From 4-year olds to 70-year olds, almost everyone uses the Internet today. Smartphones, tablets and even smart TVs have made it easier for anyone to get on to the Internet to find information, avail a service or just browse around aimlessly for fun.
In fact, we are on the verge of another revolution called the Internet of Things. From factor assembly floors to your coffee machine, every smart gadget would now become connected to the Internet.
Despite all the rapid advancements on the Internet, websites would still remain the primary centers for information. There is no Internet without websites.
Now, if you are a website owner, you must know the many perils of running a website with minimal security. You stand to lose everything, your data, the control over your website and even your reputation in the blink of an eye.
Websites getting hacked and spammers making a feast out of it is not any fictional stories. In fact, cybercrime has become worse that hackers are able to hack and drive away Internet-connected cars from remote locations. Imagine the plight of a humble website if it is left exposed to security vulnerabilities?
Before hackers run all over your website, it is better to secure your website data. Here are some ways how you can secure your website data
Lock up your admin console
Your admin console is your control room. The entire website control and administration are made possible from your admin console. So protecting it, by all means, should be your first priority.
To begin with, if you are still using the default ‘admin’ username and password, change it immediately. Using such a weak username and password is like leaving your home key under the front door rug when you go out. Also, make sure you restrict the number of failed login attempts and password reset requests to bare minimal number.
Keep your CMS updated
Content Management Systems like WordPress, Blogger, Wix, etc. often release CMS updates. These updates carry critical security fixes as well as bug fixes that could pose security vulnerabilities.
Delaying such an update could mean that you extend your security vulnerability. Hackers are adept at scanning thousands of websites in quick time to spot security vulnerabilities. So, ensure you turn on automatic updates or scan for updates and run them as soon as they become available.
Install a web application firewall
A Web Application Firewall is like a digital fence that controls the inflow and outflow of traffic of your website. In other words, it is like a filter that stops malicious requests in their tracks and allows only relevant requests to enter the website.
In the olden days, firewalls came in the form of turn-key software. Software that you can install in your server backend to insulate your website. Today, they are available in the form of cloud-based software that can be run directly from the Internet. Since they are cloud-based they are also updated over-the-air giving you total security at all times.
Use security plugins
Running a website itself is an uphill task. Writing security programs to secure it can be quite impossible. No worries. You can always bank on third-party security plugins and extensions which will secure your website.
Security plugins can perform a variety of tasks including running regular malware assessments, blocking malicious links, performing vulnerability assessment and so on. In other words, they reduce your burden to run a full security check of your website. They alert you when things are risky ensuring that your website data security is not compromised.
HTTP is slowly on its way out. It won’t be too long before all HTTP websites will be migrated to HTTPS. HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. The ‘S’ in HTTPS websites stand for security made possible by SSL certificates. There are several types of SSL certificates like Domain Validation SSL, Organization Validation SSL, Wildcard SSL Certificate and so on. There are also SSL certificates based on the number of domains or sub-domains that they secure.
It is recommended that you pick up a Domain validation SSL certificate. DV SSL certificate will show your customers that your website is domain validated and can be trusted to carry out delicate transactions like online payments, wire transfers, utility payments and so on.
Restrict file uploads
Imagine the horror of a hacker uploading a file containing a malicious program on your website? SQL injection through forms is a menace that every website owner has to put up with.
The best way to combat security issues caused due to file uploading is to restrict file uploads. Also, prevent access to any files stored on your website. It is better to store them outside the root directory where they can be accessed using a script when necessary.
Schedule regular backups
Although it shouldn’t, all plans can go wrong. And, when things go wrong you must have data backup to put your data back on its track. When a hack happens, the worst thing that happens is a loss of data.
Sometimes, you might lose data even when you are migrating from one CMS platform to another, or while running an update, or while updating to a new theme. There are numerous reasons how you might lose data. Scheduling regular data backups will help you save time and effort in such circumstances. You can take manual data backups, but it is going to be a time-consuming affair, especially when you want to do it every week, fortnight or month.
That brings us to the close of some ways how you can secure your website data from the reach of hackers. Protecting website data will save you tons of money, time and also business reputation.
Don’t be misled by the information that cyber-security is expensive and does not yield any returns. The RoI on web security will come back in the form of the longevity of your website and its data.
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