The chances of your company’s website getting hacked are on the rise. There are more hackers today than at any time since the internet’s inception. All of those hackers are looking for a weakness in a website’s security, a way they can penetrate its defenses and get access to its data. Are these hackers seeking to hack the Pentagon or a major corporation? No, hackers are mostly looking for small to mid-sized business with lax security on their websites.
The Cost of Fixing a Hacked Website
When your website is compromised, it has to go under the microscope. Hundreds of labor hours will go into repairing a hacked website. Every part of the site needs thorough examination; this means looking for malware, cleaning out the database, and website files. Trying to do this task on your own if you are not a website maintenance professional could prove disastrous so you will need to hire someone to fix the problems; which leads to additional costs.
If you are an expert, then you will still need to be cautious not to disrupt any functions on your website. The data you lost may not be recoverable, so there will be a significant amount of time spent in re-creating it. With the time and costs involved in repairing a hacked site, isn’t it prudent to eliminate the problem before it happens? Here are some tips for keeping your website secure when you do maintenance.
Keep Backups of Your Data
You can never be too careful. Even if you have upgraded your security, a chance still exists, a hacker can find their way through it. Keeping backups makes life simpler if your site is hacked. Threats made via ransomware lose their sting when you have backed up your data. Be sure not just to back up to the cloud in case hackers have accessed your passwords, but use dual control and back up to a portable hard drive as well.
Use Current Versions of Software
It’s not surprising that when there are people still using Windows XP five years after security updates ended, there are also websites running on obsolete software. Software that no longer receives updates means that hackers probably have figured out how to breach its security. If you are using outdated software for your website, then its not a matter of if you are going to be hacked, but when. Be sure to use current software and to install security updates as they are issued. This change includes firewalls and antivirus software.
Make Sure Your Site Host Makes Security a Priority.
If you don’t know what level of security your site host provides, you need to find out. A good site host will back up your data and quarantine it from the main server. Some hosts provide daily backups, which adds another layer of redundancy to your backup practices. The host should provide network monitoring to prevent malware from making it to your website. Make sure the host provides SSL certificates so you can encrypt your data as it moves from server to server across the internet.
Don’t Depend on Yourself
A web designer is much more knowledgeable about web design than an IT employee or an over-enthusiastic business owner. If your website is several years old, have a web designer build your new website. They will know how to plug the security holes that could potentially damage your business. This fact is especially true of small and mid-sized businesses who don’t have the resources to keep a full-time web designer on their payroll. Outsourcing to a web designer will ultimately save your company both time and money.
Keeping your website secure is as simple of being cognizant of the fundamentals. If you heed these tips, then you will have gone a long way in making your website more secure.