Five ways to keep your website secure
Your website is the digital hub for your business, but when you have it built you are probably most focused on the design and content. However, knowing how to keep it secure is paramount for ensuring a good, and safe, experience for your customers or clients.
Why is website security important?
Lapses in security can cause leaks of protected information leading to fines from regulatory bodies and damage to your business’s reputation. No-one wants to work with a business that has a poor track record in keeping information secure. Additionally, it may disrupt or halt your operations or expose you to the risk of paying a ransom.
So it’s in your best interest to keep your site as safe as possible, and here we look at five top ways you can do just that.
An important first step in security is the code itself. You can keep your code safe with techniques which make code harder to access and read for those unfamiliar with it (obfuscation and minification if you want the jargon).
Input validation is another tool for deterring opportunistic attacks, by preventing invalid inputs, such as in fillable fields on login screens.
Using automation, hackers can attempt invalid inputs on large numbers of websites in bulk, and detect which ones have input validation. If your site has it, you immediately remove yourself from the scope of these kind of attacks.
Regular code reviews are also important to check the code for vulnerabilities from cross-site scripting or SQL injection attacks. Auditing software can be used to track changes in the code, and revert them if your code is compromised.
Keeping software up to date
As WordPress experts, we understand that the software your site runs on is integral to keeping it safe. As with any software nowadays, keeping the CMS (like WordPress) updated, alongside site plug-ins and themes, is an important and relatively easy way of eliminating vulnerabilities.
This is absolutely crucial as over 40% of websites now use WordPress, it’s often the target of brute force attacks and, left to run out of date, can quickly become compromised.
For many, it is possible to enable auto-updates.
Strong access control
Stay on top of who has permissions to make changes to your site, and how secure their access to the system is from the backend.
People working on the site should use strong, unique passwords for system access, as well as two-factor authentication as an extra security measure. Make sure to keep track of appropriate levels of permission and security, for example, removing permissions for any outgoing employees.
Another useful tool for remote access is a VPN, keeping anyone connected part of the same network, and adding a layer of security for those workers who might be working over a public WiFi, at a library or coffee shop.
There are many technical measures that can be implemented to help keep a website secure. One of the main examples is an SSL certificate (which demonstrates a standard level of encryption). SSL certificates are absolutely essential for a modern website.
Not only does it protect user information being sent over the Internet, such as payment information for businesses, it also enhances your SEO. Chrome and many other browsers will mark websites without an SSL certificate as not secure.
Websites are hosted on servers and these can be vulnerable to attack, too. Don’t choose a website hosting company blindly. Make sure that the hosting platform takes security seriously and follows best practices for keeping your website safe.
This may include technologies like Web Application Firewalls (WAF). These monitor data between the server and sources of website traffic, acting as a shield and filtering out certain attacks on servers.
CDNs (content delivery networks) can also keep your servers secure, by mitigating against DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, which attempt to take down a site or network by flooding it with traffic.
Choosing the right website hosting will also ensure that, if the worst should happen, there’s a quick resolution.
Secure WordPress websites in Bristol
As Bristol WordPress experts we can develop you a website that is secure from the start so that you’re prepared for the kind of security threats mentioned above. If you’re starting a new business, or looking to refresh and upgrade your site security or design, get in touch with us either by booking a free discovery call or contacting us here.