Your website, like your business bank account, requires ongoing maintenance and regular security checks to ensure everything is protected against potential scammers and cyberattacks.
What Is Website Security?
According to CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency), website security “refers to the protection of personal and organizational public-facing websites from cyber attacks.”
It involves putting certain systems, barriers, and business practices into place to help reduce your site’s vulnerability to online threats.
Types of Threats & Their Impact
Cyberattacks may include any malicious attempt to steal, alter, expose, or destroy information from your website. And if you run a business site, the type of information at risk is no longer limited to your own data.
If you collect customer information, such as emails, credit cards, phone numbers, etc., this private information becomes vulnerable, too!
And without a proper security plan in place, you could lose more than your customers’ private information. You also run the risk of losing your customers’ trust, your business’ reputation, and future, too.
Depending on the situation, your business may become liable in the event of a data breach, where sensitive customer information (e.g., social security numbers, date of births, or health information) has been compromised.
Website Security Best Practices
The reality of what can happen to your business in the event of a security breach should be enough to reassess your current website security practices. This way you can make sure you’re doing everything possible to prevent such an occurrence from taking place.
Of course, no site is ever 100% secure. Nevertheless, there are many precautions you can perform regularly to help reduce the risk, including
Secure Web Development
The first stop on your security checklist is checking to see that your website’s hosting server is secure and that you’ve built your site using a trusted content management system (CMS) or eCommerce platform.
If you use WordPress, good news! This popular CMS platform is actually designed with security in mind. In fact, you can install a WordPress security plugin to scan for malware and antivirus and provide firewall protection.
Having said that, you do want to be very cautious with certain plugins and themes, as they’re not always as reliable as one may think. In this scenario, try to stick to WordPress’ directory, read reviews, ask experts for suggestions, and make sure to update plugins when available.
“…[A]s with anything connected to the internet, [WordPress] has its vulnerabilities, and hackers will always seek a way in. However, it has some of the best infrastructures and, at its core, is built to withstand attacks from hackers and malicious entities,” (Hubspot).
Operating Systems & Software Updates
Be sure to regularly scan and patch your operating systems and software to reduce security vulnerabilities across all applications and devices related to your business. This means employees’ computers, tablets, and smartphones, too!
“Be sure to scan for configuration vulnerabilities in addition to software vulnerabilities,” (CISA).
As we noted with plugins, make sure you’re also checking for available updates on current software systems: “Don’t delay downloading operating system updates. These updates often include new or enhanced security features,” (National Institute of Standards and Technology).
Here’s some more food for thought: “Be aware that software vendors are not required to provide security updates for unsupported products,” (NIST). In fact, Big Tech brands like Microsoft and even Google will stop providing security updates on products past a certain period.
This is typically a way to get you to upgrade, but as this usually happens when your software or device is still functioning, it could slip your mind that it’s no longer receiving regular security updates—or if you’re trying to save money, you might use your device until it finally slows down. Though we understand the need to cut costs where you can, running your system on outdated versions will leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks.
This is why regular monitoring and scanning is essential!
Be sure your site has an SSL certificate. Without this, you’re alerting potential customers that your site is unsafe. Don’t forget that users are being cautious about their online security, too. So it’s likely they’ll avoid your website if it doesn’t have one. And Google may even penalize your search rankings if you don’t have this certificate.
“An SSL certificate ensures that your website is encrypted as it travels over the internet so that if it’s intercepted along the way, user details, passwords, and even credit card details will be distorted and indecipherable to hackers,” (CORE dna).
Have You Heard About Guardography?
Keeping your website safe and protected from cyberattacks is never something you want to take for granted. But if you’re running a small business, all that time spent scanning your site and keeping up with security checks, updates, and best practices can be a tremendous task.
Lucky for you, our team can help! At Brandography, we offer Guardography—a monthly maintenance plan that includes monthly check-ins for business websites, whether you operate a WordPress site or eCommerce store.
How It Works
When you sign up for this plan, you’ll be able to stay current on any potential site issues impacting your website and users’ experience.
Each month, your designed developer will
- Implement version and extension updates
- Apply needed patches
- Perform applicable site backups
That means less worry and more peace of mind knowing your site (and users’ information) is getting the type of protection it deserves.
To learn more about getting started with Guardogrpahy, contact us today for a quote!