Online security breaches have drastically increased to 68% as of last year. With the pandemic at its peak in 2020, the rise of cyber threats rose as well.
Cyberattacks are extremely dangerous and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Without the right online security, it could lead right to your downfall.
Don’t let your business suffer at the hands of cybercriminals. Here, we list down the biggest online security threats and how you can protect your business from them.
The Biggest Security Threats to Your Online Business
Many security threats exist online. And when you don’t bulletproof your business as soon as possible, they could come hurtling towards you when you’re least prepared.
Be aware of the most common online security threats that you’re likely to face in the future.
Phishing — one of the most widely encountered security threats online – is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information from your business.
This scheme is usually done by sending a seemingly inconspicuous email to the potential victim requesting certain information. Since the email looks like it comes from a credible source, the recipient is tricked into providing the said information — which the attacker will then use for malicious purposes.
A Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack is an attempt to overwhelm your server or network with requests until the system cannot cope with the demand. This results in a denial-of-service to normal traffic — eventually bringing your website to a grinding halt and affecting business operations and revenue.
There’s a reason why software companies come up with security updates for their products every now and then. Once cybercriminals discover vulnerabilities in your software, they use these to their advantage. If you don’t keep your software up-to-date, your business may be put at a much greater risk than you think.
Hackers use several ways to crack your passwords and gain access to your website or internal systems. An example is the “brute force” method — which involves using a computer program to generate potential passwords. Using password generators, hackers will start with the most commonly used passwords (e.g. Password123) until they crack the right ones and finally breach your system.
Malware is used to weaken security measures in place. It may come in the form of viruses, trojans, worms, and spyware. If you run an ecommerce website, your risk is higher.
Malware is one of the most effective ways for hackers to obtain your customers’ sensitive data.
10 Steps to Improve Your Website Security
Now, it’s time to take action. Here are 10 simple website security changes you can do to get started:
Before going into the nitty-gritty of website security, the most important first step to make is to back up your website.
Having a copy of your entire website — including all its contents — will keep your business up and running in no time in case of a cyberattack. When you’re running a business, any downtime can result in a decrease in profit and credibility. You know what they say: It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Install a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate
SSL certificates protect sensitive information exchanged through your website — including logins, credit card numbers, and forms. All of these data are encrypted preventing hackers from intercepting these pieces of information and using them to their advantage
Update your software
Installing software updates as soon as they are released reduces the chance of software vulnerabilities.
If you haven’t already, create a policy to manage every piece of software you’re using on your website – and assign someone the task of maintaining them.
Make password security a priority
Strong passwords aren’t foolproof. The most technologically advanced cybercriminals can crack even the strongest of passwords. For this reason, it’s a good idea to use tools — such as a single sign-on (SSO) and two-factor authentication — to prevent password breach.
Protect your website using firewalls
Installing a firewall takes your website protection up a notch. Since DDoS attacks are becoming a common threat to many businesses online, your website must be able to detect malicious traffic quickly and stop it before it can penetrate your site.
Keep hold of unwanted domain names
If you plan to rebrand your business — or decide to change your domain name — don’t just discard the old one.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) says that cybercriminals can access confidential information through abandoned domain names.
One researcher tested this theory by re-registering old domain names for merged businesses. Surprisingly, he was able to receive large amounts of confidential information — such as bank correspondence, legal documents, and invoices — without hacking.
Educate your employees
Employees who don’t know what a phishing email looks like or how malware works may just fall right into these traps. At the end of the day, your business will be the one suffering from their ignorance.
As a business owner, make sure to educate every employee about the website security risks they may encounter and how to best respond to them.
Make sure you have email protection
Email is a common platform that hackers use to breach your online security — often through malware attachments or phishing attempts.
Prevent this by getting an Email Protection service for your emails.
Email Protection provides anti-spam and anti-virus services — meaning your emails are filtered before the bad ones can get to you.
Get a reliable web hosting
Maximise your website security by getting a reliable web hosting provider that offers more than just a hosting service.
A good web hosting provider keeps your website in secure servers and protects it from malicious online threats.
Work with security experts
Cybercriminals aren’t going to wait until your website is well protected. Find experts that can help you protect your business from online threats before it’s too late.
These pros can help minimise website vulnerabilities, perform a full security audit, and educate the rest of your staff about cyber-attacks.
Secure your website before it’s too late!
Cyberattacks do exist and it’s important to take all the precautions ahead of time. One of the most common mistakes most business owners do is to wait for something to happen before they take action. With that mindset, it could cost you your business.
Fortify your site with the best website security tools and say “adios!” to pesky and nosy hackers.