Last updated: March 22nd, 2014
There is no question that the biggest challenge facing businesses today is related to cyber security. If ever there was a real life game of cat and mouse, the story is told perfectly by the issues that cyber security and cyber threats regularly throw up.
Every time there is a security patch or a piece of software developed to make a server more secure, you can bet that cyber criminals and hackers are following close behind to try and break it.
They do this whether they just want to prove they can do it or whether they have more sinister motives for doing so, such as stealing and selling on confidential data at a tidy price.
Here are the steps you need to take with your website to ensure you, your business, and your customers do not become victims of cybercrime.
Make Your Site Safe
We’ve all seen the articles about ‘hanging out in a safe neighborhood’ online, and that’s kind of what we’re getting at here. It is your responsibility to make your site a safe neighborhood.
For every person who infects their computer because they click a link promising naked pictures of the latest flavor of the month model, there’s another who unwittingly finds themselves infected because they trusted a site which then passed malware onto their system.
You need to be very diligent when doing this, as cyber criminals might target advertising banners or other areas where they expect you not to look or be paying close attention to; make sure your site is a safe haven and that breaking into it wouldn’t be worth the time of any self-respecting criminal’s day.
Keep Your Site Simple
The vast majority of malware that gets passed from a website to a user system is via flaws in applications or plugins that exist on the site. There are two points to consider here. First, ensure you only use applications, plugins, or any other types of add on from a trusted source, and preferably endorsed by your hosting company or CMS platform.
Second, remember that if you’re a small business website, you don’t need a myriad of ‘bells and whistles’ applications to make your site look amazing. People will be expecting simplicity. Deliver it.
Don’t Assume Anything
If you’re paying a little extra to a hosting company for VPS managed hosting then that is a positive step. However, you should never assume that your host is doing everything to look after you, although it is fair to say most of the time they probably are.
Look at it this way: if something were to go wrong, and you had been even a fraction negligent, you can’t turn around to customers and blame your hosting company, can you? You might be able to take up the matter with the host in question later, but that’s a separate issue.
Therefore, make sure you have your own checks and systems in place, even if your hosting provider is offering you a great malware detection tool and has an eye on your site 100% of the time.
Cyber security is not something with which you can afford to take a lax attitude and believe everything will be alright. Remain focused around every aspect of cyber security, and you will reduce your risk massively.
About Author: Joe is an online security enthusiast who hopes to develop his own range of malware detection and removal systems over the coming years.