These days whenever you need something like checking out some products that you intend to purchase or conducting some research on a certain topic or institution, the first thing that you do is to head straight to the respective website. Any brand or organization without a proper website in 2020 is basically tightening a noose around its neck and death is certainly around the corner. The ease of having websites up and running has also motivated many to go down this road because even without any substantial tech know-how, you only need to access a reputable content management system like WordPress and you can have a new website running in a matter of minutes.
However, with every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The ease of owning websites has also led to many unskilled people running websites which is basically like raining manna on hackers who can exploit the ignorance of their gain. Hardly a month goes by these days without a major website hack making the headlines. The current cybersecurity crisis is not just affecting the small fish who may not have the proper resources to ward off these attacks. We have witnessed the high and mighty fall like the respected arms of government and corporate giants. Website security should, therefore, be at the forefront of every website owner’s mind.
Website Security Best Practices to Implement in 2020
Implement Secure Passwords
One major cybersecurity concern of the 21st century is brute force attacks that use software to combine possible password suggestions until they crack your password. Although it may seem like common sense for a webmaster to use long, complex passwords that are very hard to crack, some people ignore this golden rule and continue to use lame passwords like their mother’s name or city of birth. You need to use strong passwords that combine numbers and special characters with lowercase and uppercase letters. Better yet, you can enlist the services of a reputable password manager like Dashlane that will generate and save strong, unique passwords for all your accounts.
Migrate to HTTPS
By now if you have not heard about SSL certificates, you need a total rebirth to bring you up to terms with the current world that we are living in. Google launched the HTTPS Everywhere Initiative in 2014 that awards sites with better rankings if you have SSL protocol on your website. You can easily acquire a Cheap SSL Certificate from SSL2BUY that will encrypt the data being transferred between your web server and a users’ browser. This will ensure that sensitive personally identifiable information like credit card and login details do not fall on the wrong hands.
Enable DDoS Protection
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are some pain in the flesh that you need to watch out for in 2020. Usually these work through overpowering a website with excessive traffic that’s bound to take the server offline. The malicious actors will then keep a constant flow of such traffic to prevent your website from coming back online as they seek to achieve their mission. A famous case is Operation Payback that targeted major credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard. It’s also good to know that your servers can be pulled down by a legitimate overflow of traffic like when media outlets give you instant attention. The best way to handle this is using a trusted Content Delivery Network (CDN) that will split up the data into manageable sizes per given time.
Install a Web Application Firewall
Whenever our soldiers go to war, we must arm them with the proper gear and artillery to help them withstand any threat and come back to us in one piece. Your website is the special home that you need to guard thoroughly from cyber threats like malware and viruses. A good way to do this is having a proper web application firewall in place. Firewalls can be software, hardware or cloud-based but it’s advised to combine all of them to be able to closely monitor the inflow and outflow of data and quickly quarantine any malicious traffic.
Keep All Your Software Up to date
As a webmaster, it’s important to note that the internet is an ever-evolving platform. What works magically today maybe a villain tomorrow. Most hosting providers are constantly making updates to their operating systems, plugins and software and you need to be on the lookout for when this happens and act swiftly to stay up to date. When a security threat is found say in a plug-in and a patch is released to curb that threat, any delay in installing this patch may land you in hot soup with the fast-acting hackers.
Have Regular Automated Backups
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Although you may take all necessary precautions to ward off bad actors from your website, sometimes witty hackers still find a way through and when that happens, having backups can save you a lot of trouble having to start all over again or paying hefty ransomware fees. It’s therefore important for you to activate automatic backups even daily if need be to always be on the safer side.
Use a Reputable Anti-Virus Program
Usually, when we talk of an Antivirus program, most people think that it only applies to personal computers and gadgets. However, there are always some respected companies in the market that do the work of monitoring your website and cleaning up any unwanted guests like viruses. One such reputable company is SiteLock that is trusted by countless websites for their security needs.
Website security is not something to be taken lightly. A slight breach can lead to lots of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands that can have nasty repercussions like hefty financial losses, sensitive government, and trade secrets leaking, loss of client trust… among others. Every website owner, therefore, needs to implement web security best practices starting by acquiring an SSL Certificate that will encrypt all the data being sent to and from your server.