Security of data has never been of more importance than the present, with the escalating threat of both organised and ‘bedroom’ hackers aiming for the personal data of internet business’s clientele. But just what is at risk from an attack to a business’s website?
A website is a hive of data, from containing the details of many client’s personal information (such as email addresses, contact information, etc.) to establishing links to any computers connecting to that website. It provides a simple pathway into the computers of potentially thousands - and in the case of larger companies, millions - of other devices, making such websites prime targets for hackers who are after large amounts of data very quickly.
An attack can take various forms. Some will aim to extract the personal information of clientele, which can be added to other stolen data to be traded on illegal networks for profit. Others may aim to insert malware via the connections made to site visitors, spreading the malicious software to the users’ PCs. The knock-on effect of a security breach in even a small business can be catastrophic, and as such the internet security industry has skyrocketed in popularity. With it becoming common knowledge that data is at risk from identity theft, customers are looking to developers for effective protection. Should a security breach occur in a businesses’ database, clients lose trust of storing their personal data with that company, leading to a loss of both profit and reputation. It is therefore desperately important to protect the data of both the business, and it’s customers, and simply cannot be ignored.
How can a website be protected?
The most basic steps involve the careful management of any passwords and login information. Ensure the website host you use is trusted and competent in internet security, as host servers can be a direct route to a website for attackers. But there is also the onus on the website owner to protect themselves. The information given to visitors must be kept to a minimum in error messages, preventing information such as database passwords from being leaked. If your website allows for file uploads, such as profile customisation, these can hide executable scripts that can infect the website. To avoid this, all uploads must be carefully monitored. Deny any executables by changing file permissions, for example - details on how to do this can easily be found online. Due to recent changes, gaining an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is now free, and is becoming the standard for reputable businesses. In this article posted on our blog, we explain why SSL is rapidly becoming a must in the IT industry. These are just the basics, with many more options that should be explored to fully secure your website.
If you find your website does not have these barriers in place, it is highly recommended that changes are made immediately. Prevention is better than cure, it is said, and when it comes to internet security, there really is no time better than the present. At Ansta, security is a priority, and as such our website is built with a proprietary in-house CMS (which constains none of the security holes open-source solutions do), alongside our website being fully secured.