12 Steps To Ensure Website Security

Rukham Khan

Rukham Khan

Published on

May 11, 2021

Technological advancements are inevitably in this 21st century’s hyper-technological pace. And as technology keeps on changing, the negative impacts of breached web security are huge regardless of the business size.

“My message for companies that think they haven’t been attacked is: You’re not looking hard enough.”

With the aforementioned speech by James Snook, it’s clear that website security is fundamental.

After all, it ensures preventing a website’s sensitive information from cyber-thieves and hackers. In general, a proactive security strategy protects businesses from the escalation and spread of malware, website attacks, IT infrastructure, and networks.

Sadly, when a hacker becomes successful with his motives, attacks may spread from one computer to another. This is the reason why you need to discover the origin of the issue and avoid crucial mistakes!

This is just one reason why the authenticity of web security is important for every business. If you want to learn all ins and outs of it, here are more reasons to opt for web security.

3 Significant Reasons to Opt for Website Security

Even for a low-tier business, thinking of securing your website on a budget is a significant move. On this note, here’s an explanation of why security is important. Otherwise, it may bring on pesky problems for business operations.

#1 Protection of Customers

For any business, customers are of utmost priority. Thus, it’s vital to protect customer information. In the modern world, a majority of individuals rely on websites for multiple services and products.

Customers can provide you with credit card info, names, birth date, and social security numbers. In other words, these are the goldmine for all cybercriminals. This is where protecting your website security becomes the most important need of the hour.

#2 Protections of Assets

Securing your website happens to be a critical consideration for physical equipment protection too. After all, hackers do not just steal customer information but they even install viruses on websites that impact physical machines.

As a business owner, investing in cybersecurity becomes your best form of protection.

#3 Securing Online Reputation

Web security is crucial for business longevity as hacks may impact online business reputation. In fact, having negative publicity in the press because of significant security breaches on websites may affect your prominence in the sphere.

In today’s era, there’s no dearth of news coverage on corporate websites getting hacked. And these negative publicities damage your overall brand identity, thereby hampering growth.

Let’s dive into the 12 steps to ensure website security now:

Step 1: Incorporate Password Management Tools in Your Website

Your starting point to making your website safer and more secure is by using password management software. But before anything else, ensure that you have different passwords for different accounts.

This move will prevent cyber attackers from accessing your accounts. Thus, you should not compromise with the password selections as it’s a crucial part of the job.

You should always let the password manager calculate strong codes. With complicated passwords, it becomes challenging for cybercriminals to hack the website. Also, ensure that two-factor authentication is integrated whenever required.

Step 2: Opt for A Solid Hosting Operator

Your website should have a comprehensive hosting service. For this reason, you’d require selecting a qualified and experienced provider! At times, websites may be secured, but if the host gets targeted and security becomes low, it may make websites compromised.

So, you should always avoid choosing hosting providers that don’t feel confident to build an effective technical website environment. Also, ensure that the reviews get read properly!

Step 3: Avoid Multiple Sites in One Server

As a modern business owner, you must avoid running a multitude of sites on a single server. Also, it is imperative to create separate databases for different websites.

Another important consideration is to avoid using prefixes! It helps keep sites isolated and saves a lot of time, energy, and money (just in case a single one gets hacked).

One Quick Note:

Always select a reliable service that can save you money and time by securing many sites on a single dashboard. It prevents you from logging into different sites individually.

Step 4: Considering Regular Back-Ups (They Are On-Point, Crucial!)

Just as smartphones are crucial for regular back-ups, nothing’s ever different when it comes to websites. Although some eligible hosting providers perform the task, there’s always room for improvement!

Thus, ensuring that you have an off-site backup is always fundamental. After all, it’s a great antidote, regardless of what challenges occur.

One Quick Note:

Before anything else, you should always consider understanding the nitty-gritty of backup plugins.

Step 4: Separating Database from File Servers

It is a rule of thumb to separate the database from the file service. As a matter of fact, experts also acclaim that maintaining unique databases and web servers for small enterprises is a critical move.

In the process of performing this, the cost might become prohibitive for low-tier businesses. However, it surely makes sense while handling the customer credentials besides other data.

