Many businesses fear getting their websites hacked and losing valuable data.
As scary as it may seem, this fear is rooted in grim reality. According to Security Magazine, there is an attack every 39 seconds on average on the web.
Optus, Australia’s second-biggest telecoms company, recently had a massive security breach putting 40% of the population’s personal data at risk.
Hackers are getting smarter by the minute. In many cases, traditional firewalls and antivirus security have become irrelevant or obsolete.
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to tighten your website security and protect your data. No matter the size of your business, your website faces the threat of cyberattacks daily.
9 Cybersecurity Risks Your Website is Facing
Every business that has an online presence faces the threat of cyberattacks. Even with firewalls and antivirus, no business is fully safe. Hackers could still exploit any vulnerabilities you’re not yet even aware of.
Here are some of the top threats websites face:
Shorthand for malicious software, malware consists of codes developed by cyber attackers. They’re intended to damage websites and computer systems or to gain unauthorised access to a network.
According to a Center for Internet Security (CIS) report, these are the top malware to look out for – Emotet, Kovter, ZeuS, NanoCore, Cerber, CoinMiner, Trickbot, and WannaCry.
Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. It prevents users from accessing their own system or personal files.
The attacker then demands a ransom payment to restore access to the original owner of the website.
Phishing is a cyberattack that attempts to retrieve sensitive and confidential information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card information.
Phishing is the fraudulent use of electronic communication where the attacker poses as a legitimate individual or institution via phone or email. Scammers may use link manipulation or website forgery in their phishing attempts.
Millions of business records are exposed to cybercriminals every year due to data breaches. A data breach is defined as “a security violation in which sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so.”
Outdated Hardware and Software
Using outdated hardware and software can lead to more than just decreased productivity and frequent crashes. As viruses and malware become more sophisticated, it becomes easier for cybercriminals to detect and exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software.
Unhealthy IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystems make your website susceptible to cyberattacks. Unsecured network services, weak passwords, lack of privacy protections, and improper data transfer mechanisms are common IoT vulnerabilities that need to be resolved at the earliest.
Poor Digital Certificate Management
A digital certificate is an electronic credential (“password”) used to exchange data securely over the internet by establishing proof of identity in an electronic transaction. Any lapse in the management of digital certificates can make your organisation more vulnerable to hacking attacks.
The COVID-19 also left a huge impact on the internet with a huge number of domain names using COVID-9 related keywords such as “coronavirus”, “covid19”, etc. Cybercriminals took this opportunity to set up sites and conduct spam and phishing activities.
There’s rapid spread of misinformation among the public, especially with the lingering effects of COVID-19. Fake news, misleading threats, unverified information, and conspiracy theories contributed to the public’s anxiety making people susceptible to scams.
How to Safeguard Your Website
Now that you’re aware of the multiple threats your website faces, it’s time to upgrade your current security system to ensure a secure, bulletproofed website.
Website security a reliable web hosting service are the most important aspects to secure your business online. Here are proven tips to help strengthen your website security:
Keep Software and Plug-ins Updated
Hackers and bots scan outdated sites for loopholes in your security plan to attack. Software companies continue improving their products when they notice any weaknesses. Make sure to install the latest update and plugins to enhance security and repair vulnerabilities.
SSL is an encryption-based internet security protocol and an integral part of website security. Getting an SSL certificate secures sensitive data transmitted from and to your website. Most hosting providers and web development agencies include SSL security for your website along with their products and services.
Enforce a Strong Password Policy
Create unique passwords that make it more difficult for hackers to carry out an unauthorised login. Use a password combined with numbers, special characters and symbols, and uppercased and lowercase letters. Also, make sure to frequently change passwords.
Furthermore, strictly implement this password policy that each of your staff must follow.
Install a Strong Firewall
A firewall is a digital security system that inspects all the traffic in your network. It prevents unsecure traffic and malicious software from accessing your computer through the internet.
Please note that firewalls don’t guarantee that your computer will not be attacked but installing a firewall strengthens your security and resistance to attack.
Tighten Network Security
Network security monitoring tools are designed to detect threats and security breaches. With continuous monitoring and the timely blocking of threats, you’ll be able to protect your business assets and safeguard your online reputation.
Use a Secure Web Host
Web hosting is an online service that allows your website’s content to be accessible on the internet. It is responsible for running the servers, ensuring data transfers successfully to the visitors’ browsers, and most importantly, implementing security measures.
Choose a hosting solution that comes with robust security such as DDos Protection and backups. You can also consult your web hosting provider for faster, more scalable solutions with your web hosting plan.
Backup Your Website
Create several backups for your website and recover all your data in case of an attack. Invest in a cloud backup solution allowing you to store and keep your data and applications safe on a remote server.
Protect Your Website from Cyberattacks
Small businesses are one of the biggest targets of cyberattacks since they’re the least unequipped when it comes to website security. However, most don’t think of themselves as likely targets. Don’t make the same mistake.
Take your website security seriously. Invest in a good security plan and protect your business from malicious attacks. Consult your web hosting provider or security service experts for more information.