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  • Writer's pictureDylan Benson

Website Security: Protecting Your Online Presence



Having an online presence is vital to the success of your business. To protect yourself from the ever-changing landscape of online threats, you require a diligent plan to ensure your online presence is safe for you and your users.



But where do you start?




How to Protect Your Online Presence


In this article we’re going to explain what an online threat is, and how to protect your online presence in 2024 and beyond.



First let’s have a look at some of the possible online threats that may target your business.



 

Possible Online Threats


While security threats are ever-changing and adapting, here are some of the more common threats to your business’s online safety:

 


  • Brute force attacks. Cybercriminals use trial-and-error to guess login information, encryption keys, etc.

  • Cross-site request forgery (CSRF). Manipulating a user into certain behaviour on a website where they are currently authenticated, leading to unauthorized actions.

  • Cross-site scripting (XSS). Cybercriminals insert malicious script into websites to steal data or redirect visitors to malicious sites.



  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS Attacks). This method involves overwhelming a website with traffic, making the site slow or unavailable.

  • Insider threats. Threats from folks within the organization (employees, contractors, etc) who may deliberately or unknowingly cause security threats by their actions.

  • Malware. Viruses, worms, ransomware, and other forms of malicious software designed to damage or steal sensitive information.

  • Man-in-the-Middle attacks. By intercepting the transfer of information between two parties without their knowledge, cybercriminals can steal data.

  • Misconfiguration. Unknowingly leaving security gaps by poorly configuring servers, databases, and other resources.

  • Outdated software. Outdated software can leave a plethora of unknown vulnerabilities that are easy for scammers to exploit.


  • Phishing attacks. Scammers deceive their victims by pretending to be legitimate sources to steal sensitive information like login and password information, or even financial data.


  • SQL (Structured Query Language) injection. Using SQL, attackers can alter a site’s database to access or modify data.


  • Zero-Day exploits. These tricky attacks target unknown vulnerabilities in your hardware or software leaving you “zero days” to fix the issues.



Protecting Your Online Presence



As you can see, cybercriminals use an array of methods to exploit vulnerable websites. As the digital landscape continues to change, these methods become more and more sophisticated. To protect yourself, you must act proactively.



But fear not, there are some easy ways you can protect your online presence today.



Regular Website Updates



Cybercriminals love exploiting software vulnerabilities. Software developers are constantly updating code to protect you; these are called patches. To keep your website as secure as possible, you need to stay up to date on patches to ensure there are no security holes.

Here are three easy ways to stay up to date:



  • Automate your updates. Make it easy on yourself: configure your site to update your systems and software automatically whenever the developers send out a new update.



  • Subscribe to security advisories and newsletters. Stay educated on the latest vulnerabilities and patches.



  • Regular security audits. Schedule an audit and conduct reviews periodically to assure they’re updated.



Strong Access Control



You want to ensure your admin access is secure and being used by the proper parties. Keep strong passwords, use multi-factor authentication software, and limit the login attempts to ensure your website is only being accessed by the correct people.



If multiple people are required to access your site, use role-based access controls to assign permissions to ensure folks only have access to what they need.



Backup Your Website



Industry experts suggest you should backup your website once a month. In the unfortunate case that hackers infiltrate your site, or something goes wrong, having an update will allow you to get your site back up-and-running as quickly as possible.



In this ever-changing digital landscape, cybercriminals are using increasingly tricky and sophisticated methods of hacking digital information. Protect your online presence by understanding the threats, updating your software regularly, securing access, and conducting routine back-ups.



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