How To Protect Your Small Business Website From Disaster


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Small businesses might think that they can avoid being targeted by malicious online actors because of their small size and relative insignificance. But the number of attacks against growing firms is on the rise; hackers don’t just target high-profile companies.

Small businesses face a range of threats to their websites. Knowing what they are gives you power and helps you to protect your business.

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Website Threats

Ransomware

You might not think it, but your small business probably relies heavily on data of some kind, whether it’s customer information, contact details, website information or marketing data. Hackers know that if they can restrict your access to this data, you’ll pay them to release it. Ransomware is a type of attack which does precisely this: it blocks you from using your data until you pay up.

Website Malware

Your website needs to be secure so that you protect personal, sensitive information, such as customer contact details, passwords and credit card information. But if your site isn’t adequately protected, hackers can steal this information. Unless your website is protected and encrypted, it’s easy for malicious actors to install malware and collect all the information they want, seriously undermining customer security and your operations.

Not only do small businesses in many jurisdictions have a legal duty to safeguard sensitive, personally-identifiable customer information, but search engines can penalize websites that experience security issues. A data breach could lead a search provider like Google to push your site down the ranks because it’s unsafe for its users.

How To Protect Your Content And Site

Install The Latest Software Updates

The battle between hackers and security professionals never ends. Hackers are constantly looking for weaknesses in software to exploit, and security professionals for ways to patch them up. No software is perfect, and so there’s an ongoing race to hack and then counter with security updates.

If you’re using a hosted platform, these security updates usually happen in the background automatically. However, if you’re using your own platform or lots of third-party software on your website, then you may have to update manually. Doing so protects you against the latest threats.

If you have a lot of software on your website, you can use tools like Composer or RubyGems to manage your ecosystem. These tools allow you to manage and automate updates across complex website environments.

Give Minimal Information In Error Messages

Hackers rely on being able to gain information about your website, servers, and software to launch successful attacks. Because of this, you need to ensure that you’re not giving away any information unnecessarily. One way in which you could be giving out information you shouldn’t is through error messages.

Malicious actors might use error messages that contain the following details to their advantage:


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