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Five Steps to Improving Website Security

Online Data Security Computer with Lock
Image by TheDigitalWay from Pixabay

Website security has become an incredibly important topic for web content creators and managers over the last several years. As more of life’s processes move to an online forum, the risk to the average consumer has increased exponentially. Additionally, the movement towards the use of mobile devices to complete many daily tasks has added to these growing risks.

According to Foregenix, there has been a six-fold increase in instances of consumer information being hacked since 2013. If that statistic doesn’t scare you, it should. Data breaches and website hacks are costly problems that can be the undoing of any company–big or small. In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at five steps that every company can take to improve website security for the sake of their business and customers.

Website Security Step #1: Update Password Requirements

First, it’s important to understand that passwords can easily be compromised, particularly if common words are used when setting them up. Consider the benefits of creating complicated passwords that require a mixture of different characters. Commonly accepted best practices involve a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, punctuation, and other special symbols. 

Consider using different passwords for different parts of your website. You might also require that passwords be changed at regular intervals. It might seem like a problem to use a password like xAf71!*bEar21+nm4 instead of Fluffy6, but the increase in security is worth the hassle.

If remembering multiple passwords is a concern for your team, there are a variety of secure password managers like LastPass that are designed to save your passwords for quick retrieval. But be careful; password managers are not immune from data breaches and outside problems. Be sure to keep your passwords in a safe, secure place and never share them with anyone!

Website Security Step #2: Sweep for Malware Regularly

Second, understand the damage that Malicious Software or Malware can have on your website security. Malware is software designed to commit crimes and wreak havoc on anything in its path. In many cases, malware is introduced through a hidden doorway called a backdoor. Malware is also commonly disguised among normal files, causing an unsuspecting person to open the file and unleash the malicious work.

Malware is frequently used to illicitly gather personally identifiable information, or PII. PII includes usernames, passwords, names, credit card numbers, and other similar data. Completing a daily (or nightly) sweep of your network can help to identify weaknesses that need to be patched.

Website Security Step #3: Monitor Credit Card Transactions Carefully

Third, it’s important to be aware of how credit card transactions are processed if you’re in sales. While most websites will contract an outside credit card processor to gather funds, there are instances where those systems can be breached. As we just discussed, PII is a key part of the credit process. It’s possible that an attempted malware attack could occur through an increase of web traffic, sales, and attempted sales entering your website.

Be in regular contact with your credit card processor. Understand how their update process works and provide information about how your update process works. Malware attacks commonly occur in the midst of website updates or by mimicking what they look like. Staying in contact on both sides can help to prevent unnecessary risk of loss.

Website Security Step #4: Test Your Improvement Regularly

Fourth, making changes to your website security is all well and good, but how can you be sure that the changes work? While making updates to your security is expected to be effective, there is no guarantee that those improvements will work for long. This is true because the internet is a constantly evolving network of sites. Malware and other problems are generated at an alarming rate. According to CNN, nearly one million new malware threats are released on a daily basis as of 2015.

When it comes to testing the safety and security of your website, there are two approaches to add to your security protocol: penetration testing and vulnerability testing. Let’s take a deeper look at both testing options right now.

Penetration testing is the more intrusive type of website security testing. This form of testing is typically undertaken when there is a significant expectation of a threat. Penetration testing is designed to simulate a real world scenario to show what flaws exist in your system. In many ways, this form of stress testing can provide clues into how to prevent real world damage. Penetration testing should be completed on an annual basis at the least, though it can be pricey and time consuming. Of course, it’s cheaper than the damage caused by a data breach.

Vulnerability testing is the less intrusive form of testing. It commonly involves running diagnostics related to website traffic and routing to your site. Many website design and management dashboards will allow the user to schedule vulnerability testing to occur automatically. It is recommended to run this testing on a daily basis but particularly after installing a new update.

Website Security Step #5: Update Your Web Security Plan with Solar VPS

Finally, now that you’ve seen a few other ways to improve your website security, it’s time to hire the best professionals in the business. Consider how important it is to have experts in your corner that can prevent or correct website security problems. When you upgrade your web security with Solar VPS, you receive a top of the line solution that starts with high quality design features. No matter what operating system or systems you’re using to build, maintain, and access your website, we’ve got you covered. Windows, Linux, or iOS–we can build a custom solution to meet your company’s unique security needs.

Our team is available to provide support for new and potential security threats around the clock. We never close and we never make you wait. Save the frustration of website security issues and contact Solar VPS to have a custom solution designed for your company today!

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