On average, in every 39 seconds, a hacker attacks. So that roughly counts to more than 2000 attacks a day. And according to Breach Level Index, hackers steal 75 records every second and hack nearly 30,000 new websites every day. Now that’s a worrying number. But what’s in the records that hackers steal? Well, there can be a lot of sensitive information including your credit, debit card details, birthdate, important passwords, and a lot more.
They can then use this information for identity theft or extortion or taking over your accounts or worse than that. Well, now I think you understand that securing your devices and website is more important in today’s world than securing your own house, so consider it when you hire a software development team.
Why is Website Security Important?
In September 2016, an American company named ‘Yahoo’ disclosed a data breach that affected the data of 500 million Yahoo users. Later in the same year, Yahoo disclosed another breach, which affected the data of 1 billion users. In further investigation, Yahoo accepted that all 3 billion users’ data was affected. Yahoo suffered a loss of million dollars for this. This breach is considered to be the largest data breach till now.
Later in 2018, the Marriott hotel chain announced a data breach in its system that affected data of up to 339 million guests. Sensitive information of guests such as credit card and passport numbers were stolen. Just after a few days when the security tool first flagged a suspicious query in the database, Marriott hired an investigation team to look into it.
In the later investigation, it was found that 2 malware, Remote Access Trojan (RAT) and MimiKatz were installed in the system by the hackers to gain access to several username and password combinations. Marriott was fined around 18.4 million pounds for this by Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
So if you want to save some money and all the courtroom drama, make website security your priority.
ALSO READ: Website Safety With Secure Hosting
How Do Websites Get Hacked?
Website hacking is similar to robbing a house. It becomes easy for a robber or a hacker to break in if you haven’t taken proper security measures. Brute-force attacks are very common by hackers. It includes guessing the username and password combinations, using password generator tools, phishing emails, etc.
Make sure you use a strong and uncommon password, turn on 2-factor authentication, and take other security measures that are listed in this article.
Other than brute force attacks, hackers can also steal log-in information easily if you are using an insecure network or if you are not too cautious about keeping your username and password private.
Hackers also use the DDoS attack i.e. they overload the traffic of a targetted website with spoofed IP addresses and prevent legitimate users to access the website. There are numerous ways to hack a website but the more cautious you are, the less are the chances to get hacked.
ALSO READ: 10 Common Reasons For A Website Crash
Best Practices to Secure Your Website
1. Use Strong Passwords
If you are using your birthdate or mobile number or a close relative’s birthdate or mobile number as your password, it becomes pretty easy for a hacker to guess. Make sure you use an uncommon password and a mixture of upper and lower case alphabets, numeric characters, and special characters. A strong password looks like – Word@*!%!xvj123987
2. Turn on Two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your website. It is a very common security practice and yet very effective. Anyone who wants access to the website will have to pass through 2 layers of security instead of one. So consider this practice as a must.
3. Use HTTPS Protocol
A website that doesn’t use HTTPS protocol can easily be altered by hackers. They can steal the usernames and passwords of users by making changes to the website’s page. Also, an HTTPS protocol ensures viewers that they are using a safe website and has a positive impact on your image.
4. SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate encrypts the data that is transmitted to your website. This helps you to encrypt important informations like transaction informations and prevent hackers from reading it. Install SSL certificate and add an extra layer of security for your website. You will see a padlock sign before the URL every time you visit a site that has an SSL certificate.
5. Scan Regularly
Scan your website regularly to ensure that it remains malware-free. You can use an online URL scanner to ensure that. It also helps you to detect some other errors. Just like we check the doors and windows are properly locked before going to the bed, the same is the case with scanning your website regularly. You need to use a site security scanner that is tuned into the OWASP top 10 line up of vulnerabilities in order to ensure total coverage and peace of mind.
Also, keep your device malware-free to ensure more safety and consider using firewall protection.
6. Back up your website
A backup of your website will help a lot if the site gets hacked or something has gone wrong or you get an error. Consider getting a backup for your website. Check whether your host has provided you with this feature.
7. Log-in Lockdown
You can limit the number of times a person can enter the wrong password for access and then automatically block their access for a certain period of time. This will help your website to be more secure from brute force attacks.
8. Stay updated
Staying updated is beneficial in all terms of life but when it comes to websites, we are talking about keeping your website updated with the latest versions of software and features.
Software updates are released from time to time to fix the errors that were present in the previous version. So keep your software updated and use the latest version of features (such as WordPress, themes, etc.) for your website to improve your website’s security.
Website security should be your top priority as hackers out there are looking for vulnerable websites to attack. Just like you ensure safety for your house, your website’s safety is also very important. Hackers use a lot of tools to hack a website and there is always a chance of getting hacked but with these safety measures, the chance of getting hacked gets minimized.