Designing a website is an art. The design, logo, content, products, and services that you are selling to your prospective customers, a state of the art and secure payment gateway system and more. While all this is important, one thing that often gets neglected is the security part.
Most business owners do not really pay enough attention to securing their data and, more importantly, their customer’s data until their server is hacked and they are left with no choice but to go for SSD recovery service.
So what can be done or what precautions can be taken to protect the website and its precious data from hackers? Here are some tips for you to consider when you are designing or getting your website designed:
This is one of the oldest tips in the book and yet many website owners fail to follow this simple rule. Always stay updated whether it is your servers, some codes, scripts, software or malware/virus detection software. Keep everything up to date so your website is ready for that latest threat or virus that was discovered just a few weeks or months ago.
Many companies do not update their software because it costs money and they think of skipping it as a way to reduce cost. This is not a fabulous idea or wonderful method to continue to incorporate. Hackers are usually adept at exploring and exploiting vulnerabilities. This is what they do, and so your job is to make sure you do not provide an opportunity for them to do this.
Even though you have hired a designer to build and maintain your website, it is a salient idea to learn the basics so you are in a better position to make the decisions. Otherwise, you will be at the mercy of your designer or programmer without having any prior knowledge of what has happened or what might it all lead to. Knowledge will empower you to make better calls.
Strict access control
The admin level of your website is perhaps one of the easiest ways in which a hacker could enter and steal or harm your website. Always use strong user ids and passwords that are random and not related to anything you use or value. For example birthdates, mobile numbers, or some name. Do not allow admin access to anyone or anybody. If it is not absolutely necessary for his or her job, then do not allow access.
Your employees who are using computers at your office may be knowingly or unknowingly providing easy access to website servers; this usually happens due to lack of knowledge. You need to take the following steps:
~ Login and password should expire automatically after a certain period of time.
~ Users are forced to change passwords every three or so months.
~ Only strong alphanumeric passwords are allowed to be used.
~ Every external device that is plugged into the server like flash drives etc. are scanned before allowing access.
Install and use a Web Application Firewall (WAF) that can be either hardware or software based. It is set between your website server and your data connection in order to read each and every bit of data that is passing through it.
A lot of modern WAFs are nowadays cloud based that provide plug and play services. They usually charge a monthly subscription. After this, the service is deployed on your server acting as a gateway or a firewall before any data is allowed access to the server your website is running on.
A WAF is recommended to a higher degree, however, you may also go for security applications. These security applications are available in both free and paid form. It is recommended that you go for a trusted name and do not hesitate when it comes to paying a one-time or a recurring fee.
This will go a long way in securing the future of your website, and ultimately the future of your business. Before going for these security applications, do some research and understand how they operate, what their minimum requirements are before they can be deployed, and what needs to be done once they detect vulnerability or a threat.
Limiting file uploads
File uploads a major concern and should be treated with due care. Files are often used by hackers to enter your server. Even though you have a system setup where files are being scanned before they are allowed access on your server, some form of bug can find its way onto the server allowing the hacker unlimited access to the server and its data.
What can be done? The first thing you need to do is to limit file uploads. Do not allow direct access to file uploads. Always store these files outside the root directory. Another step that you can take is to install an SSL protocol. This will be used to transfer data between your server and database. This will disallow reading of information while the files are in transit. In short it will deter the interception of data.