Nowadays, most people are aware of the work which has to be done if you want to keep your computer safe when you’re browsing the web. Of course, with each updated operating system, the work you have to do in this area lessens, and it’s easy to become complacent with your online security.
While this works for a normal computer, your company’s website won’t be i9n the same boat. In fact, with threats coming from loads of places, and a lot on the line if something goes wrong, business owners have to be more careful than ever to make sure that their web presence is protected. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring the field of website security, giving you everything you need to get yourself protected.
The Website’s Structure
To begin in this process, it’s important to assess the website which is already presenting your business, figuring out what could be done to improve the way that it works. Running a website from a shared server, for example, isn’t as secure as a VPS or a dedicated one, making it easy for people to access the files you store. Along with this, the CMS system you use could also impact your site’s security. With options like WordPress offering loads of different plugins to manage this area, they present a great way to host your website.
Along with these areas, it’s also wise to think about the aspects of your site which could be vulnerable to attacks. If you run an ecommerce site, this sort of assessment is paramount, as you will be collecting sensitive information from your customers. The forms you use need to be airtight and inaccessible without the right credentials, or you could face issues like data theft or malicious insertions into your servers. Thankfully, there are loads of ways to do this, and both this post and your developer will be able to help you with it.
Encrypting data is a great way to make sure that only the right people have access to it. Using a special key, the server will automatically create an unreadable version of your data, comprised of a series of letters and numbers. To access the data stored within, the same key will be used to decrypt it, and this is usually an automatic process. Getting this sort of security for your website will require an SSL certificate. Most modern servers can help you to install one of these, but you will also need to reinstall your site to enable the new URL prefix.
As time goes on, computer experts are slowly adapting the way that software works, and this includes the tools which are used in attacks. This means that your protection could always be on the brink of failure, and further action will need to be taken to keep things secure. One of the best ways to escape the troubles of an attack is by preventing it in the first place. To begin this process, all of your files should be complemented by a document explaining the access rights people have to the data within. By telling someone that they are not allowed in, you will give yourself the chance to take legal action in the face of a digital showdown.
Alone with warning people not to access your server, it will also be very wise to maintain a strict protocol for the passwords and other secure data you use to access your website. Changing a password every three months can drastically improve the security you will get from it. Of course, though, this will have to be something unique, and you have to avoid repeating similar combinations over and over again. Websites like LastPass make this easy for you, offering the chance to get randomly generated passwords which are saved on secure servers.
Why Keep Secure?
There are a lot of reasons to keep your website secure, and a lot of them are directly related to your customers. To begin, suffering a digital attack will almost always result in some down time on your site, and your customers won’t be able to access the services you usually provide. A DDoS protection server is a great example of something which can protect you against this. While you won’t be able to stop an attack, a method like this will limit the impact it has on your other users, often preventing downtime of any sort.
Having your website go down is an issue which pales in insignificance when compared to losing data. If you store information about your customers, you have made a promise to keep it safe, and have a responsibility to make sure that it stays out of the wrong hands. Failing to uphold this will make your customers feel bad about your company, and could even land you in court. When bank details fall into the wrong hands, they can be used to cause a lot of harm, leaving you to pick up the pieces.
The hit that a small business’ reputation will take from events like this can be massive. Though big companies will get away with this all the time, groups with less power have to deal with the might of public opinion on a much closer level. Word will quickly get around if you are unable to look after data. While this may not be worrying while you are very small, as you grow into something more popular, you will find your company under the spotlight more and more often.
Dealing With An Attack
Finally, as the last bit of help this post has, it’s time to think about the procedure you will use during an attack. Having a clear understanding of what you will need to do when you find yourself in the midst of an attack can be extremely helpful. This process will begin with some assessment, as you try to work out how far the attack has reached. If secure data is at risk of being accessed, removing power from the server can be a great way halt the attack in its tracks. Of course, though, this may not be possible when it comes to your servers.
When you can’t simply turn off your server, the next best option will be getting in contact with someone with more knowledge than you. Operating a web server will often take a professional, even when you’re using package products, and this person will be the best when it comes to helping with your attack. In a lot of cases, the hosting company you choose will have people who are dedicated to this sort of work. A quick call or email could be all it will take to get over your attack, and most people will already have the resources to do it.
As time moves on, more and more businesses are building websites to show of their work to the world. While this tool presents a great way for you to make money and get new customers, though, it also gives you a lot to worry about. It’s always best to handle things like this nice and early, as your size will make it easier to get your employees used to the change. As time moves on, your website will get bigger, and will often become a larger target for those looking to do harm. Getting around the problems you could face before they come will always make it much easier, and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks of work.