Cyber security is one aspect of your website you must focus on. Small businesses fall prey to attacks because they have fewer security measures. Yet, the ‘big guys’ suffer from many attack attempts too. Since it is a universal problem, you should take it seriously.
When you don’t regulate little changes in a website, you expose the website to attackers. Worse, attackers can steal vital information when there’s a data breach. Now, a data breach is the chief reason most businesses have to stop operations as they need to secure vital information to stay relevant.
As everyone tries to be more security conscious, you may make your website vulnerable without being aware. What are the most common security pitfalls websites face? How do you avoid these downsides?
Read on to see the top five most common security mistakes websites make and how you can avoid them.
5 Websites Security Pitfalls You Must Never Fall for
Five website mistakes you must avoid to ensure your website stays secure include:
1. Giving Unskilled People Admin Access to Your Website
This problem is common in small businesses with employees who multitask. You may lose your website when you give access to someone who doesn’t understand cyber security. People unfamiliar with cyber security measures can’t put them in place when granted access.
In this case, only allow people who understand cyber security to handle your website. Where you have none or very few, ensure they get cyber security training to lessen cyber attacks. Provide extra training for users with access to sensitive information on the site.
Cyber security awareness for people with access to your website should cover:
- How employees can report security issues or fix minor threats
- General cyber security measures
- Awareness about common cyber attacks, phishing scams, and how to avoid these attacks.
- Internal policies and security measures are in place.
Ensure the cyber security training is regular and everyone participates. Use phishing tests to enhance the training and cyber security skill of website admins.
2. Ignoring Loopholes and Security Vulnerabilities
The reasons for loopholes are countless. Vulnerability often stems from outdated tools, services, themes, and plug-ins. At times, it may be from software installation without validating its source. Yet, on a few occasions, it may be due to the laxity of the programmer to schedule and maintain website security.
Never think of a security threat as small, or ignore the threats you notice. For example, in website security, permitting minor errors give significant errors license to operate.
To solve this problem:
- Use updated tools, services, plug-ins, and themes.
- Verify the source of installed extensions, files, or applications that may pose a threat.
- Observe servers and network systems often.
It would help if you carried out regular maintenance checks too. Review audits, notes, systems, and changelogs that can notify you of loopholes. Fix every identity challenge that may cause threats. To check for website vulnerabilities:
- Recheck the code and servers to reduce SQL injections and cross-site scripting attacks.
- Carry out vulnerability tests and run malware scans on your site. Use services that block hackers from running the scan on your site
Use the open source security guide to help you understand how to mitigate risks better.
3. Managing Security Certificates the Wrong Way
Regardless of how much you invest in keeping website information safe, it is a waste when you don’t manage them right. Managing SSL or TLS certificates is not enough; you must also manage their private keys. Using compromised or expired keys is as dangerous as using none. Compromised or expired keys can cause a website to go out of service for a while.
To avoid certificate issues, use excellent certificate management practices. Using a certificate management tool for network visibility would be best. That way, you can ensure you don’t use expired certificates. A good management tool helps you know which security certificate is valid, expired, or almost expired and how to deploy them.
4. Using Weak Passwords
Short is simple, but a short password is neither safe nor free from website attacks. So use strong passwords to keep your website out of the face of attackers.
If an attacker manages to get into your website, getting the website back would not be easy. Valid information, reputation, and some finances may be in line too.
The good thing is that most platforms ensure users create strong and unique passwords.
All the same, to create strong passwords:
- Never reuse the same passwords on many sites. It makes attacking the website accessible. Instead, include minor variations like symbols to differentiate them. Passwords for every site must be unique.
- Don’t use numbers or letters in their order, especially the first few numbers/letters (e.g., A, B, C, D, or 1,2,3,4).
- Avoid using clear information about your life or business. For example, most people tend to use their exact birth dates to create passwords. While it is easy to remember, it also makes hacking your website easy.
- To improve security, mix lowercase with uppercase letters. For instance, you can coMBinE iT this way.
- Write your password in a secure location, or use password management tools. Don’t store your password in an unencrypted location or in one you are unsure of.
- For employees with website access, use certificate-based authentication. Authentication is preferable to having to input passwords all the time.
- Don’t use ‘password’ as your password regardless of character combinations.
5. Disregarding Updates
Almost everyone ignores updating settings or other updates because it seems uncalled for. Meanwhile, updates are the main ways developers fix bugs in their services. A good example is WordPress, where plug-ins and themes may create a window for hackers. Since website services are not immune to bugs, constant updates decrease the bugs.
You may update these services manually or by using automated updating tools. Manual updates will need you to remember to do so, and applying the update may take a while. However, automating updates saves you from having to repeat updates yourself. In essence, automating updates spares you more time for other activities.
The concept of cyber security changes because technology is dynamic. One needs to improvise daily to stay in the game. The best bet is to get experts to deal with these attacks if you don’t know much about cyber security. That way, you stay protected against security threats and loopholes.
Although it isn’t wholly possible to keep your websites security from attackers, you can lessen third-party access. Therefore, always bear in mind that investing in cyber security is a top priority.