How to Make A Website Secure: A Guide for Business Owners

October 21, 2020 in SiteLock News

Given the ever-present threat of cyberattacks, it is crucial for business owners to make website security a top priority. Although the question of how to make a website secure might sound complex, it’s not as hard as it seems. In fact, just taking a few simple steps can greatly improve your website security. If you’re a business owner, read on to learn about how you can secure your company website.

How to Make a Website Secure in 6 Steps

When it comes to web security for business owners, here are six simple steps how to make a website secure.

1. Install an SSL certificate

These days, installing an SSL certificate on your site is a must. An SSL certificate protects your data as it travels between your site and the server. This makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to intercept sensitive information such as credit card numbers. Many hosting providers offer a free SSL certificate, but if you handle credit card information, it is recommended that you purchase one as it has more security benefits (i.e. longer certificate lifespan – Extended Lifespan (LV), tech support and a warranty).

2. Sanitize input fields

Cybercriminals often access a website’s database through its contact forms. To prevent this, ensure form data is formatted properly within each input field before it’s submitted. You can accomplish this by predefining what a visitor can type in each field. For example, you might only allow letters and hyphens in the name field. Regularly sanitizing the input fields on your website is important for securing your database.

3. Use client- and server-side form validation

It’s also crucial to check the data in each form field before it’s submitted to prevent malicious data from entering your system. You can implement client-side validation using JavaScript to review form data and ensure it’s acceptable before submitting it to your web server. As an added precaution, use server-side validation so your server can also review the data before accepting it.

4. Scan for malware

Another important step for how to make a website secure is regularly scanning for malware. You can simplify this process by investing in an automated website malware scanner that monitors your site for threats 24/7. For added security, opt for a solution that automatically removes any malware immediately upon detection.

5. Implement vulnerability patching

Website vulnerabilities are weak points in your website’s code that cybercriminals can exploit to gain control of your site. These vulnerabilities are often caused by outdated plugins or CMS (content management system) software. To safeguard your site, you can invest in a vulnerability scanner to find and patch site vulnerabilities.

6. Use a web application firewall

Finally, business owners can implement a web application firewall (WAF) to provide an additional layer of protection for their websites. A WAF monitors all incoming and outgoing traffic to your website and blocks unwanted traffic, malicious bots, and cyberthreats from reaching your site.

Keep Website Security Top of Mind

It’s also important for businesses to make cybersecurity a company-wide priority. Here are a couple of ways to help ensure security remains a priority within your organization:

Update plugins and applications

Since vulnerabilities are often caused by outdated plugins and applications, you need to keep them updated. Make sure to regularly check for updates and install them immediately to reduce your risk of vulnerabilities, this will help make your website secure.

Delete unused plugins

You should also review your website plugins often to ensure they are up-to-date. If you discover that you are no longer using certain plugins, it is best to delete them from your website.

Educate Employees on Security Best Practices

Finally, since your employees are considered the first line of defense when it comes to security, it’s crucial to provide ongoing education and training. Below are some important best practices that can help enhance overall security for your business:

Security awareness training

Provide security awareness training for all employees and ensure this training is delivered consistently each year in order to ensure your employees stay informed about cybersecurity and how to prevent security threats.

Learn to identify phishing attempts

Be sure to educate employees about the warning signs of phishing emails and how to avoid falling victim to these ever-growing attacks. Also consider running phishing simulations to help employees identify phishing emails more effectively.

Get familiar with common cyberthreats

Teach your employees about other common cyberthreats, including ransomware, DDoS attacks, and malvertising. Also teach them how to identify these cyberthreats and what actions to take if they encounter them.

Enforce the use of secure passwords

Employee security training isn’t complete without stressing the importance of secure passwords. Ensure your training covers best practices for setting secure passwords, such as avoiding easy-to-guess passwords and choosing unique passwords for each account.

How Secure is Your Website?

There are many proactive cybersecurity solutions available today on how to make a website secure. Before you choose one, it’s important to understand how your current website security strategy measures up.

Want to learn more about keeping your website safe and secure? Contact us and speak with a security specialist today.

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