Online security can sometimes be the last thing on a long list of priorities and chores to complete before your big launch. Ignoring security can have dire consequences, however, as we’ve seen on the news with high-profile attacks on some of the largest corporations. A determined hacker can bring your operations to a screeching halt if you heavily depend on your website for business operations.
Here are some ways you can protect your business from hackers and cyber attacks.
Keep Software and Web Apps Up to Date
When a weak link in a piece of software or web app is found, it spreads like wildfire through the communities of cybercriminals. If you’re using an outdated version of an app on your site, you open yourself up to documented and easily-exploitable vulnerabilities. Staying up-to-date is imperative to protect yourself. Web apps that rely on Java are particularly insecure if not updated; Java Beat has a lot of in-depth information regarding security and safeguards.
Secure Socket Layer Encryption
If you’ve done any online shopping the past year, you’ve surely noticed the little green lock next to the URL in the top bar that signifies that you have a secure connection to a trusted source. Secure Socket Layer (or SSL for short) Certificates are pretty much mandatory if you want to do business online today. The added security and peace of mind your customers will have when visiting and interacting with your site is well worth the cost of implementing this tech.
Back Up Everything, and Often
In the event of an attack, if you don’t have a recent snapshot of your data to fall back on, you could be left with nothing. Backing up your hard work is one of the cheapest and easiest things you can do to protect yourself from hackers or accidents. Most modern web administration software packages come with backup options out of the box: all you have to do is tell it when to back up your important data. If your site is relatively lightweight, frequent backups probably won’t interrupt access and are recommended.
Use Secure Hosting
If you’re struggling to make your budget work, the thought of low-cost or free web hosting could cross your mind. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to hosting, though, so don’t skimp in an attempt to spare some cash. When choosing the right hosting platform, look for well-known and trusted providers that offer industry-standard security packages.
Limit the Data Collected from Customers
Even if you’re up-to-date on everything and have extensive security protocols in place, theft of your precious data can still happen if the right person or group wants it bad enough. Limiting the amount of data you store about your customers can save you from lawsuits and damages from fraudulent use of that information. Only keep what you absolutely need, and be sure to encrypt that data so no one else can read it.
Following a few simple best practices and procedures for online security can protect against the majority of attacks. No system is 100% safe, however, so always have a plan in the event a breach does occur. A smart cybersecurity protocol can save your business from disaster and protect your customers at the same time.