If you are running a business, you must know how to secure your website from hackers. The good news is that it’s possible to secure your website from hackers without having to spend a fortune on expensive software. Here is what you need to know.
How to secure website from hackers
Fundamentally, securing a website from hackers is a lot like securing a building from intruders. You will need to invest in some security tools, but mostly it’s about creating common-sense processes and making sure people stick to them.
Invest in a website vulnerability scanner
This is one security tool you do absolutely need and the good news is that there are options at prices even SMBs can afford. Different products will have different features but even an entry-level website vulnerability scanner should have an anti-malware scanner and a web applications firewall. You can think of these as securing your perimeter in the same way as you’d put a barrier with a gate around a building.
Invest in robust anti-malware software for your local devices
There are all kinds of good reasons for investing in robust anti-malware software, with an integrated firewall, for your local devices, including your mobile devices. One of them is that hackers can compromise your local devices, steal the details for your website administrator accounts, and then use them to do whatever they want with your website. Again, this is about securing your perimeter.
Choose your software with care and manage it actively
All the open-source content management systems can offer a very high level of security, provided that you learn how to use them properly. There are basically three parts to this. First of all, you need to keep them updated. Secondly, you need to learn your way around the advanced settings. Thirdly, you need to be careful what third-party add-ons you use (and ensure that they are also kept updated. Let’s look at these in more detail.
Out of date software is a major security hazard. Your security software will not protect you from it because security software works on the assumption that you have already applied the latest updates from the developer. Updating your CRM can be as easy as clicking a button marked “Update” but you still need to make a point of doing it.
Learning the advanced settings of your CRM doesn’t require a degree in IT but it does require a bit of dedication. The payoff, however, can be a whole lot of extra security. As a minimum, you should change all default settings, whatever they are, unless there is a compelling reason for keeping them. Hackers will all know the key default settings (or will be able to find them out easily) whereas customized settings, however simple, are much more of a barrier to them.
Third-party add-ons are often one of the major draws of the open-source CMSs. There are some genuinely great ones out there and many of them are free. There are, however, also some which are pure malware and many which are clear examples of amateurs doing their best but not knowing how to produce clean, safe code. Do your research before you decide whether or not to use an add-on and, if possible, test it before deploying it in production. As with your CMS, commit to keeping your add-ons up to date.
Buy as much bandwidth as you can afford
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks may not technically be hacking as they are perpetrated without breaching the perimeter of the website. They can, however, cripple a website just as much as “proper” hacking. The more bandwidth you have, the more traffic you can absorb before it starts to slow you down, hence the longer you have to deal with a DDoS attack before it becomes noticeable to legitimate customers.
Manage your administrators carefully
As the old saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and in terms of website security, that weakest link is generally human staff and the errors they can make. You also have to recognize the fact that some of your internal users may be malicious actors themselves. This is, fortunately, more likely to be the exception than the rule, but it still has to be considered.
For both of these reasons and many others, it’s advisable not just to minimize the number of administrator logins you create but also to undertake careful vetting on the people who get them, especially if you’re giving them to freelancers. Each administrator should have their own login details and sharing should be explicitly banned. You should also enforce the usual guidelines regarding secure passwords and implement two-factor authentication.
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