In today's digital age, a business website is essential for success. Not only does it provide potential customers with information about your products or services, but it also allows you to connect and engage with them directly.
However, simply having a website is not enough. To ensure that your site is effective and safe, you need to make sure that it has all the necessary security features. In this article, we will discuss twelve security features that every business website must have.
1. Enable Auto-Update for Plugins and Software
One of the simplest but most effective security measures you can take, especially if you’re looking to protect your WordPress site, is to ensure that all your plugins and software are up to date. Outdated software is one of the most common ways that attackers gain access to websites. By keeping everything up to date, you can help to prevent vulnerabilities from being exploited.
You can usually enable auto-updates for most plugins and software from within their settings menu. For WordPress sites, there is also a plugin called Easy Updates Manager that can help you to keep everything up to date with ease.
2. Have a Strong Password Policy
A strong password policy is the first step to protecting your website from malicious actors. By requiring strong and unique passwords, you can make it significantly more difficult for attackers to gain access to your site. You need to ensure that your website's backend is well protected and that only authorized users have access. To do this, you should consider using a password manager to generate and store strong passwords for your site. You should not be using the same password for multiple sites.
3. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an important security measure that you should consider implementing for your website. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two pieces of information before they can access your site. This could include a password and a one-time code that is generated by an app on your phone. 2FA can help to prevent attackers from gaining access to your site, even if they have your password.
4. Use a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate
An SSL certificate is a must-have for any website that wants to protect their users' information. SSL encrypts the communications between your website and your users' web browsers. This means that even if an attacker was able to intercept the communication, they would not be able to read it. SSL also provides authentication, which means you can be sure that your users are communicating with the intended website and not a fake site set up by an attacker.
Increasingly, having things like HTTPS and an SSL certificate are part of Google's ranking metrics and will help your website's SEO. If you aren't trying to protect your visitors and users (the people who give you their sensitive credit card information), they may take their business elsewhere.
5. Use a Web Application Firewall (WAF)
A web application firewall (WAF) is a piece of software that sits between your website and the internet. It filters traffic to your site and blocks any requests that it considers to be malicious. WAFs can be very effective at stopping attacks such as SQL injection (SQLi) and cross-site scripting (XSS).
6. Use Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS)
Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) are designed to detect and prevent attacks on your website. IDPS systems can be either host-based or network-based. Host-based IDPSs are installed on the servers that host your website. They monitor traffic to and from the server and can detect and block attacks. Network-based IDPSs are installed on your network and monitor traffic to and from your website. Both types of IDPS can be effective at stopping attacks, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.
7. Do Security Logging and Monitoring
Security logging and monitoring are a critical security measures for any website. By logging all activity on your site, you can track down any malicious activity and take appropriate action. You should also monitor your logs regularly to look for any unusual activity.
8. Use a Secure Hosting Environment
A secure hosting environment is essential for any website. Your host should provide a secure server with up-to-date security patches. They should also have experience in hosting websites and be able to provide you with expert support if you need it. Things like DDoS protection and backups are also important considerations. Denial of service attacks are on the rise, and website owners need to be prepared. Your hosting provider and the measures they take to protect you make a difference.
9. Perform Regular Security Scans
Regular security scans are a vital part of website security. Scans can help you to identify vulnerabilities on your site so that you can fix them before they are exploited by attackers. There are many different types of security scans, such as web application scans, network scans, and malware scans.
10. Perform Malware Scanning and Remove Malware
Malware is a serious threat to any website. Malicious code can be used to steal sensitive information, deface your site, or even take it offline. It's important to regularly scan your website for malware and remove any that is found.
11. Protect Against Spam
Spam is a major problem for many websites. It can clog up your comment sections, contact forms, and even your website's database. There are several ways to combat spam, such as using CAPTCHA codes and requiring registration for comments. Akismet is a popular WordPress plugin that does an excellent job of stopping spam.
12. Train Your Employees
One of the most important security measures you can take is to educate your employees about website security. They should know how to spot a phishing email, what to do if they suspect their computer has been infected with malware, and how to keep their passwords secure. You should also have a clear policy in place for what to do in the event of a security breach.
There are many security measures that every website should take. By implementing these measures, you can help to protect your site from attack and keep your data safe. Additionally, it's important to educate your employees about website security and have a clear policy in place for dealing with security breaches.