You likely don’t leave the door to your home unlocked when your family is not there—thieves are more likely to steal from a home that is unlocked. In the same way, leaving your website unlocked and unprotected is like leaving an open door for hackers to steal valuable customer or company data. A breach can have damaging effects on a businesses reputation that are hard to undo, but there are steps to take in advance to prevent attacks on your company website.
1. Keep platforms and scripts up to date
One of the best and easiest steps you can take to protect your website is to make sure any platforms or scripts that have been installed are up to date. Many of these tools are created as open-source software programs, which means their code is easily available—both to good-intentioned developers and malicious hackers. Cybercriminals can find security loopholes that allow them to take control of your website by exploiting any platform or script weaknesses. To enhance the security of your website once your platform and scripts are up to date, look into and install security plugins that actively prevent against hacking attempts.
2. Tighten admin controls
The admin level of your website provides easy access into all data and information that you likely do not want hackers to have access to. It is important to keep tight admin controls and access by enforcing user names and passwords that cannot be easily guessed, changing the default database prefix from “wp6” to something more difficult to guess and limiting the number of login attempts within a period of time. Reset passwords occasionally and never send login details by email, as e-mail accounts can be easily hacked.
3. Consider installing a firewall
A web application firewall will sit between your website server and the data connection and reads data and traffic passing through it. Typically firewalls block all hacking attempts and also filter out other types of unwanted traffic, like spam and malicious bots. Firewalls have been, and should continue to be, an integral part of multi-layered defenses for both business and personal security alike.
4. Limit file uploads
Regardless of how thoroughly your system check out files before uploading to your website, bugs can still get through, allowing hackers access into your files and system. The best solution is to prevent direct access to any uploaded files. Store them outside the root directory and use a script to access them when necessary. Your web host will probably help you to set this up.
5. Stay informed on threats
In order to protect yourself from threats, it is important to stay informed and educated on what kind of cyber attacks are currently threatening the industry. Cyber threats are on the rise and new methods of attack seem to arise daily. Here are a few of the biggest threats predicted for this year.
Has your company website been hacked in the past? What other tips would you recommend to businesses working to keep their website secure from hackers? Comment below with your thoughts.