Important Tips for Securing a Website Against Hackers - TopNotch IT

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A Website Security Guide for Small Business Owners

Use These Tips to Secure Your Website Against Hackers

Cyber-attacks are a terrifying threat in today’s world. What’s even more worrisome is that 43% of those attacks prey on small businesses. This risk only seems to grow as technology advances and hackers get more creative.

Even worse, the field of cybersecurity seriously lacks professionals with the skill set to combat the attacks. This is good news for hackers, and bad news for business owners hoping to protect their customers, assets and personal information.

Instead, only 38% of organizations worldwide feel they are properly protected. If you want to join that 38% then you have landed on the right page. The following guide will show you some of the best ways to get protection against hackers.

But first, take the time to understand these strong points about cyber security:

What is Website Security?

When it comes to malevolent attacks on to your website, the possibilities are endless. As time progresses, these attempts to steal information or money are becoming more sophisticated and tougher to combat. Now, cyber attacks are stealing $1.1 million worldwide every 60 seconds.

Aside from the threat of cyber-attacks, Google Says: a non-secure website will also drop in the search result rankings. Additionally, users will be notified that your website is not protected and may bounce from your website. In turn, your ranking could drop even more.

With website security, you avoid these sticky situations that harm your business. It can be done by analyzing the entire website and finding the vulnerable areas. Once identified, you can make the proper adjustments for a stronger website.

While there are plenty of different software options to help with this, there are also some manual steps you can take to ensure website protection.

Important Steps for Web Security

There are some areas that plugins and other software just don’t cover. Not to mention, while these additions are certainly helpful, they are generally programmed with limitations. The human mind, on the other hand is unlimited and unpredictable.

Hence, it’s smart to have a cybersecurity specialist on your team to pinpoint weaknesses and help you understand what’s happening. If not, then at least try these steps and learn how to protect your website from hackers, viruses and other malicious attacks.

Make sure you’ve done these 5 simple steps:

1.   Transition to HTTPS – This is done by installing an SSL certificate on your website. The certificate protects data that is communicated through web servers to the browser and vice versa. This is a necessity for e-commerce websites and other sites requiring personal information.

2.   Apply parameterized queries – This step protects your webpages from SQL injections, which are used to breach sensitive information and alter data. Generally, this kind of attack is slipped in with information that a user submitted to the site (such as a request form). From there, it sends instructions to your website to carry out tasks for the hacker. For this reason, you should set limitations as to what type of data can be submitted.

3.   Set file permissions – For stronger webpage security, dig into the core files that make up your website. Go into the property settings to assign different levels of access to specified groups of users. In this way, you can control which users can view and manipulate files or perform tasks on an administrative level.  

4.   Implement content security policy (CSP) – This combats XSS attacks by setting limits as to what code should be executed. With CSP, you give instructions regarding domains that supply authorized script. Anything that was not mentioned will not be accepted. In turn, attempts to inject harmful JavaScript from third-party sites are thwarted.

5.   Use difficult passwords – Given a little background information, guessing someone’s password is terribly easy. Avoid making yourself a target by creating random and diverse passwords. Include a combination of numbers, upper/lowercase letters and a special character or two. The longer it is, the more difficult it will be to hack. It’s also a good idea to require this of anybody who is accessing sensitive information within your website. This will make sure to no one is at risk, thus keeping your website safe as a whole.  

6.   Get security plugins – If you are working with a WordPress website, take the time to explore on of the 49,000 security plugins. With odds like that, there must be something useful for you! There are free and paid options and each specializing in different areas of protection. By selecting the right one or combination of a few, you can have a clean running and protected website.

Considering that 1/3 of the world’s websites are powered by WordPress, security on this platform is worth mentioning in further detail.

Security for WordPress

70,000 WordPress websites are blacklisted each week for either phishing or malware. That’s pretty concerning. What can you do to keep your website protected on this platform?

Plugins are a great place to start. So, if you are wondering how to protect a WordPress website from hackers, consider these top-rated plugins

1.   WordFence Security

  • The most popular WordPress security plugin.
  • Free (with paid premium features)
  • Includes a firewall
  • Employs a two-step authentication system.
  • Combats malware, brute force attacks, hackers, malicious networks, scanners and fake traffic.

2.   All-in-One WP Security & Firewall – PHP

  • Great choice for how to secure a website from hackers in PHP will backup the code and report errors
  • Covers basic security needs, actively searches for and fights common cyber-attacks.
  • Has diverse firewall settings for a more customized security experience.
  • Scans your security setting to ensure ultimate protections.
  • Protects against brute force attacks
  • Focuses on consumer security by monitoring accounts, password strength and logins
  • Provides frontend protection too

3.   Sucuri Security

  • Free on WordPress
  • The File Integrity Monitoring feature will monitor for any unauthorized changes
  • provide guidance in the event of a cyber attack
  • protects against malware, brute force attacks, scanners, DOS, and Zero Day Disclosure Patches

4.   BulletProof Security

  • Free plugin, easy to set up
  • Includes caching and fire wall
  • Monitors logins, traffic, data bases
  • Protects commonly vulnerable areas
  • Combats code injections, XSS, CRLF, RFI and CSRF attacks.

5.   iThemes Security

  • Easy to install, offers diverse protection options
  • Flags IP addresses exhibiting suspicious behaviors (such as failed logins or attacking other sites)
  • Employs two step authentications and requires strong passwords
  • Uses reCAPTCHA technology
  • Protects against malware and brute force attacks
  • Scans website for vulnerable areas and common threats

There are tons of other plugins to choose from. And each one gives special attention to the many different aspects of cyber security management. So, it’s worth taking the time to sort through a good number of options.

Here’s one sound piece of advice, regardless of which plugins you choose: update often! It’s a well-known fact that outdated software presents many opportunities for hackers to get in. With each update, the odds of this happening decreases drastically.

Summary

It takes around 200 days for a business to realized they’ve been hacked. Yet, the destruction can happen in a matter of hours. With the above-mentioned tips, hopefully this terrible situation will never happen to your website.
If you want the best work possible when creating a secure website, consider TopNotch Innovative Technologies for your expert team. With a fast team of coders and talented web developers, we will make your website more secure than it’s ever been.

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