7 Ways to Improve Website Security
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There are many different online threats that every website faces and the trend is constantly rising over the years. Some websites do not take online security seriously which can lead to stolen identities, fraud, ruined reputation, and many other dangerous threats. In order to run a successful website you have to take the time to prepare for digital/cyber-attacks which will eventually come. The best way to infuse your website with security is with ‘defense in depth’ strategy.
This means that you should have multiple layers of defense making it harder to hack. Just like in sports, as college football rankings show, you need to invest in defense to make in the game. It doesn’t not matter if you have a simple website or an advanced business application. If you do not follow some basic rules your website will be hacked.
In this article, we will go through some of the necessary steps you need to take in order to maintain stable website security.
1. Software update
Platforms like Magento, WordPress, Joomla, and others are massively used by large or small businesses around the world. There is a good reason for that just because they provide stable frameworks and make building and maintaining websites easy. However, some are left venerable to attacks due to failed software update. You have to make sure you are using the most up-to-date version of the platform.
2. Change Admin Path
Usually on all the platforms mentioned before they have pre-defined admin paths that you use to login into the admin panel. This makes everything easier for hackers since they know how to access the admin panel where they can use username and password cracking tools that lets them try different combinations until they hack your website. Fortunately, you can change your admin path from yourwebsite.net/home/admin to yourwebsite.net/home/goforit (or whatever feels secure to you). This will make attackers work a lot harder to reach your admin page in order to attack.
Passwords are the most common weak point of any website. The importance of very strong and complicated password cannot be overlooked and every admin has to have one. However, just because they are very hard to remember they select easier passwords that are a target for hackers.
The main question users always ask is how we can remember all the different hard passwords which are combination of different symbols and lower and upper case letters. There are password managers such as LastPass, KeePass, 1Password and others that can help you manage all passwords from one place. Unfortunately even these managers are not safe since LastPass announced a security breach. If you want to keep everything safe get an old fashioned notebook and write every password.
4. Monitor File Changes
You will notice a security breach once you see some files added, changed or deleted. However, running a busy website can make the tracking of the files changed very hard. That is why you have to monitor every activity on your website and see who made those changes. There are plugins and software that can track the unusual activity on your website.
5. Malware Scanners
Malicious software or Malware is a term used for criminal activity that came from some kind of software. Hackers use malware to steal personal data, obtain credit card data, and provide a back door and much more. Some of these threats can be detected through scans with plugins and software, but some of them are buried deep within the website and tough to find.
The best way is to run daily scans and introduce security software that tracks your website movements and prevents unauthorized logins, IP address changes, runs daily scans such as Wordfence.
6. Manage every user
If your website allows multiple user logins, make sure you know each user and carefully choose their restrictions. Most of the hacking cases are due to user permission and role changes.
7. Advance Web Application Firewall
Most of the websites today are hacked through SQL injection, Malware (injected code) or Application Vulnerability Exploits. The best way to stay protected is to use a Web Application Firewall that is designed to secure your website with ‘Virtual patching’ when a zero-day vulnerability is released. It will also act as a fail-safe system by first testing the changes than applying them.
These are some of the methods that you can use to improve your website security. If you want to run a successful website that is safe to every user, you have to invest in your own online security.