How to Secure Your Website Against Cyberattacks in 2023

Recent high-profile ransomware attacks on Travelex and Webhost SiteGround reveal a growing threat to businesses – website vulnerabilities being exploited for cyberattacks. With data breaches and hacking attempts increasing, it’s essential to lock down your website security. This article outlines key steps and best practices to protect your site and user data from online threats in 2023.

shield showing how to secure a website

Choose a Secure Web Host

Your hosting provider is the foundation of your website’s security. Select a host like Bluehost, HostGator, or SiteGround that offers top-tier security features like SSL encryption, DDoS mitigation, firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention, and more. The level of security provided can vary across plans.

Install and Renew an SSL Certificate

SSL certificates enable HTTPS protocol to encrypt all data exchanged between your site’s server and visitors’ browsers, preventing snooping of traffic. A trusted SSL cert also reassures visitors your site is legitimate. Install certs on all sites and renew before expiration to maintain protection.

Regularly Update CMS, Plugins and Other Software

Outdated WordPress, plugins, PHP, MySQL, and other software often contain vulnerabilities. Enable auto-updates where possible and routinely check manually for new releases to download security patches. Keeping software updated is key to avoid exploits.

Use Strong, Unique Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication

Weak passwords make accounts easy pickings for attackers. Create unique, complex passwords for all admin and user accounts using a password manager. Enable two-factor authentication for an extra layer of account security.

Back-Up Your Website and Test Restores

Backups allow you to recover your site should disaster occur. Backup entire site and databases weekly and store copies off-server or in the cloud. Do test restores regularly to ensure your backups are working correctly.

Monitor Traffic and Activity for Anomalies

Review site traffic logs, failed login attempts, support tickets, and other data daily for signs of issues. Alternatively, use security monitoring tools to automatically surface potential threats via alerts.

Limit User Access and Permissions

Grant each user the minimum access needed to perform their role and disable inactive accounts. Only expose ports and services required for your site’s functionality.

Follow Ongoing Security Best Practices

Stay up-to-date on evolving threats and cybersecurity best practices. Other vital tips include using reCAPTCHA, installing security plugins like Wordfence, leveraging a CDN, training employees on security, and having an incident response plan.

With cyberattacks increasingly common, taking proactive measures to secure your website is critical. Implement robust security layers, monitor your site vigilantly, and continuously adapt your strategy to counter the latest threats. Share this article and use the checklist above to lock down your website.

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