Your business is all ready to set its feet in the world of digital sales once its website is live. It is a significant achievement in its own right. However, this achievement unleashes new sets of challenges for the business. It now has to deal with a new breed of threats, i.e. cyber crimes. If you want to protect your physical data at your office premises, you install locks at each entry point. It is pretty much the same when it comes to safeguard your data or website online. You need to install certain protocols, including DDoS protection, so that you don’t lose your precious data and reputation with your customers.
Ever since the global outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID19), cyber criminals have upped their game. Global companies have reported a lot bigger number of virtual attacks, with DDoS attacks taking the limelight. The virtual thieves are hellbound to steal your customers’ information, especially their credit card details, to carry out their crimes. It is every company’s job to protect this data because losing this information could hurt their reputation with their customers. While stealing information is only one part of the equation, criminals are also up to destroying websites, sending malicious messages to their customers, or hampering the brand reputation.
Once cyber criminals get a chance to play their act on your website, there is nothing left. It is just like a storm leaving a city unresponsive after causing havoc. In most cases, the damage is irreversible. At the end of the day, it is all about being proactive rather than being reactive. Even if you install basic security arrangements, you can keep your business website from most kinds of cyber criminals. It is quite natural that thieves like to rob people who are sitting ducks or are easy pickings. Let’s have a look at the following tips to help protect your business website from hackers.
- Keep Your Website Updated
If you want to keep your website safe from hackers, the first thing you should do is to keep it updated regularly. Always make sure that all your plugins are regularly updated, which would allow you to stay protected from the criminals who look for soft targets. The companies that show least interest in regularly updating security protocols of their websites are their favorite victims. However, the companies that ensure updating their security protocols generally win the first part of the battle against cyber criminals. However, they need to invest in more stringent DDoS protection to protect their web assets from advanced hacking attempts.
- Tighten the Noose on Access
This, perhaps, is the most ignored aspect of a website’s security. Most of the website owners leave the access to the default level, which means they use “Admin” as the login ID and password. This is by far the easiest way for the hackers to barge into these websites and cause havoc. The admin panel of your website gives you the control over the whole web project. Whether you have to post new blogs, make changes in the website’s appearance, install or uninstall plugins, or play around with the menu and themes, your admin panel lets you do all this. However, if unwarranted people gain access to the admin panel, they generally steal your precious data and destroy its functionality. Always make sure to create admin login credentials in a way that makes it hard for hackers and spammers to guess it. Also, you need to change the default database prefix from “wp6_” to some random one, which can’t be guessed easily. Moreover, you can further rev up your security arrangements by limiting the number of login attempts within a certain time. You can also limit down password resets because most of the time criminals hack email addresses to log into the websites and compromise them.
- Software Updation is a Must
Updating different software is a costly affair. Therefore, many companies bypass this important step and continue to function with outdated software. This is a massive mistake because once a business keeps using outdated software, it gives hackers easy access into the system. Cyber criminals scan thousands of websites every day, in search of vulnerable options. The virtual criminals are well connected with each other, which means they inform each other about vulnerable websites and hence put them in dire consequences.
- Network Security is Your First Line of Defense
Your network security is indeed your first line of defense against cyber criminals. This is why you should pay attention to this important factor. As a network administrator, it is your job to make sure that the following tasks are up-to-date on the website.
- Make sure that a session gets expired after a few minutes of inactivity.
- Always keep in mind to change passwords more often than not.
- Don’t forget to create strong passwords that are a combination of numerics, symbols, and alphabets.
- Make it a routine to scan all devices for malware when they plug into the network.
- Install a Firewall for Web Applications
Investing in a Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a great decision for the security of your web assets. A WAF can be a software or hardware solution. It reads every single bit of data since it is set between your data connection and the website server. Today’s WAFs are mostly studded with cloud-based solutions, which means they are mostly plug-and-play services for cheap monthly subscription charges. Since cloud-based service is installed ahead of the server, it is the first point of meeting for incoming traffic on the website. WAF, once installed, takes complete care of all incoming traffic by blocking hacking and spamming attempts. It also filters out unwarranted traffic, including malicious bots.
- Invest in Security Apps
There are a number of effective paid and free web security applications that you can install on your website. Although these plugins don’t offer an absolute security against cyberattacks, they can still make the job of hackers a lot harder. You may install any of these to hide the identity of your website’s CMS. This is a great way of shielding your website against automated hacking attempts.
- Shield Admin Pages
The backend of your website needs admin access. This is exactly what hackers attempt to gain access to. This is why you should always make sure to hide your admin pages. You can simply do that by using the robots.txt file. All you have to do is to stop search engines from indexing your admin pages in the robots.txt file. Once your admin pages are barred from getting indexed on the search engines, hackers find it really hard to access them.
- Upload Lesser Number of Files
One of the major concerns for webmasters is the file uploads. Although you install all kinds of DDoS protection, bugs are still capable of gaining unlimited access to your sites. The best way to protect your sites from these bugs is by not giving direct access to any uploaded files. Another great way of shielding your website is by limiting the number of file uploads on the website.
- Go For Secure Sockets Layer
Encryption is a great way of restricting the attempts of hackers on your website. You can use encrypted SSL protocol to move users’ personal data between the website and database. This way, any outsider would find it harder than ever to disrupt the internal communication on your website.
- Avoid Auto-Fill
Almost all the websites have forms to collect user information and their interest in certain products and services. However, when you enable the auto-fill feature on your website, you allow hackers to get the most out of your lethargic approach. It makes it super easy for hackers to steal your information from a public computer. This is why we always recommend disabling the auto-fill option on your websites.
- Always Take Backups
Whether you install DDoS protection on your website or network or not, there is one thing that will always do you a great favor if your website gets attacked by cyber criminals. Always make sure to take periodic backups of your website’s data, including on-site and off-site backups. It is better to automate the backup process so that when a user saves a file, it is automatically backed up in multiple locations. In an event of getting your website compromised and destroyed by hackers, you can always resurrect the website by reinstating the backed-up version.
Word to the Wise
Hacking is the biggest reality in today’s virtual business world. No business, whether big or small, can afford to be complacent against the threat of hacking and spamming. If you fail to do your job in securing your website or other web assets, you put your business in a spot of bother. Hackers are always on the lookout for weaker links in a website’s security protocol. However, investing in the above-mentioned areas will do a great service to the cause of a safe and secure website for the company as well as its users or customers.
Sama is a blogger and freelance writer. She writes a knowledge base and informational blogs for Blockdos. She mostly writes about cybersecurity and tech hacks. Her vast knowledge of web security makes all her blogs informative and worth reading providing her readers with tips and hacks that work!