Your website is a representation of your brand- the primary gateway through which you can connect with customers. Whether hosting your own site or providing this service professionally, securing your online platforms should be a top concern.
Hackers are constantly looking for ways of accessing websites and spreading malware. They can also design phishing messages and install ransomware to prevent you from regaining access to your website. In light of these threats, it can be very expensive (and potentially paralyzing) for your website to recover from an attack.
The good news is that you can prevent these risks by implementing web hosting security practices. Prioritizing security is the best way of avoiding threats and keeping your website up and running.
Here are specific steps you can take towards this goal.
Limit Access to Infrastructure
One of the best ways of protecting your website is by restricting access to infrastructure. The servers, IP addresses, and machines used to operate your site should only be accessible by trusted personnel. You can use password protection tools to restrict server access and logins from other IP addresses.
Furthermore, only specific IPs should be able to make authorized changes, and special permissions should be granted by an administrator before any such work can be done.
Schedule regular data backups
You should also take proactive steps at recovering website information in case it gets lost/damaged. A best practice is to schedule regular data backups for the information on your website. This can be done according to your desired timelines (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.), and you can use tools that carry out automatic backups.
There are several options for data backups. You may backup to a cloud service or keep physical backups at a secure location. The best choice for your website will depend on the type of data you handle, how much downtime you can reasonably incur, and budget constraints. For example, a cloud backup can get you up and running relatively quickly- but at a higher cost or with storage limitations. Physical backups are the most secure but it may take longer to get back up and running.
Actively monitor your network
Instead of waiting for an incoming attack and then responding later, you should actively monitor your network to detect threats early. Active monitoring refers to analyzing your current environment for any unusual activity. If something out of the ordinary is detected, you should take immediate steps to address the issue before it becomes worse. Active network monitoring is the best way of detecting and averting malware attacks, phishing, and ransomware.
Install firewalls and scan your site for malware
Speaking of malware, you can further prevent malware attacks by installing a web application firewall WAFs). Firewalls work in unison with SSL encryption to monitor traffic flow across HTTP websites.
In more detail, SSL secures the flow of information from website to user, while web application firewalls protect the actual server from cyberattacks. There are many threats that can affect your servers, including SQL injections and cross-scripting. SSL and WAFs protect your websites from these risks in real time. And when implemented in unison with active monitoring, you can maintain a secure online platform that detects risks before they strike.
Have a data recovery plan
In addition to data backups, you should also prepare for the worst by having a recovery plan in place. What will you do if your website crashes during high traffic periods? Consider installing redundant hardware and firewall pairs. In this way, you’ll have a backup option to take over in case the primary infrastructure fails.
Practice proper password management
Managing passwords is also a critical step towards securing your site. Use strong passwords that can’t be easily hacked by unauthorized personnel. In today’s tech world, your passwords should include numbers and special characters. It also helps to use passphrases instead of just a single word.
If you handle sensitive data such as credit card information on your website, consider using two-factor authentication. This will ensure that someone who hacks your password won’t be able to access your accounts.
Monitor third party tools
To make your website more functional, you may rely on plugins and apps from third party sources. Make sure these tools are only obtained from trusted sources.
Furthermore, use separate login credentials for third party tools so that your website isn’t at risk.