In April, NoGenTech published a post about design and development trends for 2015. In it, there was talk of large graphics, animations, the importance of multimedia, etc. Today, we’re going to talk about another important trend in 2015 that deserves an article all its own: beefing up your site’s security. After all, nobody wants to be the next Target or PlayStation Network, right?
Unfortunately, avoiding this fate is something that more and more businesses of all stripes and sizes are unable to do. According to the Wall Street Journal, hackers have even managed to breach the security of high level government sites and portals. Recently, for example, the Office of Personnel Management had to shut down a part of it’s site; namely, the area of the site that allowed people to submit their background checks electronically.
Banks are another common target, which isn’t surprising as a recent report by CNN revealed that most banks are failing to use top notch security protocols to protect themselves and their customers. Instead, most are settling for second rate protections at best. That’s pretty scary, isn’t it? Doesn’t it make you almost want to withdraw all of your money and hide it under your mattress?
If you want to be a player in today’s landscape, regardless of your chosen niche, you need to make sure that your security is on point. Here are just a few tips to help you accomplish this goal.
- Protect Your Own System
Unless you are a corporation that has gotten a lot of attention lately, it is not likely that you have to worry about hackers targeting you specifically for your customer data or practice details. Instead, your primary issue is going to be threats that worm their way on to your site via massive widespread attacks aimed at grabbing as much information from as many systems as possible. Trojan Horses and other malware install backdoors onto your personal and company machines that allow bots to crawl in and send data back to larger databases that are used by people who want to steal peoples’ identities, etc. Make sure that your machines all have machine-specific malware detection and thwarting software on them and that that software is updated regularly.
- Don’t Forget the Servers
Do not stop at your own machines, though. Make sure that the service you choose for your internet access protects you at your server point as well. This can be difficult for many who are starting out as they often work from home and are on limited budgets. Still, with some digging, you can find services that have strict security in place. In Southern California, for example, we found U-Verse packages in Burbank that promise “ironclad security” for safe browsing for only $15 a month.
- Secured Hosting
If you aren’t running your own server on-site, you’re going to have to buy server space from someone to host your website and commerce portals. It is vitally important that you make sure that these companies have measures in place to protect your site’s code from malicious takeover attempts and XML breaches. This can be as simple as knowing which questions to ask and as complicated as tracking down and talking with a hosting provider’s other customers to find out if the company’s claims are legit.
- Mind Your Network
Like most other businesses, your company probably makes use of a myriad of network tools. For example, you might have your own Slack chatroom for your employees to use. You probably have a few web based collaboration tools as well. Make sure that any tool you use to streamline your business operations is secure. This is particularly important for cloud-based software. Making sure their servers and software is safe will help keep your company and, by extension, your customers safe.
- Educate Yourself
Never put blind faith in any of your security measures. Knowing what is happening in the security community and being able to understand the latest threats (and how to stop them) is vitally important to protecting your clients’ and your company’s safety. There are a bunch of resources out there for people who want to stay abreast of security risks, hacking attempts, virus headlines, etc. The more you know, the better able you will be to choose good providers or to even do security yourself from time to time.
As more of our lives are conducted in virtual space, security is only going to get more important. Make sure that your security is tight and that your customers are safe.