The Basics of Your Website Security and Why It’s Essential

Updated: October 11, 2022
by Cristian Morales

Concerns about online security have dominated headlines in recent years. Cybercriminals hacked major corporations such as Equifax, Lyft, and, most recently, Uber. These attacks jeopardize the privacy of millions of people.

Do not assume your small business website is immune to hacking. Hackers want data and don't care where it comes from, and small businesses are a common and easy target.

The Basics of Your Website Security and Why It's Essential

What is Basic Web Security?

Website security refers to the security measures used to prevent unauthorized access to a website and its data. With that in mind, it's clear that maintaining a secure website is a continuous task. And it is crucial for running any online presence.

If a website gets hacked and then blocklisted, it can lose considerable traffic, which is one of the most critical measures of a website’s success. Furthermore, damage to a company's reputation, fines, and legal fees can all come from a data breach.

Why Should I Secure My Website?

Website owners must keep their sites and visitors safe from cybercrimes. It’s unfortunate, but cybercrime is quite a big business, and crooks are always looking for methods to exploit website security gaps. 

At any time, hackers can launch an attack. When hackers initiate an attack, they do not usually target a specific website. They use automated scanning software to find vulnerable websites.

Malware is the most common cause of cyberattacks and can:

  • Steal search engine traffic or data;
  • Slow or crash your website;
  • Request the removal of your website from search engine results;
  • Steal personal information about customers, such as their phone numbers or credit and debit card information.

What Are the Security Requirements for a Website?

Website owners must design effective website security strategies, from the web server configuration to the procedures for creating and renewing passwords. It seems like a tough job, but there is some good news: 

A server-side web framework will allow "by default" robust security mechanisms against the most prevalent assaults. Your web server configuration, such as HTTPS activation, can prevent further attacks. Vulnerability scanner programs are also available to the public. It can assist you in discovering any glaring issues.

Here are a few simple precautions you can take to keep your website secure:

Use a Password Manager

It's challenging to remember multiple passwords. So most people use the same weak one everywhere. It's easy to see why. The average website owner must remember a bunch of different passwords to dozens of various sites.

But you can use a password manager to solve this issue. It is a program that can generate and remember login credentials for you. With password manager added as a browser extension, the only password you’ll need to remember is the master password that allows you to access everything else.

A hundred strong passphrases are quite the challenge. But only one? Anyone can pull it off.

Enable HTTPS and HTTP Strict Transport Security on your web server (HSTS) 

Enable HTTPS and HTTP Strict Transport Security on your web server

When using HTTPS, information transmitted between your client and server is encrypted. Sensitive information, such as passwords and cookies, is safe from prying eyes.

Add an SSL Certificate

Another website security essential is SSL or Secure Sockets Layer. It moves the user's identifying information from your website to a secure database. SSL makes data transmissions safer.

Be Aware of the Most Pressing Security Concerns

Keep track of the most recent Open Web Application Security Project list. 

The OWASP Top 10 is a constantly-updated report of the current state of web security. It highlights the ten most serious cybersecurity risks. The list is an "awareness document," and the organization suggests all businesses use it as part of their cybersecurity protocol.

Use Automated Security Testing

Security testing aims to find and address vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. Using automated security testing technologies expedites the process.

Only Keep and Display the Information You Need

If users enter sensitive information, such as a credit card number, ensure that only enough of the number shows. The owner must recognize it, but not so much that an attacker can steal it and use it on another site. It's common practice to conceal all but the last four digits of a credit card.

Conclusion

While it's true that making a website is less complicated than ever before, it's still essential to keep up with security updates. Make it a priority to safeguard sensitive information at all times, including that of your organization and its clients. User data on your site must be safe, whether you're an e-commerce or a SaaS business.

About the Author

Freelance writer and graphic designer with a can-do attitude. I became independent after spending 6 years in the hospitality industry and 5 years in banking & finance. I'm an all-rounder guy, open to working with like-minded people.

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