In today’s digital world, marketers and website owners must meet the needs of their users regardless of device or location. Customers expect websites to be accessible, secure, and relevant anywhere they are and on any device. With technology advancing at lightning speed, cyber security is a major concern for businesses of all sizes in every industry. With hackers becoming more sophisticated day by day, your website must be equipped with the latest security features to protect it from attacks.
Even if you aren’t an experienced web developer or hacker-in-residence at your firm, you can take simple steps now to help secure your website and prevent security breaches in the future. Here are 7 essential steps that will help you safeguard your site from hackers and keep it that way going forward.
Change the Default User Name and Passwords
The most basic step in securing your website is to change the default admin username and password for the website’s database. This information is available online and even if you haven’t published it, hackers can use brute force attacks to guess the username and password combination.
If they get into the database, they can change or delete any information they want including your website’s content. For added security, use a different username and password for each database that hosts your website’s content.
Be sure to store all of these login credentials in a secure place, like a password management app, where you can easily find them if you need to make changes to your website’s database.
A secure website is more than just protecting your login credentials. It also means protecting your users as well.
HTTPS is a must for any website that handles sensitive user data, such as credit card information, passwords, or health records. It’s also a great way to boost your SEO, as Google looks for HTTPS as a ranking signal.
For maximum security, you can go a step further by using a modern TLS/SSL protocol. New protocols are more secure because they use more advanced encryption techniques.
For example, TLS 1.2 is the most modern version of the protocol, and it protects against a wide range of security threats, including man-in-the-middle attacks.
Employ Rotating MFA
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the best tools for protecting your website. It requires every website user to verify their identity by logging in with an additional piece of information, such as a PIN, generated code, or a risk-based question.
MFA is especially useful for protecting sensitive information, like customer data and financial records. It can also be used to protect any script that runs on your website such as an email marketing app.
If a hacker gains access to your login credentials, he or she can’t log in without the additional information provided by the user during the login process.
For maximum security, use a rotating authentication policy that requires users to verify their logins at different times of day.
Rotating authentication is common on financial websites, and it’s just as effective for protecting your website from attacks.
Integrate Fraud Detection
As you build out your website’s security features, it’s important to also integrate fraud detection tools.
Fraud detection gives you an extra layer of security against hackers who are trying to steal your data. Fraud detection tools analyze user behavior on your website and look for anomalies in data entry and browsing activities.
If the system detects any unusual activity, it flags the user for review. Fraud detection tools can detect a wide variety of attack types, including click farming, bot attacks, and credit card fraud.
If the system detects any suspicious behavior, it can immediately lock the user out of the website and notify you.
Add Security Loggers
It’s hard to know what’s going on in your website’s database if you can’t see what’s happening. Security loggers give you a complete and real-time view of all the activity happening on your website.
They can track and record all user logins, network activities, and changes made to your website’s database. For maximum effectiveness, security loggers should be hosted on a separate server from your website.
This will help ensure that your website doesn’t get slowed down by the logging activities. Security loggers are best for detecting and preventing attacks as they happen. They’re especially useful for detecting SQL injections, cross-site scripting, and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Install an SSL Certificate
If you’re not already using HTTPS on your website, you must start as soon as possible. While this technology was once only used on highly sensitive websites, it’s now standard on all websites.
If your website is still operating on the standard HTTP protocol, you’re leaving your login credentials and sensitive data exposed to hackers.
While you can purchase and install an SSL certificate on your own web server, you may want to consider hiring a professional to do the job.
They can help you make the transition to HTTPS smoothly, and they can also help secure your database against future threats.
The best time to protect your website from hackers was five years ago. The second best time is now. If you’re serious about protecting your website in the future, you need to begin investing in security features now. No one can guarantee 100% security for your website, but there are simple steps you can take now to help protect yourself and your visitors in the future. Follow above 7 essential steps to secure your website in 2023 and beyond.
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