We live in an age where almost everything is online, from bank transactions to ordering food. The internet has changed the way we do things for good, and it made it much easier for people and companies to do a lot of things. Yet, the digitization of everything is not without its downsides.
Privacy concerns arose, as did cyber threats that are more common now than ever. For companies, in particular, this can be quite dangerous because they have all their data and most sensitive information on digital platforms in cyberspace. If any of those got hacked, it can cause irreparable damage that would cost the business everything. These are some ways that can help you make your online platforms hacking-proof.
1. Regular Updates
It might sound like a given, but a lot of people still forget or neglect to regularly keep everything updated. Any software used by your company and the employees needs to be regularly updated because this is the first line of defense against hacking attempts. This doesn’t just apply to the software and laptops/computers.
The company operating systems and networks also need to be regularly updated, especially if you’re using CRM systems or CMS. If hackers stumble upon any of these systems or software and find that it is not updated, they might find security holes and hack into your systems through them.
2. Website Encryption
Any business has a website these days, and having a website means that you would be constantly liable to attacks by hackers. This is why you need to invest in website encryption and ensuring that you have a secured domain. You need to make sure that information and data traveling from your website reaches the site visitors directly without any interruptions.
To do that, you should make sure you get an HTTPS domain, which means that it is secured and encrypted. With HTTPS domains, no hackers can intercept or tamper with the information relayed to your users, which is crucial for any business with a website.
3. PCI DSS Compliance
If you’re selling products directly on your website, then you have to make sure that it is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This is basically an information security standard for websites that handle and process online payments. Without this regulation compliance, your client’s financial information might be compromised, which can be catastrophic for business and could destroy your credibility should that financial data be leaked or hacked.
4. Get Professional Help
Even with an in-house IT team, it might still be a good idea to get professional help from security experts to review your protocols and make sure your online platforms are secured and cannot be hacked. It also might be worth considering getting a Data Room Provider that could help you store your business’s most private data in a virtual space that cannot be hacked. A virtual data room can help you share files safely and securely with only the people you want to, without having to worry about such information leaking. Whatever your business is, any company with online platforms could stand to benefit from such a secured data room.
5. Index Pages in Folders
You need to protect your website’s structure at all costs or else hackers could see an easy way into your system. This is why you have to make sure all your folders have an index.html page, or else the folder will display sensitive content like the other folders and file systems.
You will have admin folders that need to be hidden, and without index.html, you’ll be giving potential hackers easy access points. So, review all your folders to make sure there is always an index available. If you don’t find it, you can create it using text editor software. After saving a blank document as index.html, you can upload it to the folder you want on the website.
6. Protection Against SQL Injection
This is when hackers use a web form field or a URL parameter to hack into your database and tamper with it. This is called an SQL injection and it is one of the most serious cyber attacks that you need to protect your online platforms against. To avoid this happening, always use parameterized queries, which are easily found with most web languages and are quite easy to implement. If you apply a standard transact SQL, hackers could easily insert rogue code into the query and through it, they can tamper with your data and acquire sensitive information.
7. Routine Tests
One of the basics of protecting your online platforms against hacking is performing routine tests to check if there are any vulnerabilities that you need to address. This is especially more important as your business and website grow, which means you will need more security than ever. You can use cybersecurity companies to perform such tests or you can test the website’s security yourself by using security plugins that can help you detect any vulnerabilities.
8. Use Strong Passwords
One of the easiest and most direct ways of protecting your online platforms against hacking is promoting the usage of good passwords. This obviously starts with you as the website creator. Make sure you’re using strong passwords for the server and the admin area or else you could jeopardize your website’s security. Moreover, make sure you also encourage users to use strong passwords. You could do this by enforcing strong requirements, which users don’t always appreciate, but they are in their best interest. So, make it obligatory for users to create strong passwords to increase the website’s security.
Protecting your online platforms against hacking is not as complicated as it may seem. It is mainly about a set of practices that you need to do and promote, and consistency is key here. Make sure you enlist the help of experts so this could get done properly, and always perform routine checks. The more you invest in website security, the harder it will be for hackers to steal your information and jeopardize your business.