Every person who is responsible for a website has the same nightmare. A hacker gets in and gains access to data or information that your employees or clients entrust you to protect. This can have massive consequences for an organization.
It can have devastating PR effects, tank sales, cause downtime, and cost pots of money to remedy. Some industries can also suffer major repercussions for failing to be compliant with data protection protocols.
In 2020, the global pandemic forced more people online than ever, while simultaneously presenting more opportunities for cybercriminals than ever. That’s why making your site more secure should be a top priority in 2021. Here are a few quick tips to make your site more secure.
Make sure your software is secure
Any software that helps power your site or runs in conjunction with it needs to be incredibly secure. Ensuring you are taking maximum security precautions should begin during the development process and continue for the life of your software.
Secure software development involves a number of factors, according to Liventus. Some key factors you should look for to be confident the development is secure include using a variety of tools to evaluate code, utilizing outside help to find possible vulnerabilities, prioritizing ongoing training with the development team, and including as much authentication and encryption as possible.
Keep your software up to date
Secure software development is just the first step in securing the software in and around your website. Developers have to start the security journey but it is up to you to continue it. Secure software has the ability to be updated and patched to deal with the latest security threats. If you don’t have the latest version, you cannot be confident that your software is safe.
Not updating your software and plug-ins doesn’t just make your website vulnerable, it makes it a target. Hackers are constantly looking for out-of-date software to attack, and the longer you go without updates, the more likely it is that you will fall victim.
Require good passwords
If site users are using Password123 as their access code, your site is more likely to be attacked. Whether it is backend users or users from outside your organization, make sure your business and your site requires strong passwords to access the site.
For users, your site has to be set up to require strong passwords. Internal users should have a combination of requirements and training. Educating the people who use the site on security best practices like strong passwords that are changed regularly is a key piece of website security.
Enact multi-factor authentication
Strong passwords will only get you so far. In 2021, requiring multifactor authentication will give you that extra layer of security for your site. In addition to a password, users should also have to enter a one-time code or some type of biometric authentication to access the site.
Adding this relatively small extra layer of security is huge for websites. If there are software vulnerabilities, this won’t necessarily help but for social engineering attacks, which are very popular these days, this goes a long way.
Record access to your site
The unfortunate reality in 2021 is that your site will likely be attacked in some way at some point in the future. When this happens, finding out where the attack is coming from is critical. You need to see where you are being attacked and mitigate losses as soon as you can. After the breach happens, you need to remedy the situation as fast as possible.
Recording user access and limiting who has administrator privileges is a key to doing this. The more data you have about who is using your site and how they are using it will help with mitigation and future prevention. Using data to help secure your site is a brilliant move.
Ransomware attacks are one of the most popular forms of cyberattacks in 2021. These attacks can hold your sensitive data hostage and cause massive downtime for your organization. One of the best ways to work around these attacks and get back to business as soon as possible is to back up all your data.
Data backup can minimize the power of these attacks. It can let you go back to normal operations while people on the tech side work on remedying the situation. The road to data disaster is paved with companies who didn’t back up their data with enough frequency or thoroughness. Don’t be that company.
Train your people
We touched on this above in the password piece, but it goes beyond just educating staff on password best practices. Cybersecurity is a team effort. The everyday users matter just as much as the tech people in your organization.
Make sure everyone knows about simple protections such as not opening suspicious or unknown files or not leaving computers open when they’re not in the physical vicinity. The more people know about how to keep your website and systems safe, the easier it will be to keep everything secure.
Use antivirus software
This is saved for last because many people think this is the be-all and end-all of website security. Antivirus software alone isn’t enough to get the job done. You need a mic of all the tips above and maybe more to get the job done. You can’t let antivirus software lull you into a false sense of security.
That said, it is still a crucial piece of securing your site. Having up-to-date, high-quality antivirus protection is still a good first line of defense. Make sure you have it and that you use it correctly. Just make sure you don’t stop there.
Securing your website needs to be a top priority for any business in 2021. The threats are real, and they are growing every day. While this should scare you (a bit), there is good news. When you know and implement security best practices like the ones above, security becomes easier, it becomes a team effort, and it becomes a natural part of your company that will truly safeguard your organization from all the pitfalls that come from cyberattacks.