By Gloria Martinez
Your small business website is likely an important part of your digital marketing strategy. However, it can also be a target for cyberattacks. Hacking is more common than you may realize. An incredible 36 billion records were exposed by breaches in the first three quarters of 2020. Whether it is exposed data, lost financial records, or just business disruption, hacking can harm your business. The following five steps, presented by Q One Tech, can help to protect your website from hackers and other cybercriminals.
Secure Your Administrative Accounts
First and foremost, you should secure your administrative accounts. This includes any credentials you use to log into your server or hosting account. You should also protect your account with your domain registrar, any content distribution services you use and all databases. In other words, every set of credentials associated with your website should be hardened.
Whenever possible, use multi-factor authentication — also called two-factor authentication. This helps make your login credential much stronger.
Set Up HTTPS
Communication between your visitors and your website server should be protected. This can be achieved with a technology called SSL or secure socket layer. This encrypts data being transmitted to and from your website, allowing your visitors to use HTTPS, a secure protocol for web browsing. Doing so prevents hackers from seeing that data while it is being transmitted. In addition, many modern browsers are all but requiring the use of HTTPS and SSL.
Update Your Server and Software
Keeping your server and the installed software up to date helps ensure that it is as secure as possible. The teams that produce that software often release patches that fix security vulnerabilities. However, if you are not updating, you do not receive those fixes, potentially leaving a gaping hole in your security. Running regular updates is a relatively trivial undertaking. However, it can make a huge difference in protecting your website. Consider setting up a schedule to regularly check that all your website software is updated.
Secure Your Content Management System
Most websites are built on content management systems such as WordPress or Drupal. This can add another layer of security vulnerability to your website. A poorly configured CMS can be exploited by cybercriminals. Consider hiring a security expert who specializes in your CMS to help ensure that everything is as secure as possible. If you use WordPress, bring in a trustworthy freelancer to help ensure the platform remains secure.
This is especially important if you implement any forms or login pages that your visitors can access. For example, you may have surveys for customer research on your site. You want to ensure these are sending all customer data securely to your servers.
Invest in Backups
Finally, make sure that you are backing up your data frequently. Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly popular. These are cyberattacks that prevent you from accessing your data until a ransom has been paid. Additionally, other attacks may damage or delete your data. Having backups helps protect you against these types of cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
Frequent backups also protect you against hardware failure. Many experts suggest it is a good idea to run regular backups, especially of mission-critical data.
Discover more about protecting your small business website today. By investing in a few simple security best practices, you can ensure that your company is protected from unexpected cyberattacks.
Article by: Gloria Martinez. Gloria loves sharing her business expertise and hopes to inspire other women to start their own businesses. She created Women Led to make an avenue for her vision to help women advance in the workplace and spotlight achievements.