Your website is the digital face of your business. As such, it is the main source of information for your potential customers and you should take all possible precautions to make sure that it not only sells your business well but is also protected against those who may wish to abuse it. Taking measures against hackers will protect not only the company and customer data on the website but also the reputation of the business.
IT experts like Syntax IT Support can help you make sure your website is completely safe and secure. This article will outline some of their best advice to make this happen.
- Keep your software up to date
One of the most important steps to protecting your website is keeping your software up to date. Whether your IT department created your website from scratch or you used a third party provider, always make sure that you have the latest version of all components. When a new update is released, it is very likely that a software bug has been fixed. Hence, the longer you wait before you update your system, the higher the risk you put your website at.
Hackers are always looking for easy ways to attack your website and you need to make sure you are not one of those easy targets. In addition, you need to get rid of all unused add-ons as they could also be a gateway to access your website.
- Logging in
Requiring complex passwords even though users do not normally like it will help to increase the security of the website. In addition, you should remember to disable auto-fill for users logging into your website. By keeping this feature on, you leave your website vulnerable to attacks from any stolen computing devices.
Furthermore, you should be very careful about how you display error messages. For instance, if a user enters incorrect details, make sure to use generic messages such as ‘incorrect username or password’ without specifying whether the user got one or the other right. If you do specify this, however, an attacker would know that they are on the right track and would only have one of them left to guess.
- Limit file uploads
Simply by allowing users to upload files to your website, you are taking a great security risk. Even though it may look innocent, you can never know what the actual file actually contains and what harm it can cause to your website. No matter how well the Web server screens them, it cannot prevent bugs from getting through and giving access to hackers to all your data. Hence, you need to be really careful and suspicious about all the user uploads. The best way to minimize the risk of exposing your data through file uploads is to prevent direct access to them. This could be done by storing them outside of the website and using encryption to access them when you need it.
- Use SSL to protect data
SSL is a protocol used to provide an extra level of security on the Web that has proved to increase customer trust and confidence in sharing their personal details. Providing an SSL certificate upon passing on information between the website and the company’s database will prevent the access of unauthorized figures. Otherwise, not having this in place leaves the communication medium vulnerable and hackers could easily capture data while in transit and use it to gain access to user accounts.
- Use website security tools
Once you have gone through all the above steps, it is time to test the security of your website. You can find a lot of good free products out there that work just like the scripts that attackers use to test the vulnerability of your website. In addition, you may want to install a web application firewall which would stand between your website server and the Internet and would scan everything that goes through it. The web application firewall would recognize any unauthorized access and would block unwanted traffic. Finally, you can have a look at SiteLock which is a piece of software that monitors all daily activities and continuously scans for malware.