10 Step Guide for Ensuring Website Security in 2021

website security

Online businesses are thriving, and so are cybercriminals. Unfortunately, more websites on the internet translate into a greater delight for the hackers.

When website owners don’t bother to purchase SSL certificate(s) and maintain cybersecurity, the problem escalates even more.

Herjavec group estimated that in 2021, business security is likely to be compromised with a ransomware attack every 11 seconds.

The statistics are alarming, especially when every business is or likely to move online at some point.

If you have got the magnitude of cyberattacks already then, we would like to share a 10-step guide that can help you play clear of these creepy cybercriminals.

  1.     Ensure strong password hygiene

First things first, fortify your website with a strong password. When it comes to website security, every other protocol is secondary except for your password.

Easy-to-guess passwords provide straight entry to cybercriminals from the front door.

However, protecting your admin password is not enough. You must get your employees to keep a check on their password strength.

Ask them to use two-factor authentication while logging in alongside a potent blend of password credentials in the form of upper- and lower-case words, letters, and symbols.

Make your passwords at least eight characters long and keep changing them every three months.

  1.     Install an SSL certificate

In the second step, we will be focusing on protecting your data transmission so that hackers cannot see what communication is going on between your site and its users.

And, there is none better than an SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate to protect your website.

SSL encrypts the data transmission and adds a grey padlock in front of your website’s URL, making it completely safe from outside intervention.

SSL uses Public Key Infrastructure to convert plain text into an encrypted format so that nobody can see what is being passed.

SSL comes with two variants, namely, a Regular single-domain cert and a Wildcard variant.

A Regular certificate protects a single domain or subdomain with all validation levels available (Domain, Organizational and, Extended.)

On the other hand, a wildcard SSL can protect both the primary domain and its subdomain to level 1, available under two validation levels (Domain and Organizational).

So, considering the kind of website you have, install the right kind of SSL certificate to protect your website from MITM and spyware attacks. We understand that sometimes businesses are cash strapped and cannot afford to splurge on fancy cybersecurity products. We bear good news for such businesses! It is alright to go for a cheap SSL certificate because it affords the same level of security as an expensive one. So, wait no more, and grab one now!

  1.     Get a WAF

In the third step, our focus is on increasing your website’s safety furthermore.

In this step, you must install a Web Application Firewall that will monitor the communicated data and block any request, DDoS attacks, Zero-day exploits that seem suspicious.

It acts as an added layer of security that takes care of remote malware scanning, active site auditing, file integrity, safety monitoring, etc.

WAF gets added as a plugin to your site and is easy to install.

  1.     Check your site regularly.

Here is a step that most website security trends miss out on. The “Security check” feature is in the “WP Dashboard.”

Yes, if you are using a WordPress website, you will have an in-built free security check feature to check your websites for malware.

It is highly effective in filtering errors and blacklisting them. WordPress Security Check also comes with a paid feature, but a free version will do well for you.

Once installed, a WAF acts as a gateway that filters all incoming data keeping your website safe as houses.

The best part about WAF is that it is a cloud-based software which means you don’t have to worry about its functioning.

  1.     Restrict search engine crawlers from indexing your admin pages

The next step is all about protecting your powerhouses, i.e., your admin pages.

You don’t want search engine crawlers to crawl through and index your admin pages as they need not be ranked on the search engine.

The best way to protect your admin pages is by discouraging the search engine crawler from indexing them.

By using a robot_txt file, you can stop the search engine crawlers from listing your pages.

That will hide your admin pages from hackers and maintain the website’s data security.

  1.     Don’t store your files inside the root directory.

If a bug makes its way to the root directory, all your security measures go for a toss. The root directory is that section of your admin panel where all the essential files are stored.

Experts recommend that you must store data outside the root directory. This will allow bugs to stay outside the sensitive space in case; any bug makes it to your admin panel during the file upload process.

Moreover, you must not upload too many files at regular intervals as you never know what goes inside with the data you upload.

  1.     Every hard drive fails.

Every hard drive is meant to fail at some point. Of course, we don’t wish that for you but, it is a fact.

Hard drives have failed at the most awkward of times. All the data security measures are rendered useless without data, so it is essential to store it on multiple devices and at multiple locations.

The best place to store your data is with cloud storage software. Not only will it stay locked on the internet but, you will also be able to access it from anywhere.

Thus, it is best to trust cloud-based storage over hard drives.

  1.     Maintain network security

Network security is equally essential as site security. Hackers can attack your Wi-Fi networks and systems attached to them.

NEVER use public Wi-Fi to login to your admin page, as you’ll become an easy target for any hacker who is waiting for you to take the bait.

Even if public Wi-Fi is password protected, it is best to avoid its use for professional purposes.

As for your office Wi-Fi, keep it protected with a password and restrict its connectivity. Set up login expiry if an account stays inactive for a while and ensure that every connected device is appropriately scanned for viruses and malware.

  1.     Update regularly

Software companies do not enjoy sending out updates to people. It cost them time, effort, and money to figure out loopholes in security patches and update them.

Yet website owners think that it’s their routine job to make the software more complicated.

A genuine software company regularly pushes out updates so that its user data do not get compromised because of their mistake.

  1. Disallow auto-fills

Last but not least, you have to discourage your users from using form auto-fill options.

Wondering why?

Well, users might enjoy the convenience of not getting to enter their credentials over and over again but, if their device falls into the wrong hands, it can be catastrophic.

Hackers can easily make changes to their accounts and use their information to buy products and services.

Moreover, if a user has mentioned their bank details, the problem escalates even further.

To Conclude

In 2021, data and information are worth their weight in gold. Thanks to security protocols like firewalls and SSL certificates, one can be assured of their website’s safety.

If you want to succeed in today’s online world, you must follow these ten website security trends mentioned above.

These points will help turn your website into an unbreakable fortress.

Reference Links

  1. https://www.quicksprout.com/website-security/
  2. https://www.malcare.com/blog/website-security/
  3. https://www.getastra.com/blog/cms/website-security/
  4. https://www.imperva.com/learn/application-security/website-security/

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