Protection of the things that matter most should always be a top priority. Whether it is your home, your finances, your car, or even yourself – precautionary measures are always the safest way to go. The same applies for your website. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that for every 39 seconds that goes by, 1/3 Americans are being hacked by cybercriminals – and that could mean anything from the breaching of one’s personal information to the malfunction of one’s business IT system and everything in between. On the contrary, fortunately for all website owners, there is existing and effective website security.
cWatch Web has seen abundant success as a website security solution and the world's only free website malware removal – and I'm sure you're wondering how. As a leader in its market protecting businesses and customers alike; cWatch Web differentiates itself with customer-centric features and an innovative 6-layer stack of security technology that provides comprehensive protection for any website – but it doesn't end there. So many different aspects go into an effective website security solution. And there's no better person to share insight on what that entails other than cWatch Web's very own Product Marketing Manager, Alex Peña.
Web Security Solution Protection Questions:
What do you think is the most important type of security for a website?
Website security is like any other type of security - it’s all about risk management. The more enabled layers of security you have, the less likely you are to be compromised. Website security and protecting your home or brick and mortar business from being broken into are one in the same. Most people simply use locks on their entry points, but in reality, that’s just one layer of security - and chances are it's not enough.
To be completely secure, you would likely add additional layers such as sensors with sirens to alert forced entry; a wall or fence around the perimeter of the entire property with just one entry point; surveillance cameras providing visibility; and so on. These are either reactive or proactive layers of security that provide the home or business owner with actionable intelligence towards protection. As it pertains to website security, the missing component is access to the information acquired through each of these layers. Who is breaching? Is it malicious or friendly? How are they entering?
A truly comprehensive security solution provides continuous analysis of "real-time" data in order to prevent and remediate not only the current breach, but also future attacks.
Why is malware very dangerous to website security?
Malware is a legitimate code doing illegitimate things. By definition, malware on a website will in-fact make it to do things it is not intended to do. Further, malware can also be used to identify a plethora of different types of harmful software, which are all capable of breaching a website through several methods. So why do malware attacks target websites? With the growth of the IoT landscape and our dependencies of the internet, websites are no longer islands of information.
Today they are connected in countless ways - they are doors with entry points to other sites, to databases, and to people, like a community is connected. And therefore, it is no longer acceptable for a website to operate without multiple layers of protection. What we know for certain is protection does not happen by chance. Every web site across the globe is susceptible and can be a legitimate target. It doesn't matter the size of your company, the level of your brand recognition, its importance, or what kind of transactions are processed on your site. If you are not specifically protecting all facets of your online presence, you're vulnerable and there is a high probability that it will be exploited. Eventually, the problem will reach the point of impact.
The malware impact on a website can affect end users, visitors, or both by being used as a launching pad for other attacks - which is why malware website attacks are so popular among hackers. Hackers use malware attacks to do the following:
- Hijack a user's session or computer
- Steal confidential data (like credit card info and SSNs)
- Compromise a website user's login information
- Make fraudulent purchases
- Launch DDoS attacks
- Create spam
- Boost SEO rankings for a specific site (often a competitor's)
What are your tips for new website creators?
My advice to new website creators would simply be to never underestimate the importance of website security. All websites regardless of their size or type are targets. Hacking is not just about stealing data. Hackers want to create watering holes where they can hide malware and spread it to any visitor of that site. They also want to enlist those compromised sites in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on other sites. Any site can serve that function. With the number of threats and hacks faced by the online community, implementing a strong support and maintenance process within your organization to protect your website is imperative.
Website developers and designers are key components in creating a safer online community because they could implement these security processes at the early stages of the website – when it is the "cleanest". But many website creators are challenged with the lack of knowledge needed to keep up with the ever-evolving malware problem and high operating costs of having an "in-house" cyber security staff. If you have limited resources or budget, below is a list of tasks to help protect your site from potential risks and help to start your security process:
- Update, update, and update again your third-party CMS plugins!
- Change your passwords regularly, including changing any default settings
- Make sure you have a backup of your website
- Make sure you have an SSL
- Regularly scan your website for vulnerabilities
Securing your website isn't a checkbox, it’s an ongoing process. With the right support in place, there’s much you can do to prevent or minimize an attack.