Did you know that as of 2019 56% of all internet traffic comes from automated sources such as hacking tools, spammers, impersonators, and bots. This might lead you to wonder whether your website is secure enough. Before you know it, your website could be attacked by a cybercriminal. The longer you neglect your website’s security, the more open your website and business are to damage. In this guide to website security updates, we’re going to provide you the knowledge you need to keep your website protected.
What damage can cybercriminals do to your website?
Leaving your website vulnerable to cybercriminal can compromise years of years client information in one lapse. It can destroy your livelihood, especially if yu run a web-based business.
There are several harmful things cybercriminals can do to make your life and that of your customers miserable. They can steal your sensitive customer data stored on your website by exploiting weak areas in your website, like an outdated plugin. They can replace your website’s content with their malicious content to drive traffic to malicious websites and infect visitors with malicious software. They may slow or even crash your website entirely, making it inaccessible to visitors. If search engines discover your website got hacked, they may remove your website from their search results and flag it with a warning that turns visitors away.
Don’t allow those scenarios to happen to you. Instead, start focusing on securing your website.
What are the security updates for your website?
Security updates for your website fix vulnerabilities in systems to ensure that your website data is not exposed to unauthorized users and to prevent exploitation of your website in any way.
Cybercriminals are always looking for loopholes and vulnerabilities in websites or content management systems (CMS) such as Drupal or WordPress. These holes need to be ‘patched’ and it is the security updates that deliver these patches to keep your systems secure.
Your website might get infected or reinjected when important security updates are not taken seriously. Most software updates are created due to a security breach that has been discovered and fixed. Updating to the new version keeps your website safe from vulnerabilities.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
This includes WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Drupal, and any other platform you might use to build your site. Your CMS of choice will alert you to any available updates that need to be implemented. Please do not ignore these warnings; every update fixes the loophole of previous versions.
Do you really need this plugin? Before installing any plugin to your website, think about what the downfalls of the plugin are versus the benefits. Only download plugins from well-rated developers in the community to avoid the risk of malware. Check for updates on the plugin and see how long ago the developer has patched any security issues.
Along with plugins, themes also need to be updated and assessed. Themes can become a source for malware that come with backdoors. As with plugins, download the theme from a trusted source. Developers patch and fix the vulnerabilities in every update, so update your theme whenever new security update is available.
Your own computer can be the attack vector. Making sure your browser and its extensions are up to date is very important. Only install browser extensions and browsers from a trusted source and be sure to update immediately when you are alerted.
Your website has a server to connect to the Internet and your server can become vulnerable to hacks as well. Cybercriminals can gain access by taking advantage of security vulnerabilities in the software packages your server is using. Proactively updating the software can patch security vulnerabilities. This is the responsibility of the company hosting your website – so be sure to check your hosting company has these measures in place.
What other security measures can help against these threats?
Followings are few simple tips that will help you to secure your website from cybercriminals.
Use a firewall
The server your website is hosted on is used to connect the rest of the untrusted internet to your online files. Going at it unprotected, lets potential viruses come too close your website. That’s where a firewall comes in. Firewalls block unwanted requests from cybercriminals that don’t fit in the lines to prevent damage.
Install an SSL certificate
Unencrypted data transfers allows cybercriminals to steal, intercept or compromise your data. By using an SSL certificate on your domain, you can protect your data as it travels between your server and the browser, making it useless to cybercriminals if intercepted.
Monitor your website
If a cybercriminal inserts malicious code in your website, this will sure disrupt the uptime of your website. However, website monitoring can keep you aware of this issue fast. It informs the webmasters by text and email on a frequent interval.
Scan your local computer
Your local computer may be a severe security threat to your website. You download files from online or install executable files that seem trustworthy but can come with viruses. Some can steal your website’s logins and inject malicious files into your website. It is important to run deep scans of your machine on a regular basis with a strong, reputable antivirus software.
Change your passwords
No matter what platform you build your website on, if you are using same password for your web host, website admin and local machine, this greatly increases the risk. As with any account, if someone can snag your password, they can load a slew of nasty files into your websites. For the best protection against that sort of attack, use different, strong passwords in each sector of your system.
Even if you are not able do all the above security measures, at least implement SSL in your website, install a firewall in your server, and update your CMS, plugins and server when alerts come in. Without these measures in place, you are inviting trouble to your site.