits these additional extensions bring with them. But, you are also at risk because these extensible components are often vulnerable and cause website infections.
Many of these tools are created as open-source software tools, which means that their code is easy to access. Of course, the code is easily accessible both to the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ guys. Hackers can pore over the code, looking for security vulnerabilities that will allow them to take control of your website.
So, in order to keep the chances of this kind of breach at a minimum, make sure that your CMS, plugins, apps, and any other scripts you have installed are regularly updated.
For example, if you have a WordPress website, you can easily check whether you are up to date. As you log in, you will see it on the top, next to your site’s name. You can even click on the icon in the top left corner to see your WordPress updates.
Whenever you have a pending update, take some time, download it, and let it do its job. Not updating is still one of the more common mistakes that lead to a breach. Also, keep your website’s certificates up to date. Failing to do so can result in your website not showing up in search engines.
You surely wouldn’t want someone to get in and steal data. Just imagine the consequences of giving away your customer info due to a data breach. That would definitely negatively impact customer satisfaction metrics. And you don’t want that to happen, right?
5. Automatic backups
Finally, once you have covered all of the previous steps from the list, you should do one last thing. Just in case something bad happens.
It is worth noting that sometimes, no matter how much effort you put in securing your website, a breach happens. That is just how it is since hackers always find out new ways to break through a website’s firewall.
One good way to bounce back as soon as possible even if a disaster happens is to back up your website. That is why investing in automatic backups is one of the wisest things that you can do to help your website.
A data breach is stressful, but when you have a current backup, recovery is much easier. So, you can either invest in automatic backups or manually back everything up on a weekly or even daily basis.