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10 Effective Ways to Secure Your Website from Cyber Attacks

Published: 8th December, 2023
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Ritu Verma

Web Development Consultant at almaBetter

Discover essential strategies and best practices to safeguard your digital world. Learn how to prevent cyber attacks with expert insights and actionable tips.

We all live in the world of the Internet, where we explore hundreds of websites in our daily life, either looking for some information on Wikipedia, browsing products on Amazon or booking an Airbnb. These are all trustworthy websites that you may have frequently used and if they ask for any of your personal information, you won't hesitate to give it. However, what if you go to a website that looks exactly similar to one of these and provide your personal data only to discover that it was just a fake site? It would be devastating to know that your personal information is with someone you don’t trust.

Now, suppose you are on the other side of the line, a solo developer or a small company, would you want your clients or website visitors to go through the same experience? If you don’t want visitors to lose trust in your website, you need to secure your website from cyber attacks.

What is a Cyber Attack?

A cyber attack involves an unauthorized effort to access a computer system, aiming to steal, alter, exploit, or destroy data. Those responsible for carrying out such attacks are commonly referred to as hackers.

Hackers can launch attacks for several reasons like financial gain, sabotage, activism, destruction, or just to show off their skills. Hackers can launch cyber attacks in various ways, like tricking a user to click a malicious link or enter their login credentials into a fabricated website. Alternatively, a hacker could exploit certain weaknesses in the website, inject a computer trojan or virus and steal sensitive information.

In the following article, we will explore various methods by which you can secure your website from cyber attacks and earn the trust of your customers.

Ways to Protect Websites from Cyber Attacks

Here are the few tips to avoid cyber attacks:

HTTPs and SSL Certificates

Do you want to learn how you can secure your website? In order to ensure the protection of your website and shield the privateness of your visitors’ information, it's vital to apply a steady URL with HTTPS instead of HTTP.

HTTPS is a protocol that gives safety over the net and stops any interception or interruption of data during the transit. Nowadays most websites use HTTPS in place of HTTP.

Additionally, having an SSL certificate is vital for growing a steady online connection. This is mainly crucial in case your website calls for visitors to register, sign up or make any transactions that contain sensitive or personal information. SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, encrypts data transmitted among the internet site and the database, stopping unauthorized entry and ensuring the privateness of the information.

Choosing a Secure Web Host

When developing a website, it's important to select a trustable web host, which can be thought of as a plot of the area in which your website exists online. To ensure the safety of your website data, it is critical to search for a host that gives server protection features. This calls for a cautious examination of potential hosts, much like studying a plot of land before constructing a house.

Some vital elements to remember include whether or not the web host presents Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), disables the usage of FTP via means of unknown users, makes use of a Rootkit Scanner, gives report backup services, and remains up to date with protection upgrades.

Website Backups

To assure the protection of your website, having sturdy backups is essential. It's important to have a couple of backup strategies in place to help in restoring your website after a security breach, if that happens. To prevent loss of data, it's far better to maintain your website information off-site and not on the same server as your website, as it may be liable to more attacks. You can keep in mind different options like storing backups on a private computer or hard drive, or using cloud storage.

Automating backups and scheduling them ever so frequently is necessary, and it is important to have an efficient healing system. It's advised to be redundant for your backup system by creating backups of your backups. This will assist you to acquire lost data from any point earlier than the security breach that may have occurred.

Applying Firewall

It is recommended to obtain a Web Application firewall (WAF) for your website as a protective measure. This type of firewall is positioned between the server of your website and the data connection, scanning all data that travels through it, in order to safeguard your site.

In contemporary times, WAFs are largely cloud-based and are easy to set up. This cloud service serves as a gateway to all incoming traffic, effectively blocking all hacking attempts and removing undesirable traffic such as spammers and malicious bots.

Staff Training

Even the most reputable cyber security firms can fall victim to clever hackers, but often the culprit is a member of untrained staff. It has been wisely said that “a chain is no stronger than its weakest link”, and this quote applies here as well. Despite your employees being experts in their respective fields, they can still unknowingly make mistakes that compromise security and open the door to assaults and viruses.

To save yourself from such mistakes, it is important to train your employees on ways to spot suspicious activity and avoid clicking on questionable links or emails from unknown sources. Cyber attacks like Phishing can cause the employees into giving unauthorized access to sensitive information such as email addresses or login credentials, etc. They should be instructed not to connect any random device like a USB drive or a hard drive to their computer, as it may contain malicious or infected programs.

Therefore, companies should conduct training programs on cyber security awareness within the organization and educate their team members on how they can protect the data of their company and its customers.

Restricting Admin Rights

To reduce the possibility of being hacked, it is recommended to limit administrative privileges to a designated group of personnel and implement a security system that provides protection against internal threats. User access control is an effective measure to restrict regular users' execution permissions and enforce the principle of granting the least possible privileges necessary for completing their assigned tasks.

An inherent risk for businesses is the installation of software by employees on company-owned devices, which can lead to system compromise. By preventing staff from installing or accessing certain data on the network, a company can enhance its security posture.

Update Software and Devices Regularly

Often, cyber attacks occur as a result of outdated systems and software, which creates vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to gain entry into your network. To address this issue, some companies opt to invest in a patch management system, which can handle all software and system updates, thereby ensuring that your system remains strong and current.

Smart Password Policy

Make sure to have a good password policy that is followed. This will prevent users from selecting easy-to-guess passwords and also will lock their accounts after a certain number of failed attempts.

Employees should create strong passwords with a mixture of letters, special characters, and numbers. They should also switch on a feature called "multi-factor authentication" to ensure that no other person can get into their devices. Instead of only a password, companies may apply the use of "passphrase", which is a longer phrase that is difficult to forget but still secure. It's important to not use one password or passphrase for every person and to also set a password to protect your Wi-Fi network.

Secure Endpoints

Endpoint security means keeping your devices, like computers, phones, and tablets, safe from harmful attacks and cyber threats. This is done by using software that helps keep these devices from being hacked or infected with malware or viruses. Whether a device is linked to a network or stored in the cloud, endpoint security is crucial for organizations to protect the equipment that workers use for work.

Regular Website Scanning

Regularly checking your website for issues or threats can help prevent damage to your brand's reputation and the user experience of visitors. You can use free malware scanning services like SiteLock, Quttera, Astra Security, SiteGuarding, VirusTotal, and MalCare. Some hosting providers, like Namecheap, Hostwinds, WPX, and WP Engine, also offer built-in scanning for malicious activities, which is useful for non-ecommerce websites.

Conclusion

Securing your website from cyber attacks is a crucial aspect of online business. By implementing measures such as HTTPS and SSL certificates, selecting a secure web host, backing up your website regularly, using a firewall, providing staff training, restricting admin rights, and updating software and devices regularly, you can protect your website and customer data from malicious attacks. It's important to prioritize cybersecurity to build and maintain the trust of your website visitors and customers.

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