Good website security practices to combat cyber threats

Cybersecurity is an essential factor that business leaders should not neglect. This statement is true, especially now that more entrepreneurs are doing business online.

Keeping your website and software products secure requires time and effort. Paying attention to the minor details in your site is crucial to defend it against cyber threats.

This guide outlines the best cyber practices you and your staff need to know. But first, you need to identify the most common threats that could be harmful to your website.

Common website security threats 

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks

Distributed Denial of Service attack is a common type of cyber threat to website security. In this attack, hackers overload the site traffic with IP addresses. 

Because of the flood of data, legitimate users may find it challenging to access the site. The attack also prevents visitors from getting essential services.

Hackers use DDoS attacks to overload a site with more traffic than it can handle. Because of the attack, the site can become extremely slow or crash.

This type of cyber attack can cause a site to go offline. It can prevent customers from accessing the site and its services.

Structured query language (SQL) injection

Developers use Structured Query Language (SQL) as a programming language. They use it to manage databases and perform tasks. 

But, hackers can inject malicious codes into a server that uses SQL. Inserting the code can be as simple as entering it into a vulnerable website search box.

The code will help the malicious actors gain access to the infected server. 

Registering for a WHOIS domain

If you have a website, you must register it with a particular domain name. Domains need site owners to give some personal data for identification purposes. 

The data is registered in the WHOIS databases. Aside from personal information, you may need to disclose other data. This can include the URL nameservers linked to your website.

Malicious actors can use the information you provided to steal data. They can access details, like the server’s location where site information is stored. 

The server can work as a gateway for accessing and compromising the site.

Password attacks

A hacker has access to a wealth of sensitive information with the correct password. 

One strategy that hackers use to steal passwords is social engineering. The tactic relies heavily on human interaction. It also involves tricking people into disregarding cybersecurity practices.

Other forms of password attacks include outright guessing and accessing a password database. 

These tactics highlight the importance of password security. Without the proper protection for your passwords, your site becomes vulnerable.

Malware and viruses

Malware refers to a malicious computer program, code, or software. They can be one of the biggest threats to your site's security.

Hackers create several samples of malware every day. Additionally, they have various means to spread these viruses. These include ads and downloads.

Malicious actors can use malware for various purposes. Some can remotely monitor site activities. Meanwhile, others can steal user data, like passwords and other sensitive information. 

Viruses and malware pose a risk not only to you but also to site visitors. They can spread to a user’s individual computers.

Search engine blacklists

Some search engines may blacklist your website if you have no proper cybersecurity measures in place. Although this issue is not a security threat, it impacts your marketing efforts.

If blacklisted, your site performs lower in search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. The content on your website may not even come up in a search result.

If your business relies on SEO, you need to address this issue. 

How to fight cyber threats

Now that you are aware of the common cyber threats, you need to combat them. Below are some good security practices that can help keep your site data safe.

Update software and systems

Failure to update your software and systems can cause a gap in cybersecurity. Outdated computer applications can cause vulnerabilities in your devices.

Malicious actors exploit these weaknesses to gain access to your network. Once they infiltrate your database, it may be too late to take preventative action.

To address this issue, you need to check for updates constantly. You can even invest in a patch management system. The platform can manage all software and system updates.

With a patch management system, you can keep your computer systems up to date and resilient.

Backup important data

In the event of a cyberattack, you must have your crucial data backed up. Doing so can prevent serious downtime, loss of data, and financial issues.

When making copies of your data, you can follow the simple, 3-2-1 backup rule: 

  • Make three copies
  • Store them on two different media
  • Keep one copy offsite

Some entrepreneurs neglect to do website backups since it can be tedious. But, doing this step comes with several benefits.

Backing up your data allows you to check their security settings regularly. Meaning, your files are not only stored but are also safe.

So, avoid neglecting your data backup duties. Even though copying large files can take time, it can be worth it. You can perform other tasks or play solitaire online while you wait.

If you do not have the time to do this task, you can download software to automatically back up your data.

Secure network and devices

To keep your website protected and safe, you need to secure your network and devices. You can follow these three easy steps:

  1. Get security software

You can install security software on your business devices. The platform can help prevent infection. 

Look for software with anti-virus, anti-spam, and anti-spyware filters. With the application, you can prevent malware or viruses from infecting your devices.

  1. Have a firewall set up

A firewall is a component that acts as a barrier between your computer and the internet. It functions as a gatekeeper for incoming and outgoing traffic. 

With a firewall, you can protect your business’s internal networks. But, it needs regular maintenance to function correctly. 

  1. Turn on Spam Filters

You can use spam filters to reduce the spam and phishing emails you get from your devices.

Hackers can use these emails to infect your computer with viruses. They can also use them to steal your confidential data.

Phishing attacks can steal $18,000 per minute. The figure outlines how costly it can be to fall victim to malicious actors.

You can avoid phishing by deleting these emails as soon as you receive them. A spam filter can help reduce the chance of you or your staff opening a spam message accidentally.

  1. Use VPN

Now more than ever, the risks for a data breach and other cyber attacks are too high to ignore. Using a VPN adds a layer of security for internet users with privacy concerns. 

With VPN, your data, your customers, and your finances are safer. Using a VPN is a must if you have employees working from home, you are worried about customer data, or if you bank online.

Use multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a type of verification security process. It requires users to give two or more proofs of identity before accessing their account. 

For example, a system will need a password and a code sent to your phone before you can view sensitive data.

The process added a layer of security to make it harder for hackers to access confidential information. 

Get cyber insurance

Ransomware is a cyberattack in which hackers send viruses through fraud emails. The virus from this threat can spread to your company's entire network.

The hackers then encrypt all the files in your computer system. They will demand a ransom before you get the decryption key. 

Paying the ransom can cause a short-term financial loss. It also sets your organization up for future attacks.

To minimize the effect of ransomware attacks, you can invest in cyber insurance. A policy with this insurance can be inexpensive and help you save on cyber costs.

When choosing a policy, ensure that it does not have exclusions, such as employee error. 

Monitor computer and software use

It is wise to record all the computer equipment and devices your business uses. Ensure they are secure to prevent forbidden access.

It would be best if you reminded your employees to be careful about:

  • Where they keep their devices
  • How they store data
  • The networks they connect their devices to
  • Plugging in used portable hard drives or USB sticks 

You need to also remove software or equipment that you no longer use. When doing so, make sure you remove all sensitive data before throwing them out.

Hackers can target old and unused software or equipment. They can use these devices as a backdoor to attack your business.

You also need to ensure that your past employees cannot access your systems anymore. Remove authorization from people who do not work for you anymore or change roles. 

Train employees

When talking about cybersecurity, employee training is crucial.

One of the common ways cybercriminals can steal data is through your employees. They can send fraudulent emails impersonating someone in your organization. They may ask for personal details or access to specific servers.

To an untrained eye, malicious links may seem legitimate. This issue can cause employees to fall into a trap. 

This statement highlights why employee awareness is vital.

One efficient way to protect against cyberattacks is to train your employees. Teach them about cyber attack prevention and inform them of cyber threats they need to look out for.

When training employees, make sure to teach them the following cyber practices:

  • Identify what suspicious links look like
  • Reread email addresses from emails
  • Be careful when sending out sensitive data via email
  • Double-check online requests about confidential info through a phone call

These are some excellent cybersecurity practices you should teach at work. With these simple and valuable tips, you can keep your organization's data safe and secure.


Rodney Brazil

Rodney Brazil

More articles written by Rodney.

Join Our Newsletter

Stay inspired

Get all the latest offers, articles, and industry news straight to your mailbox every month.

Need help? We're always here for you.