Prioritizing Cybersecurity When Building Your Company Website
How to protect your business from cyber-attacks.
If your business does not yet have an online presence, then you may be missing the boat. These days, many customers are skipping the physical stores and going online, shopping from the comfort of their own homes. Many Colorado businesses have already jumped on the bandwagon, and that is one of the reasons why experts consider Denver, Colorado to be the e-commerce city to watch.
In addition to making a company website that is current and easy to navigate, you also need to make sure it is secure. Hackers and cybercriminals are always looking for a chance to break into your site and steal your data — including the information of your customers. If you are building a new website, then you can improve your chances of avoiding a breach with these tips.
Prepare Before You Build
If you are in the very early stages of your website’s creation, then you need to start by laying down a foundation of security. For starters, consider investing in cyber liability coverage to protect your business against a potential breach now and in the future. You can get this coverage from many well-known insurance carriers, and it will help you in the case of a data breach by informing customers of the situation as well as providing assistance to repair damaged computer systems and recover any compromised data.
Next, you need to research the common threats so you know what to protect against. For example, phishing scams are becoming more common every year. These are malicious emails sent by hackers that are disguised as valid communication, but if an unsuspecting employee opens it, then the cybercriminal can have immediate access to your systems. Learn about the current scams and use that information to further strengthen your security posture by gathering all employees and having a comprehensive training session about the threats and how to avoid becoming a victim.
Finally, when getting your business up and running, it is important to create a recovery plan in case there is a breach or other unexpected issue. This plan should cover every step that should be taken after the breach, including who will alert the customers and who will patch the vulnerabilities in your systems, among other necessary tasks. Assign an individual to each task so the recovery can be a success. Also, make it a point to run through the drill several times a year, so everyone is prepared for the real deal.
Make Your Website Smart and Secure
In order to make your website a success, you need to make it attractive, easy to use, and accessible to all potential visitors. Navigation should be a snap with clearly defined menus and clear direction on where customers can find what they need. It should also be mobile-friendly, and you will want to work out any bugs so each page loads quickly and without issue.
Your website should also be accessible, meaning that anyone who visits the site can use it regardless of potential limitations. That means adding subtitles to videos and avoiding the use of red and green in the case that a visitor is colorblind. It is also a good idea to make your website foreign-business friendly by offering easy translation and currency conversion.
While ease of use is essential, so is implementing security features into the website to protect your customers and their data. For instance, if you accept payments through your website, you should implement secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates into the programming which help to secure all online transactions by automatically encrypting them once they are entered.
You should also make sure that your website implements hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) protocol which is another way to encrypt communications between a web browser and your website. The “S” at the end of HTTPS literally stands for secure, and customers typically know that so they are more likely to shop with you when they know that your business prioritizes their security.
Protection Now and in the Future
While hackers have many methods for breaching your systems, you can keep them at bay by implementing some tried-and-true security measures. Start by ensuring that every member of the web team uses complex passwords that include lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. If customers are able to create accounts on your website, then you should require them to also create complex passwords. Sometimes, a hacker only needs to crack one password in order to gain full access to your system.
It is also important to remember that not all threats are from external sources and that sometimes even an ex-employee can be the culprit. For that reason, make sure that you eliminate the system access for any employee once they leave your organization. Also, existing employees should only have access to the programs necessary to complete their specific job. Few employees should be able to access all systems, and fully vet any developers before hiring.
You should also protect your website by adding a firewall and installing antivirus software so that you can prevent most threats and eliminate any viruses that happen to get past your defenses. Both of these programs should be updated whenever a new version comes along so you are up to date on the current threats. Run antivirus scans on all website components at least twice a week to ensure maximum security.
There are many considerations to be made when building your business website for the security of your customers and your bottom line. Implement the proper protections at the start, and you can have confidence that your website will thrive without cyberattacks.
Noah Rue is a journalist and content writer, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t searching out his next great writing opportunity, Noah likes to shut off his devices and head to the mountains to disconnect.