When building and running a website, you are part of the online community. It's a big, friendly place full of a lot of niches, trends, support, and commerce. For the most part, everyone cooperates and competes in good faith sticking to a combination of etiquette and laws that form the internet culture. Unfortunately, like every community, there are a few bad eggs that try to ruin it for everyone else, in this case the hackers and the malware programs they use to attack websites and business networks. If you process credit card payments, as most online businesses do, then hackers are doubly likely to target your website in order to steal valuable customer information and card numbers. For this reason, every website needs a few important elements of web security to protect both your customers and your website data.
1) Data Encryption
When hackers attack a business website, they usually have one of two goals. The first goal is to take down your website for a few hours, commonly accomplished with a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack in which a hacker uses a lot of controlled 'bot' computers to access and overload your website. The second goal is much more insidious. When a hacker manages to get inside your website server or skim data sent back and forth from clients to your central server, they can steal important client information like names, logins, and credit card information.
It's a fact of online existence that the occasional hacker will find a way through a business' defenses. They have hundreds of ways and are constantly inventing new attacks. However, you can protect your data at every level. By encrypting everything from databases to logins, you can ensure that even if a hacker gets into your website, they won't be able to use any data they find.
2) Password Security
When hackers can't get in around or under a defense, they often try to brute force their way through the door either by cracking passwords, guessing them, or trying defaults to see if they haven't been changed. The more secure your staff, admin, and client passwords are, the less likely hackers will be able to sneak in through an authorized channel in order to start doing damage.
The best way to enforce password security is to require it when an account is made and request the occasional password reset about once a year. While it was once thought that the ideal password was incomprehensible gibberish, recent research has revealed that the best passwords are simply three words strung in a row. This has enough characters to beat the crackers and, if random enough, cannot be guessed. Plus passwords like "valiantbunnycake" is a lot easier for everyone to remember than "G&vpta0".
3) Cloud Backups
Finally, cloud backups are the best thing that has ever happened to disaster recovery. Backups in and of themselves are useful because they allow you recover from anything from ransomware to an employee accidentally re-writing a database. However, when backups are stored locally, anything that happens to your building, your servers, or your network puts them at risk. Storing your backups on the cloud, on the other hand, ensures that not even a natural disaster can wipe them out. This way, no matter what happens, your backups will be safe and your website can be restored no matter what happens.
When your website is protected with cutting-edge cybersecurity tactics, you'll not only be able to resist hackers and traffic overload but if something catastrophic does happen, you can always restore it from a handy cloud backup. If you'd like more information about website development or security, contact us today!