Having a website means a lot of maintenance and all sort of work. But everyone knows that one of the most important things to look at is security.
Hackers and the cybernetic attacks are the main threat posed to websites. And there is a huge amount of very important information which must pe protected – credit card information, financial or any other records, top classified government data, personal topics and files, IDs and passwords, conversations, any other personal data, and the list goes on.
A cyber-attack can do a lot of harm, starting from knocking offline the website, stealing sensitive data from the website, to using the server for different illegal purposes, which makes it virtually unusable by the owner.
Just take a look at the big names which may have been targeted by hackers just in the past weeks: Zoom, Nintendo, Adobe, and Cisco. There is no limit to where a cybercriminal can go. But there are ways to keep us as safe as possible.
Here are the most used ways to secure your website from a cyber-attack:
Update all software
Keeping all software up to date is a must for all websites, and not just when it comes to prevent hacking. Old and not updated plugins must be cleared from the website also, as they are perfect targets for hackers. Also, if the website is built using CMS like WordPress, a special attention must be given to updating this also – just click on the updated icon.
Layers of security around the website
There are certain “layers” of security which can protect the website. One of them is web application firewall. Then there is a web hosting service. According to the last A2 hosting reviews, this is one of the safest hosting provider you can get. It received 9.6/10 for support, in terms of customer review, then 9.5 for pricing and features, 9.3 for being user friendly, and 9.0 for reliability.
Strong passwords, which have to be changed periodically
Using strong passwords, which have to be changed on a regular basis and never written down, is something everyone should know up until this point. Usually, the longer the password, the stronger the security of the website. Nonetheless, passwords always have to be stored as encrypted values. Strong passwords use small caps and initial caps, but also numerals and symbols.
Install security plugins
Security plugins come in handy especially when the website is built using CMS. Many of the security plugins for WordPress are free. They do a lot of helpful things, like file scanning, malware scanning, firewalls, active security monitoring, and also brute force attack protection.
Investing in automatic backups for your data is a simple and effective way to ensure that, even if something bad happens, all the information will still be reachable. Also, with backups, the recovery will be fast if the server falls or the hard drive crashes. Having the data backed up both online and offline is the perfect way to do it, as the data is safe in multiple locations. How often should a backup occur? Well, if it is automatic, that should be at least once a day.
Use HTTPS and invest in an SSL certificate
HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, so moving the website to this type of protocol means adding an encryption layer. That would be an SSL – Secure Sockets Layer, or TLS – Transport Layer Security. An investment in an SSL certificate is important, as it assures the secure transfer of any sensitive information between the website and the server.
Restrict or limit file uploads
Accepting file uploads to the website must be done with extreme caution. Limiting or even restricting this action will keep away any attempt from the hackers to upload malicious content. If files have to be uploaded, you have to consider multiple filtering steps, such as scanning files for malware, setting a maximum file size or using file type verification.
Limit login attempts
Limiting login attempts by brute force – trying many combinations of IDs and passwords – is meant to block such brutal attacks. That means installing a plugin which limits the number of times a login attempt can be made, before that IP address will eventually be blocked. Those IP addresses would eventually be added on a blacklist.
Hide admin directories
This one is a logical, easy, and basic step, which millions of website owners ignore, nonetheless. Hackers can concentrate their attack on an admin folder in the website script. The desirable action is to rename these admin directories, so that the hackers will have a tough time finding them.
Cyber Security Researcher. Information security specialist, currently working as risk infrastructure specialist & investigator. He is a cyber-security researcher with over 25 years of experience. He has served with the Intelligence Agency as a Senior Intelligence Officer. He has also worked with Google and Citrix in development of cyber security solutions. He has aided the government and many federal agencies in thwarting many cyber crimes. He has been writing for us in his free time since last 5 years.