7 Must-do Steps to Create a Secure Website
I have all the reasons to advise you to create a website for your business. Some people are still resistant to having one citing issues such as the many insecurity threats the internet is facing today, high costs of building and maintaining websites, and lack of technical know-how required to build and maintain a website.
The reality is, creating a business website does not require you to be tech-savvy; neither is it expensive but affordable. Furthermore, why be paranoid about the security threats facing websites today when you can have proper measures in place to create and protect your website against hawkeyed intruders and rampant hackers?
Having a website is a stepping stone towards the success of your business. However, with so many security vulnerabilities that our internet world is facing, I cannot say that websites have a fair ride. The journey of creating and maintaining a solid website is full of stumbling blocks.
The major threat that you are likely to face all relates to insecurities threats. A research report by Accenture revealed that security threats have increased by 11% since 2018 and 67% since 2014.
Another report by security intelligence revealed that the average cost of a data breach was $3.92million as of 2019. These reports tell you how important it is to create a concrete website that can withstand the waves of cyber vulnerabilities.
Creating a secure website calls for commitment and technical adeptness in putting in place proper measures to safeguard your website. Here are some of the things that you can do to protect and keep your website secure.
Table of Contents
- Go for a Reliable Hosting Provider
- Install an SSL Certificate on the Website
- Use Strong Passwords
- Select a Reliable Content Management System
- Access Restrictions
- Carry out Regular Security Audits
- Carry out Regular bBckups
Go for a Reliable Hosting Provider
As I will always say, the web hosting company that you choose can make or break your website. The security and the success of your website depend on the hosting provider that you go for.
Each web hosting provider will carry unique benefits that will improve your website. For instance, some web hosting companies will provide clients with features like Web Application Firewalls and Denial-of-service protection, whereas other hosts will not.
The question is, why should you choose a web hosting company that does not provide WAF and DDoS protection? The two play a very key role in averting attempted security breached to your website.
Web Application Firewalls will scan your website and monitor it for issues such as SQL injections and cross-site scripting and put in place measures to protect your website from such issues.
A reliable and capable web hosting provider will also have a data recovery plan in case of a successful data breach to your website. To create a secure website, you should consider going for a reliable web hosting provider. There are so many reliable web hosting providers available in the market you can choose from it or you can ask experts to select your web hosting.
Install an SSL Certificate on the Website
One of the most appropriate tools that have proved to be of utmost essentiality in securing digital resources and guarding essential information is the SSL certificate. Such information termed ‘vital’ includes credit card details, debit card details, financial information, health records and other personal information.
Such information is of great interest to hackers and cybercriminals. They will lay traps to try and intercept the information when in transit and use it for their own malicious purposes. When they succeed in getting hold of the information, the repercussions are severe.
An SSL certificate protects your data from being accessed by unauthorized parties. When your website has an SSL certificate, all information is transmitted through a coded format and not a plain text as will be the case when your website does not have an SSL certificate.
Apart from just offering the required level of encryption, an SSL certificate also plays other roles in your website. You have no choice but to buy an SSL certificate.
You will boost your ranking in Search Engine Results Pages and also establish trust in your business partners and customers, which is vital. So stop waiting, rise to the occasion, and buy an SSL certificate. Here is a list of best SSL certificate Providers to buy SSL certificates.
Use Strong Passwords
No cybersecurity topic can be completed without mentioning the essence of unique and strong passwords. A unique password can be defined as one of its kind which is only used on a single account. Using one password on all platforms can put you into hot soup.
All a hacker will need to do is get access to the password and he will be able to access all your platforms. Don’t create a password like your birthdate, mobile number, or any other which is easy to guess for anyone. As a password best practice, ensure that you use a different password for different platforms & make it a long password.
A strong password is one that is capable of resisting any attempts by a hacker to get past it. The following are characteristics of a strong password:
- It should be made up of both numbers, letters, and special characters.
- It should be of an ideal length- not too short to be guessed and not too long to be forgotten. About eight characters are good for a password.
- Should be original and not so obvious. For instance, using the names of your pet or your close family members looks so obvious.
Apart from protecting your website with strong and unique passwords, an extra layer of security called the multiple factor authentication can also be of great essence.
Here, apart from just using a username and a password to access your account, you will need an extra step of verification. For instance, you will have to enter a unique code or a one-time password that is sent via mail or text message.
Another form of multiple-step authentication is the use of biological tools such as fingerprints or face recognition. To make your website more secure, you should consider adding such verification steps that will prevent intruders from accessing your website.
Select a Reliable Content Management System
A robust CMS is needed when creating a secure website. It is a worthy tool that is of the essence of creating and managing content. With increasing vulnerabilities and security concerns facing websites, a robust Content Management System can be of great use in defending your website and sealing security vulnerabilities.
Numerous mainstream CMS platforms, like Joomla, WordPress & Magento are easy to use and encourage wellbeing, which makes installing modifications helpful for your development as well as your marketing staff. CMS is subject to frequent updates that target to address the security loopholes and vulnerabilities and new versions releases are all aimed at withstanding recent hackings tricks and addressing the security issues that existed in the previous versions.
Make sure your CMS is scalable. Scalability should come as an easy decision. Change is inescapable for any developing business, and changes sway your sites. Ensure you pick a CMS solution that can rapidly develop and scale as needed.
Sometimes, some of the worst data breaches are those that are brewed from within your organization. Out of ignorance or for their own malicious reasons, your employees might be the biggest enemies to the security of your website. This is why access restrictions are inevitable.
Restricting access to specific resources of the website can be of great essence in protecting errors and cyber breaches by employees.
The principle of the least privilege should apply where possible. Only those who have business with a specific component of a website should be allowed to access the website. Doing this will help reduce the insecurities caused by your employees.
Carry out Regular Security Audits
Security audits and scans will help you identify the specific vulnerable spot. You can hire the services of a security expert to undertake the security audits. You can also undertake ethical hacking which also helps to identify security hotspots. After identifying the loopholes, you will then need to put proper measures in place to seal the loopholes. So you need to carry out regular security audits to secure your website from any cyber-attacks.
Carry out Regular Backups
All these security protocols put in place do not provide your website with absolute immunity from being hacked. Hackers are clever and they will always come up with new means of carrying out their hacks.
Question is; what if they successfully manage to access your website despite the security measures that you have put in place? Here is where the essence of backups will come in.
A backup is like a contingency scheme that assures you of all your data long after a successful hack. You will be able to successfully retrieve all the data you had before the security breach took place. You should endure creating regular backups that will help you in times of uncertainties.
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Having a website for your business and having a secure website are two very different things. Do not just have a website because your competitors do, make sure that you create one that is capable to withstand the waves of insecurities that are now rampant.
This article gives you some insights that you can use to create a better and secure website. One measure is never enough, ensure that you use all the measures that have been mentioned in this text to strengthen the security of your website.