Simple ways to protect your website against attacks
Freshfield’s Andy Butler writes about the importance of protecting your website against hackers in our latest Digital Bootcamp blog.
When it comes to website security and protecting yourself against potential cyber-attacks from online criminals or hackers, no one is completely immune.
More recently it was reported that a security hole was found in SSL security certificates which meant that hackers could potentially access sensitive information. This so called Heartbleed bug affected about 17 per cent of secure servers and websites around the world including Amazon and Pinterest.
Website security should be an important consideration especially for ecommerce website owners, but even if you aren’t holding sensitive information about people or taking credit card details it is something that cannot be ignored.
For a business, a website is an important part in how the company presents itself to its target audience. Website downtime or the loss of sensitive information as a result of a security breach can have a serious impact on the company’s business, its online presence and customer confidence.
Here are some basic measures that can help improve the security of your website and reduce the risk of falling victim to a cyber-attack.
Have a backup plan
One of the first steps to protecting yourself is to make sure your website is being regularly backed up. The frequency that this is done depends on your website and how often it is updated. A busy website that sees high volumes of visitors and customer interaction may require daily or twice daily backups.
Websites that aren’t updated as often can be backed up on a less frequent schedule. However,
should the worst happen it is important to have a recovery plan in place. Having one will keep downtime to a minimum and enable you to fix security holes as quickly as possible thus preventing further problems.
All content management system (CMS) software and plugins will then need updating to the latest versions and log files and analytics reviewed to identify where the attack originated from. Once you know the likely cause of the security breach a fix needs to be implemented. Finally the website will need to be closely monitored to make sure the security hole has been fixed and this doesn’t reoccur.
Use strong passwords
It is highly recommended that you use strong passwords and hard to guess usernames. A strong password uses a combination of letters, numbers, capital letters and symbols which makes it much harder to crack than if a simple, easy to remember word was used.
It is also advisable to avoid using the generic username ‘admin’ and consider changing passwords on a regular basis.
Regularly update your Content Management System software
If your website uses a CMS, such as WordPress, then this needs to be updated regularly as new security patches are released. It is also advisable to review and install a firewall and other security add-ons that will offer another level of protection.
It must be remembered that these are only basic steps and website security goes much deeper than the points outlined here.
At Freshfield we take website security seriously and are on hand to help and advise clients concerned about such issues.
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What does this mean for my brand? The world of digital marketing evolves extraordinarily quickly, making it very difficult for busy marketers and business owners to keep pace. Help is at hand in the form of Freshfield’s monthly Digital Bootcamp blog, where our digital consultants answer our clients’ queries in a simple and straightforward manner. If you’ve got a digital marketing question for us, e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.