When you manage a small business, the security of your on-site computers and mobile devices is an important concern. However, you must also be just as diligent in ensuring your business website is also secure. Since your website is publicly accessible, anyone with the skills can gain access to sensitive information. Here are a few steps you should take to make your site more secure.
1 Install a Cybersecurity System
Just as there are security systems designed to protect a specific machine, there are other types of applications that are intended for use on commercial websites. Installing a security information event management SIEM will help you monitor and evaluate any security applications you install. Applications that are designed for use on business websites will monitor user activity to look for and guard against unauthorized access. Cybersecurity applications will also make it more difficult for hackers to get access to sensitive areas on your site.
2 Keep Your Applications Updated
You should consistently update any software applications you use on your website. Software companies issue free updates because they want to ensure their customers are using the most effective and most secure versions of their products. An update will address new security threats that have arisen since your last update, or since you purchased the software for your site. In some cases, the version of the application you installed on your site may be older and lacking the most recent updates. For this reason, you should update any new applications as soon as they are installed. You should also check for updates once per week unless there's an option for an auto-update setting.
3 Limit Access to Secure Areas
You can also make your website more secure by requiring credentials to access areas in which sensitive information is communicated. This typically requires each user to create a unique username and password to gain access to their personal account and your eCommerce store. To ensure accounts are kept up to date and secure, you should require each user to change their password every three months. On pages where users transmit personal information, such as financial data used to complete a transaction, your site should use an encrypted SSL protocol. This type of encryption will keep others from gaining access to the data as it's being transmitted. Even if your customer is accessing the site via a public WiFi service, the SSL encryption will offer some protection of their data.
4 Back-Up All of Your Data
While there are some individuals who will try to hack your website to obtain sensitive information, there are others who will seek to destroy or erase the data on your site. You can avert this type of disaster and protect customer data by using a secure backup system for your data. The best method is to use a secure cloud computing account that allows you to store data and restrict access to the account. If there is a data breach on your main website, you can access the cloud account to retrieve any data that may have been lost.
5 Help Make Connections More Secure
There are several other actions you can take to protect your website, such as hiding administrative pages. By placing these pages in a robots_txt file, you'll keep search engines from indexing those pages. Hackers can't breach pages that they can't find. You should also limit how files are uploaded and stored. Keep them outside of the root directory. Your IT technician can help you set up a script that will allow you to access these larger files when you need to retrieve that data. Another easy fix you can do yourself is to disable the autofill capability. While autofill is convenient for your legitimate customers, it also helps hackers get the information they need to gain unauthorized access to your site. It's better to keep your login fields clear to avoid easy hacks from outside entities.
When you take these extra steps to protect data on your website, you'll be showing your legitimate customers that you care about protecting them. While this may mean following some extra cybersecurity protocols, your customers will happily put up with the inconvenience because they know these steps are intended to keep their information safer. As a result, consumers will be more likely to visit your site and maintain open accounts with your business.