There are certain technologies that no business can do without these days, and a professional website is one of them. Once you’ve gone through the hard work of having a new website written, designed, and developed, the last thing you want is for it to become marred by security issues. Much like a new roof or car, as Business Collective explains, a website requires regular inspection and maintenance to function as it should.
As a small business owner, you need your website to run smoothly, as it is your main outlet for reaching your customer base online. With many possible threats on the web that can compromise your site, you need to have a security plan in place and know practical ways to prevent an attack from happening.
What Are the Most Common Website Security Threats?
While you may know that you need to look out for hackers, there are several threats to look out for that can compromise your website’s security:
- Malware: This threat can take several forms, such as viruses, worms, spyware, or trojan horses. This type of virtual infection can allow hackers access to your website and alter its appearance, often through deception. Depending on the type of malware, this may allow cybercriminals to steal data, hold website files ransom, or damage programs. Viruses and worms can spread to your visitors’ computer through your website, corrupting files and gathering private information.
- Phishing Scams: This type of attack uses email, or other forms of contact, to steal personal information. Cybercriminals can spam email confirmations linked to your website to convince customers an email is from you and illicitly gather information from any unsuspicious users.
- Brute Force: If hackers are able to guess or retrieve passwords to your website, they may be able to log in to the backend and gain full access.
- Ex-Employee Sabotage: You might think that once someone is out the door, they are no longer a worry. Any business with employees that left less than happy can be vulnerable, as Cyber Security Hub notes. Old business associates or ex-employees who have reason to retaliate may be able to access the backend of your website if they have an old login.
- SQL Injections: According to research from the Open Web Application Security Project, SQL injections are the highest risk to your website. This type of attack inserts malicious content using an SQL query and can give the hacker access to the SQL database, allowing them to retrieve sensitive information.
How Can You Keep Your Website Secure?
Hiring a freelance cybersecurity professional to put up firewalls, detect threats, and suggest upgrades can give you the peace of mind you need to run your business. You can find a freelancer in this field online, paying close attention to reviews and rates. It is a good idea to hire someone you can trust to continue regular maintenance on your website, alerting you and taking action if anything goes amiss.
You can also take other small steps to further secure your site:
- Create strong passwords for your website that you don’t use anywhere else
- Encrypt any stored passwords, and choose inconspicuous file names for admin folders
- Only give access to employees and agencies that need it, and make sure to revoke that access once you cut ties
- Install an SSL Certificate on your website
- Don’t include an area on your site where people can upload files, or at least limit the file types that can be uploaded
Your website is key to your business’s performance, which is why one of the best choices you can make as a small business owner is taking the necessary steps to keep your site secure, protecting both you and your customers. Take time to understand the threats, research effective solutions, and team up with a qualified professional to protect your business from an attack.