In the digital age, a website is your bread and butter. Without one, your business will starve, so it’s a smart move to keep it as safe as possible.
As a company, these days you’ll find yourself in the midst of a highly competitive market. The introduction of the internet, as well as the consistent evolution of modern technology, means that a website has become the most powerful, accessible business tool out there. Such a valuable asset will, of course, require appropriate security measures.
Let’s take a look at a few steps you should take to make sure your website is as safe as possible.
It Never Hurts to Improve Your Knowledge
Whether your computer skills are limited or you’re a tech genius, developing your knowledge would be of huge benefit to your site, especially when it comes to cyber-security. The internet is a goldmine of free resources, (1) tech blogs and other websites, such as website hosting companies, that provide a wealth of knowledge for website maintenance and security.
There are also sites with the sole purpose of keeping people updated with the latest developments in hacking methods, and any new software or techniques that could help prevent cyber-attacks on your site.
Software companies are always looking to improve security wherever possible, and updates are their primary way of doing so. If the company (or worse, a hacker) finds a flaw or vulnerability in its software, an update will fix the issue and prevent any security breaches.
If you delay updates or simply ignore them, you’ll expose your website to an attack by hackers — and if your primary source of revenue is through your site, this would be terrible for business. Hackers have the ability to scan thousands of websites, so if your website’s software isn’t updated, you’ll be vulnerable, standing out like a sore thumb.
If you’re unsure about the updates you should be keeping an eye out for, your website hosting (2) provider will be the best person to turn to for advice. Most modern web hosting options have automatic updates in place to prevent any security issues.
Be Smart With Your Passwords
Computer technology has become a vital aspect of business, as well as everyday life, making cyber-security a primary concern and top priority. Your password is the first line of defence (3) against a security breach, whether through a hacker or any other circumstances, such as a stolen computer or phone.
Everyone has a friend or relative that isn’t very computer-savvy and uses an abysmal password. There must be thousands of grandparents out there still using “password” as a password. You’ll notice that a lot of websites require a password to fit certain criteria to be accepted; for example, you may have to use an uppercase character, a lowercase character and a number. Including these characters makes a password much harder to guess or discover.
Not only should your password be random and unrelated to yourself like a date of birth, but you should also change it on a regular basis. Doing so will prevent your data being accessed by a hacker, or even a disgruntled ex-employee who happens to know the password for your network.
Be Sensible With User Access
Many companies now use multiple logins as a way to give their employees access to files or for site contribution purposes. The same can be said for logins provided to outside sources for guest-blogging.
This is a great way of making everyday workflow run smoother and more quickly, as it doesn’t require employees to send files to different departments, who then have access other areas of the site for publication. Although it’s a benefit in regards to work-based aspects of a website, it does raise some cyber-security issues if user access is assigned inappropriately or without caution.
For example, a guest blogger should only ever be given contributor access and never as an administrator. This would only provide them with the right amount of access to do their job, so, in this case, they’d be able to write and edit their own content.
Consider how multiple logins can affect a company’s website in regards to mistakes being made. Important aspects of a site or website settings could be changed by an employee who shouldn’t have access, which could result in a massive dent in revenue. If one login is being used for multiple employees, it makes it impossible for a company to monitor an individual’s activities, which can be a cause for concern if mistakes are made.
Backups Are a Lifesaver
Maybe they’re quite not a lifesaver; if you’re ever in mortal danger, don’t rely on a website backup to swoop in and save the day. But in regards to the safety or ‘life’ of your site, then backups really are an invaluable tool to have. Always remember to make a backup, and then backup your backup; hell, you might as well go ahead and backup the backup of your backup.
Whether it’s for business or other endeavours such as blogging, your website is the most vital tool you have at your disposal. So after all the time, effort and money spent on design, hosting (4) and so much more that has gone into making your site successful, having it wiped from the face of the earth would probably sting a little.
If your website is your company’s primary source of revenue and your site goes down, your profits will take a beating — and your customers could make a permanent switch to competitors. Amazon’s site went down (5) for thirty minutes in 2013, forcing the company to lose over $66,000 per minute, ouch.
Your web hosting provider (6) will be the person to speak to about your backups, and it’s likely that your backups will be automated, leaving you with the peace of mind to carry on with other important aspects of your business. Of course, assumption is a foolish error, so speak to your hosting provider and make sure all the correct backup procedures are in place.
Also, test your backup! Download your backup file and test it to make sure that your website will be exactly as you left it, and all features and functions work efficiently.
In almost every industry today, a website is the key to success and a company’s prized possession. Without one, you don’t stand much chance of fending off the competition. Just like any other prized possession, it needs to be protected. Your cyber-security is there to keep a hacker’s greedy little paws away from your website. It’s the lock and key, safe combination, motion detectors and laser beams that keep a burglar away from your business’
The tips mentioned above are some of the most vital, simple, yet often-neglected aspects of cyber-security. Implementing them all into your current regime of website security will help you to prevent any serious issues, whether it’s a threat from hacking or human error.
About the author:Chris Danks has over fifteen years of experience in the web hosting industry. He’s the owner and director of Cyber Host Pro, which provides businesses all over the world with a wide range of hosting solutions.