Best Security Protection for Blogs and Small Business Websites
Data breaches have caused 36 billion records to be exposed in the first half of 2020. Cybercriminals are continuously attacking websites for their gain, and there is no guarantee that your site is not a target.
Moreover, there are many types of cybercriminal attacks that makes securing a website crucial. In this article, I will explain several ways to protect your website from cybercriminal attacks without the need to even undergo some of the best secure coding training.
Why Is Website Security Important?
There are a lot of reasons why cybercriminals attack blogs. They may want to sabotage the website and make the audience lose trust in it or take advantage of sensitive information for their profit.
Security is even more important for business websites. During transactions, customers will send sensitive information such as credit card numbers or addresses. Without proper safety measures, cybercriminals can steal this information for their gain.
A successful cyber attack may spread and escalate to affect other websites. In other words, you can put other people at risk by not having a proper website security system. What’s worse, it takes an average of 280 days to recover from a breach and identify the perpetrators.
Thankfully, there are many ways to protect your website, such as installing security plugins, applications, or software and by taking preventative measures manually. Let’s go through the details of how to do it below.
1. SSL Security
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, and it safeguards data transfer between servers and browsers by encrypting them. When third parties try to harvest the data, they will see a bunch of characters that can only be decoded by the parties involved.
This is possible by installing an SSL certificate. It has public and private key information that enables data encryption and decryption. The keys are essential to creating a secure connection between browsers and servers for safe data transfer.
2. Practice Strong Password Habits
In 2019, almost 80% of data breaches are caused by compromised passwords. While keeping passwords simple may make it easier to remember, it acts as an opportunity for cybercriminals to break into your website.
That is why you need to practice strong password habits. Avoid using the same password for different accounts, as it put all of them at risk when attackers managed to gain access. Make sure it is more than eight characters long and include capital letters and symbols to prevent hackers from guessing.
I recommend using applications to manage your passwords, such as LastPass. It can generate strong, random passwords that are virtually impossible to guess. It also enables saving different passwords in a vault, so you don’t have to memorize all of the randomized combinations.
3. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Cybercriminals may still have ways to force-login into the website even when you have a strong password. Activating two-factor authentication (2FA) will save you in this situation.
With 2FA, a one-time access code will be sent to your phone number or email for every login attempt. You will have to enter that code to access the account or website. This prevents hackers from forcing a login to the website, as they will not have the code necessary to break in.
Usually, 2FA is offered as a feature in the web hosting plan. In case it is not, you can always install a plugin such as Duo to configure two-factor authentication login on your website.
4. Use a Firewall
Some cybercriminals attacks intend to lower a website’s traffic and trustworthiness. They might employ DDoS attacks, where a website is purposefully flooded with traffic to make it inaccessible. They may also send cross-scripting attacks that inject codes into a webpage, enabling them to rewrite it entirely.
You can prevent this by installing a firewall. It detects suspicious traffic with the help of a sophisticated algorithm and blocks the sources responsible for it, protecting the website’s performance.
For most shared hosting plans, the provider will already have a hardware and software firewall automatically installed. However, you should check with the administrators if your website is hosted on a VPS or dedicated server. I suggest reading more about how to install a firewall.
5. Perform Regular Backups
You have learned that cybercriminal attacks can make users lose data and have the website wholly rewritten and compromised. The way to recover from this is through backed-up data– however, requesting a copy to your hosting provider may take several days to process.
Performing regular backups on your own will become a quick solution if your site ever gets corrupted. You can do this by simply installing automatic backup plugins such as UpdraftPlus if you’re running WordPress, as it will save a copy of your website regularly to cloud storage. It also enables downloading for offline backups with one simple click.
6. Consider Proxy Protection
Proxy protection acts as a gate between your website and the internet. All data requests from visitor browsers go through the proxy server, enabling it to evaluate incoming traffic and prevent attacks. This is useful to fend off targeted attacks like DDoS, as cybercriminals will not be able to reach your original server.
You can install Nginx Reverse Proxy on your website to get proxy protection. Another option is to sign up for a CDN service, where your website will be stored and maintained on different servers to hide your main server’s IP address.
7. Conduct a Vulnerability Scan
You need to maintain your website and check for weaknesses to avoid giving opportunities to cybercriminals. However, examining each factor manually is time-consuming and needs technical knowledge to not accidentally touch the wrong feature and compromise the website.
You can install a beginner-friendly vulnerability scanner like McAfee. You can automate it and set a schedule for daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly scans. It will tell you which parts of your website are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and recommend the steps you should take to prevent them.
Securing your website is not only crucial for you but also for visitors and customers. You would not want to risk losing their trust and harming them because you didn’t have a proper web security system.
Now that I have explained the various ways of how to secure your website, all there’s left to do is choose the most suitable method for your blog or small business. Good luck, if there are any questions, leave them in the comments section below.
Juliet is an Editor at PRable.org, all in one content marketing agency. She loves creating articles about technology, innovative product reviews, and technical writing to help scale up digital growth. She is a writer by day and a frustrated singer by night.