Hackers are clever and nobody wants to be a victim of their infiltration. While cyber-attacking is a big business, hackers know it’s often easy to access websites of unsuspecting small and midsize businesses.
We asked our Chief Information Officer, Ted Casassa, for his biggest advice about how to keep hackers away.
- Update your website design . If your website looks old and out-of-date, you’re going to be a greater target for hackers. The assumption is that the site is less secure and easier to shut down. “If you ignore your site and it looks out of date, it’s likely to be more of a target,” Casassa said. “If it looks like it’s from 1995, that’s not good.”
- Use modern software. Keep your software upgraded so that your website looks modern on both the customer-facing pages and in the code. The site can still be simple, but it needs to include current versions and revisions of both software and any plugins.
- Keep content fresh. Adding fresh content or changing content around from time to time is important. This includes blog content as well as page text and things like testimonials. As an added bonus, fresh content will also help you get better search ranking with search engines like Google.
Get proof of security certification. When you’re hiring a website service provider, make sure they have some type of security certification. Ask for written proof that they’re keeping it up to date. Also, make sure they test the site for vulnerabilities on a regular basis. “The buzz word is penetration testing,” Casassa said. “Is the site tested for security vulnerabilities on a regular basis? You can also hire a third party to do this.”
As final words of advice, Ted reminded us that vigilance is key. “There is no silver bullet for security. A lot of it is being aware. The more often you do updates, the more apt you are to notice something. Be willing to invest in keeping your site secure. Make sure everything is up-to-date and your information is backed up. Everything else is a variable.”