6 Safety Solutions Your Website Will Be Grateful For
As organizations expand their online operations, online cyber-attacks and data breaches increase alongside. The 2020 Cyber Security Breaches Survey shows that cyber-security threats grew from 19% in 2018 to 26% in 2020.
This means that regardless of its size, no business is safe from cyber-risk. From Trojan-horse viruses that steal passwords to phishing attacks that spam your mailbox with fake emails – organizations have a lot to worry about when it comes to cyber-attacks.
The good news here is that it only takes due diligence and a substantial commitment to security to overcome these issues. And it all begins with your website.
Why Is Website Security Important?
Your website gives the world a view of your business, its offerings, and the people who make it all happen. For some, this is all the incentive they need to try and use the site to pry into things that don't matter to them. This includes user credentials, customer data, financial information, and more.
Does your audience trust you with their personal data, such as their credit card information?
Chances are that they provide you with this data through your website, and it's stored on a database behind it. It is imperative to protect and secure this database if you want to win more customers.
That's because, in case of a data breach, your clients can lose trust in your business, causing you to lose out on potential revenue. Besides, you don't want to end up paying for costly repairs and lawsuits when all you needed to do was put in place the necessary (and often very inexpensive) measures to secure the site.
How Can You Make Your Website Secure?
Apart from losing money, hacking can result in considerable losses in traffic, your data, and that of your visitors. Companies need to have cyber-security plans with their MSP partners, such as antivirus and ransomware protection.
Research states that 29% of all companies place adequate security measures as their top priority.
Let's see some of the ways to secure your website:
Use Strong Passwords
One of the most common ways of hacking is by decoding username and password combinations from one website and using the same to try to hack other sites and even company files.
The most effective way of preventing a widespread data breach is to have a different and robust combination of passwords for every account. Longer passwords are generally more difficult to guess. Using other symbols and characters can also increase hackers' time to crack your code, making it a safe bet.
However, humans cannot create a unique password for every account. We suggest using a password management app to create strong passwords; this program can even lock and unlock all your online accounts automatically if need be. This not only improves your security but can also increase your productivity and efficiency.
Automate Security Updates
There are various types of malicious attacks that can disrupt your website, making you lose out on business opportunities and customers. Ransom-ware can intercept your files, demanding a hefty fee to restore them. At the same time, Trojan horse attacks can steal your private information like confidential customer details.
You may install antivirus protection to defend your website against these attacks. However, if you do not update it regularly, the software cannot protect your files against advanced attacks. Whether you use a paid antivirus software or an inbuilt security suite like Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center, you will need to update and renew it periodically to combat new viruses.
Use Anti-Malware Software
While using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help reduce malware infection chances. It is ultimately up to you as an internet user to ensure that your device or machine is already secured against a wide range of different malware attacks. Ransomware can disrupt your IT processes, hold important files hostage and demand a ransom to release them.
According to research, 43% of malicious attacks are targeted at small businesses costing them a loss of almost $2.6m! Companies should use an anti-malware software program to protect their data and systems from these disruptive attacks to save themselves from these damages.
Some examples of security malware protection include:
Avast Anti-Malware Protection
Avast Free antivirus software is one of the most popularly used antivirus software used by businesses. It also offers a password manager, browser protection, and a network security scanner along with a free virus scanner.
Kaspersky Security Cloud is a free antivirus scanner that can protect your devices against infected files, viruses, and suspicious logins. The best thing about Kaspersky is that it can update automatically, so you do not have to worry about updating it manually.
Use A Secure Hosting Service
A website hosting service allows organizations and website owners to make their website accessible worldwide.
You have many web hosting servers to choose from. However, the right hosting service will ultimately depend on your site's size, data, volume, and traffic.
So how do you select the right host, and how exactly will it benefit your business?
If you own an e-commerce website, it is essential to implement proper security measures to keep confidential customer data from falling into the wrong hands.
A good hosting service will usually offer encryption as part of its service. Encryption means protecting consumers from landing onto vulnerable sites and warning them about an insecure page.
Moreover, people these days demand instant gratification for their needs. 47% of consumers expect a website or page to download within two seconds, and 40% will abandon a website if it takes too long to load.
This is why hosting servers are so crucial for your online business. Maximize your user experience by choosing a hosting company that can manage a large volume of data at a time, expertly handling traffic spikes during sale season or special events.
Keep Your SSL Certificate Protected
An SSL certificate authenticates a website and provides encryption between the site and your visitors' data. Without encryption to protect it, your customer's personal information and data can be manipulated by third-party apps and snoopers.
Suppose you're selling something on your website or want your customers to sign up for a newsletter. In that case, chances are you're asking your customers for personal contact information. Without an SSL certificate, your site will show a "not secure" warning in hosting services, which can drive visitors away.
Businesses think that an SSL certificate is only about website protection for customers; however, an SSL certification is more than just protecting your data. It can save you from MITM attacks – a cyber-attack that can intercept two parties, manipulating their data such as fake logins. These attacks can cause your website to crash, leading to missed opportunities for your business.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is an added layer of protection on top of passwords for any site. Have you ever logged onto your Gmail account from a new web browser and been prompted to enter a verification code sent to you on your mobile? That's a two-factor authentication code!
Suppose you have vulnerable data stored on a site. In that case, two-factor authentication can prevent your site from a potential data breach by verifying your identity through questions such as your mobile number, your security key, or a verification code.
Two-factor authentication is now increasingly being used by all companies, regardless of their size and niche. E-commerce websites like Amazon offer 2FA to prevent credit card frauds; healthcare portals can keep their patient data private; and online giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Google use 2FA to control access to other platforms.
The need for a cyber-security strategy is more critical than ever. Several threats are waiting to target your website's vulnerabilities that could put your business in danger.
Fortunately, there are many ways to invest in website security to make your online business look professional while also helping you drive more sales. Choose wisely and your customers will love you all the more for it.
Sam Meenasian is the Operations Director of USA Business Insurance and BISU Insurance and an expert in commercial lines insurance products. With over 10 years of experience and knowledge in the commercial insurance industry, Meenasian contributes his level of expertise as a leader and an agent to educate and secure online business insurance for thousands of clients within the Insurance family.