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5 Ways to improve your website security

by Chloe Baird

As more and more businesses move online, it’s more important than ever to invest in smart, reliable cybersecurity measures.  

If you’re a small business owner with an e-commerce website, one of the best things you can do for your business is invest in reliable cybersecurity measures. But how do you ensure your website is secure without investing too much time in researching and applying the best methods? It’s a question that an increasing number of us face as we navigate the space we create for ourselves online, whether it’s in the form of e-commerce sites, blogs, or social media accounts.  

Whether you’re running your own online business or just need to ensure your personal online activity remains private and protected, we’ve got five tips for keeping your digital space safe. 

OC’s top 5 tips for better website Cybersecurity

1. Use up-to-date software

Many sites are hacked daily simply because their software is out of date. Since many companies and individuals use platforms like WordPress, Magento, and OS Commerce to run an e-commerce business, it’s essential for them to integrate the newest version of software to protect themselves from such attacks.

2. Create strong passwords

You may think keeping it simple will help you remember, but you’re actually more likely to recall a unique password that only you would guess—and that will help boost your Cybersecurity as well. Strong passwords are one of the best ways to keep your site protected, so don’t undervalue their importance. Use a resource like LastPass to keep a record of all your passwords.

3. Hire a security expert

Sometimes it’s just not worth the time and effort to tackle it all yourself. Hiring a security expert can be a smart idea if you’re too busy running a business to do it all on your own. Security specialists can offer a wide range of solutions, from file change monitoring, security event log monitoring, and payment cardholder data scanning to advanced web application firewall and daily malware detection.  Hiring a Cybersecurity expert can be a smart idea if you’re too busy running a business to do it all on your own, which is the case for many small business owners. Security specialists can offer a wide range of solutions, from file change monitoring, security event log monitoring, and payment cardholder data scanning to advanced web application firewall and daily malware detection.

4. Delete unused accounts

Your data is at further risk of being misused or stolen if you have too many digital accounts. Though you may think you’ll use an old email address or Duolingo account at some point in the future, it may be a safer bet to deactivate your accounts until you are ready to use them again or delete them altogether and create new ones when you really need them. 

5. Test, test and test again

Once is not enough, and neither is one way. Try doing a vulnerability scan as well as penetration testing. A vulnerability scan is a non-obtrusive scan that involves sending traffic, queries, and specific requests to your site to determine whether vulnerabilities exist. You can do this once every three months or so, and it’s relatively affordable. Penetration testing takes longer but is more in-depth, and involves hiring a specialist company which mimics the role of an attacker. It’s recommended to do it once a year, and is worth the investment.


Why do websites get hacked? 

It can happen to anyone, anywhere in the world. In fact, cybercrime costs Australians around $7.8 billion a year.  

In an article published by the Sydney Morning Herald in August 2019, cyber-attacks were up by an estimated 700% since February 2018.¹  

This is a terrifying figure, with health and finance organisations accounting for almost half of these data breaches.  

“But why would anyone want to hack my website?” Maybe you think your site is too small to be a target. This is a common misconception, as hackers target different types of websites for different reasons. Such as:  

  • Stealing customer data 
  • Holding data ransom 
  • Unethical Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) 
  • Send spam to your mailing list 
  • And sometimes hackers could target your website just to practice their skills. 

The thing is, becoming a victim of cybercrime is avoidable, so long as you’re smart and careful and follow some simple security measures.


A career in Cybersecurity

Does protecting important data, maintaining protected systems, identifying threats and enforcing security protocols sound like the kind of thing you’d like to do for a full-time job? Open Colleges’ partner course, Certified Cybersecurity Professional, will help you develop the skills to begin an entry level role as a frontline cybersecurity analyst.  
 


 


References:


Source: *1. Compare the Market. 'Nearly 1 in 2 employees put organisations at risk of cyber attacks – medium-sized businesses worst offenders'.
https://www.comparethemarket.com.au/news/nearly-1-in-2-employees-put-organisations-at-risk-of-cyber-attacks/

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