Step 5: Making Use of HTTPS/TLS for Encrypting Data

Websites that configure or install a TLS/ SSL certificate have the ability to use HTTPS protocols. It establishes a safe and secure connection with the chosen server.

In general, the main objective of TLS/ SSL is to ensure security to transmit sensitive information such as payment, login information, and personal data.

In simple language, there is more than just one reason why using HTTPS/TLS is fundamental for security. As an online business, keeping the data of visitors or prospective customers secure is of immense priority.

Step 6: Connect the server correctly

While setting up your website, It’s imperative to connect the server correctly. Also, do the connection only through SSH or SFTP. SFTP is always to prefer SFTP over the traditional FTP because of its security features that are, of course, not attributed to FTP.

Step 7: Switch Off The Automatic Button & Go Live Sans Defaults

The next step to establish a secure website is by switching off the automatic mode when going live. Basically, the only thing that you need to consider is going live, but this time (and the coming times) without a default!

Going live with defaults is a burdensome move. After all, it increases the chances of imposing website risks to cybercrime. Thus, perform these steps to ensure that you don’t go live by default from the next time onwards:

  • Rename the login URL (Protect wp-admin / administrator directory)
  • Change the username of admin (one quick note: never should “admin” as your username for the main administrator account)
  • Disallow the file-editing inside CMS

Step 8: Disable Unnecessary Features (The Ones That Don’t Benefit Your Website)

Let’s talk about the time when you proceed with commenting on the website or the process of registration! Why waste time if that does not benefit your website?

To avoid any further confusion that can contribute to challenging consequences, it is imperative to remove plugins & themes that aren’t critical for the website functionality.

This is true, especially for the ones that are inactive or disabled!

Step 9: Ensure That You Understanding Everything on Your Website

The next step to securing your website is by understanding and acknowledging the things happening inside your website. Maybe, you don’t consider visiting the website regularly.

Or maybe, you’ve handed over the task to one of your cofounders. For the latter reason, it is fundamental that you ensure trustworthiness.

But to be on the safe side, you can use uptime monitoring & set up the alerts when the website gets irrelevant or unexpected changes concerning the content. Again, check whether the site has got listed in blacklists (indicating a missed incident).

Step 10: Always Keep Your Website Updated

It goes without saying that your website should always remain updated. For this reason, you should understand what software runs on the website. Additionally, check for any vulnerabilities on the software.

Also, don’t forget to search for updates or patches as soon as it’s possible for you! If the CMS supports, you can enable the automatic updates on the website.

You can switch on the auto-updates for the browser and browser plugins (or software running on the browser). It’s an inexpensive step to adding security to the overall web browsing experience.

One Tip:

Web browsing becomes simpler and convenient when you control pop-up windows. For this, configure the browser to alert you or block the pop-ups!

Step 11: Building Different Layers of Security around the Website

Just how locking doors before leaving a house is important, installing antivirus software on a computer before browsing the Internet is considered significant.

Thus, you must always have a security system to serve as the website’s primary line of defense against any forms or attacks of hacking.

If you’re using a WordPress website (here are some tips), it is crucial to stay secured and protected from the plugin vulnerabilities as the rooted cause for 98% of WordPress vulnerabilities are plugins.

Quick Notes:

Crucial recommendations for keeping the website secured from the plugin vulnerabilities are by protecting the site with a managed in-app application firewall. This should get regular virtual patches besides enabling automatic updates for plugins.

Step 12: Follow Some Strategic Practices

Finally, the last step to add convenience to website browsing is by incorporating a set of strategic tactics. To perform these methodologies, here’s what you should follow:

  • Cover your webcam on the device when it’s not in use (else, hackers may turn the webcam on and may watch you without the knowledge)
  • Always consider bookmarking for the website you visit more often as it can save the website address besides lessening the chance of landing on a hacker’s website
  • Ensure that you don’t browse while singing into account
  • Never store passwords in the browser or websites as these places may make the passwords vulnerable to getting stolen
  • Anything that gets connected to the Internet is a great source of information

End note

As a webmaster or business owner, you cannot completely forget the importance of the security of a website after creating it. And there’s no denying the need to be proactive whenever thinking of protecting the data of customers and your company.

Author Bio

Rukham Khan

Rukham is the Content Lead at Mailmunch. He believes trust should be the basis for all marketing communications.

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