Safe. Secure. They are both key words individuals look for when seeking website security, but what does that even look like on the Internet today? In America, most businesses have a website that serves as the hub of their marketing ventures. It’s the digital billboard and brochure that allows them to reach their target audience on an international scale, but more often than not, those websites are like sitting ducks: susceptible and unprotected.
In a 2015 study conducted by WhiteHat Security, it was reported that 86 percent of all websites contained at least one serious vulnerability, if not more. In that same year, Google reported that hacking had increased 180%. Startling statistics like these should make you wonder…
What does it take to keep your online presence protected?
Understanding Why Hackers Hack
To understand website security, you need to know what it is you are protecting your website from. Hackers are skilled individuals capable of accessing your online real estate—often without you knowing it!
But what are they looking for? Hackers typically want data or access to your website’s “logic.” That’s computing power for those of us who don’t speak web jargon. There are various reasons why people do this. Blog Central composed a list of 7 types of hacker motivations that cover the general scope. However, if they’re tapping in to your website, chances are they are seeking one of the following:
- To acquire personal information for identity theft
- To use your logic to complete personal objectives via your resources
- To acquire banking information for fraudulent transactions
This information is often sold on a hidden corner of the internet called the dark web, which is essentially a digital black market.
How to Protect Your Website
So how do you protect yourself from hacker masterminds? Website security is an ongoing, vigilant process. Here are a few best practices:
1) Changing Your Passwords
Let us clarify. Change your password often! Most IT professionals recommend every few months. However, if there was a recent change such as an employee leaving your staff, then you will want to change it earlier.
Also, what you choose for a password is just as important as how frequently you change it. When you create a password, use a blend of alpha, numeric and symbol characters. Password generators can create one for you quickly and easily. Then make sure you keep your passwords in a safe and secure location (a sticky note on your desk is not one of them). We recommend a protected document located on a secure server.
2) Have a Surveillance Team
Every business should have a professional in charge of updating, maintaining, and protecting their website. This individual or team should have knowledge of how a website, server, and hosting operates. This includes constantly updating your core, plugins, and any other third party integrations running on your site.
Need Help With Your Website Security?
Contact us. We have a web team specifically dedicated to keeping your website safe, secure, and up-to-date every day. Start with a free website audit, or give us a call at 239-449-4749.