Website Protection is Reputation Protection
Picture this: You’re visiting a prospective business partner to learn more about them, but when you show up, it’s a bad scene. The building was broken into, the alarm is sounding, and there’s graffiti on the walls. After just five minutes, you decide enough is enough and leave—only to realize you were pickpocketed while inside the building. Doesn’t make you feel great about the business, does it?
Now how would you feel if someone had a similar experience on your website?
Your website is your company’s online home, and when you don’t have proper website protection, it isn’t inviting for guests—meaning potential customers, partners, job applicants, and investors. Here are a few steps to amp up your website security.
Use a Website Scanner
You’re likely keeping tabs on your website content, but how are you monitoring your site’s security? A website with security flaws can throw error messages and warnings, and is susceptible to malware that can show unwanted ads and pop-ups, redirect internal links to off-topic websites, or steal information from visitors. A website scanner will check for common vulnerabilities and issues on your website, including:
- Out-of-date software and plugins
- Expired or nonexistent SSL certificates
- Malware and hacking
- Blacklisting by search engines
Once a website scanner shows you the security vulnerabilities of your website, you can begin to review, prioritize, and address any issues with your website administrator. It’s important to run a website scan regularly, as threats change quickly. After all, your website is the first impression visitors have of your company—you want to know right away if something is amiss.
Frequent patches and updates are critical in keeping all systems safe from cyberattackers, and website hosting programs are no exception. This is especially important if you use a popular website builder: cybercriminals frequently target these tools as it’s easy to attack multiple websites through one vulnerability. Once a vulnerability is published in the news, it’s even more likely to be exploited on your website.
Take a minute to check that you’re running the latest version of your website software, as well as all plugins and add-ons. If possible, set your software to automatically update, and prioritize software updates whenever a vulnerability is published.
Use Access Control
Do you know who on your team has access to edit your website? Do a quick check to confirm that you’ve given access only to employees and consultants who need to make edits on a regular basis. Limiting the number of people who can change the edits reduces the risk of an insider threat incident.
You can also consider including a clause in your Technology and Data Use Policy that specifies how employees with website edit permissions should behave. And as with all company accounts, ask your team to use a strong password and two-factor authentication (2FA) for their login to the website editor.
As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Shouldn’t your first impression be one of strong cybersecurity?
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