Cybersecurity has now become a priority topic for many companies, and for good reason. We’ve all seen the headlines: This company was hacked and millions of credit card numbers were stolen; That company was breached and hundreds of millions of records containing personally identifiable information were compromised.
Every year the number of companies who experience cybercrime is growing. Statista.com reveals that since 2011, the number of companies affected by cybercrime increased each year by 30% on average and, according to IBM, in 2018 the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million. It’s easy to see why increasing website security is paramount in helping to avoid a growing and costly problem for business owners.
Here are 3 areas your teams can act on to increase your website security.
Choose a secure CMS platform
A content management system (CMS) is the brains behind your website. Essentially, it’s the back-end of the site where all your front-facing digital content is managed. There are many popular CMS platforms out there, including WordPress, Sitefinity, Kentico, and others. But not all platforms are created equal and some are more secure than others.
For example, WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world and it is free, but it’s also a well-known fact that it is not the most secure platform. Sitefinity, on the other hand, comes with a price but it is known to be a reliably secure platform. Security features are built into its architecture from the ground up.
At Bayshore Solutions, we work with many platforms for our web development projects and often find we guide customers towards the more secure option once we understand their business needs. It may be costlier, but that is usually the case with things that are worthwhile and will prevent you from possibly paying much more in the future.
If you’re in the market to update your website, make sure your team compares multiple CMS options, keeping website security at top-of-mind for each.
Using HTTPS will increase website security
HTTPS is a way to encrypt the data that your visitors send between their browser and a web server. It protects personally identifiable data like names, emails, phone numbers, logins and credit card data. This is a relatively quick and immediate way to increase website security.
Some of the security benefits of HTTPS include:
- It keeps the contents of your web traffic private.
- It protects users’ internet data from being compromised over public WiFi networks.
- Some ISPs inject ads into users’ unencrypted web traffic. HTTPS can prevent this.
Having your website on HTTPS has other added benefits, including:
- SEO benefits: Google factors in HTTPS as part of the overall search ranking, giving HTTPS websites an advantage in search results over HTTP sites.
- Brand trust: HTTPS allows for a padlock and “secure” tag next to your website URL in the address bar of a browser, building immediate trust with website visitors.
Speaking of Google, their new version of Chrome will now be labeling non-HTTPS sites with a grey “Not secure” tag next to the URL. To see if your site is secure, using Google Chrome, input your domain into the address bar and if there is a green secure tag to the left of the address, or if there is a padlock, you are secure. If nothing appears, you are not running HTTPS and thus, not secure. This could taint how your website visitors perceive your brand, especially since 60% of all web traffic comes from Google Chrome.
At Bayshore, we’ve helped many customers upgrade to HTTPS. Click here to learn more about this essential website security upgrade.
Keep your software up-to-date
A very simple but often overlooked preventative measure to cybercrime is to keep your website software updated. New ways to hack websites come out daily and the developers of your website’s software push out updates to provide you with the latest counter-attack measures. Every update you ignore opens the door to your data just a bit wider to hackers.
To increase website security, you must install all the latest updates to the software that runs your website right when they come out. It’s as simple as that.
To make sure you don’t miss an update, set up or subscribe to alerts anytime a new update is released. Many software providers also have auto-update features, although you’ll want to consult with your IT team before utilizing this option. More of a manual process, you can also set up periodic meetings and use a software checklist to see if any updates have been released. It doesn’t matter how it happens, just make sure it does.
This is also a practice that should become mandatory for any software that touches sensitive data within your company.
These are just 3 methods your company can utilize to increase website security. There are many other factors to consider and steps to take when building a secure website environment. Do you research, partner with an experienced agency if you’re updating your website and make sure your teams are trained on security best practices to avoid a costly cyber security problem in the future.
Contact Bayshore Solutions today to discuss how we can help grow your business through expert Web development.