Every single day, about 30,000 websites are hacked. These attacks come in all shapes and sizes — but they often spell financial trouble for companies that are targeted.

A cyber-attack can cost businesses roughly $200,000, not to mention the potential damage a hacked website could do to a business’s brand image. In fact, 60% of businesses close shop within six months of being hacked.

What’s most alarming, is only about 14% of business owners think they are properly prepared to defend themselves against an attack on their website.

Download Now: Free Website Safety Checklist

Security can not be treated as a luxury or an afterthought. As more businesses move online, ensuring that your website is secure and always available to your customers is an essential part of doing business.

The good news? There are steps that any business can take to properly secure your website and protect their brand from attacks. These range from best practices for those who manage websites, to services that your IT team can implement to boost your security.

Website Security Services Must-Haves

Here are the security measures you should take to protect your customers and your website.

Implement an SSL Certificate

Secure Sockets Layer (or SSL) creates an encrypted link between a host & a client. To put this more simply, SSL creates a secure connection between your web server and the web browser.

When a website is using SSL protocol, you’ll see that the website is being served on a domain that starts with ‘https://’ instead of just ‘http://’. For anyone conducting business online, having an SSL certificate on your website is essential for anyone exchanging potentially sensitive information. In fact, in 2018 Google implemented an update to their Chrome web browser that would alert visitors to the site that a website was “Not Secure” if it didn’t have an SSL certificate implemented.

SSL certificates can be easily purchased through your hosting provider. In some cases, like with CMS Hub, your CMS might already include SSL right out of the box. If you need help choosing an SSL certificate, there are a number of helpful buyers’ guides that can help you make the best option for you and your business.

Use a Web Application Firewall

A web application firewall (or WAF) looks at the traffic coming to your website and blocks specific traffic based on a set of rules. A web application firewall could help prevent hackers or harmful bots from reaching your site, and protect you against DDOS attacks, cross-site-scripting, and other harmful attacks that could take your website down.

Use a Global CDN

A content delivery network (or CDN) is a system of connected servers that are responsible for delivering your website to end-users across the globe.

If you host your website on one single server that you manage, that server is responsible for handling all the traffic that comes to your site. If you don’t use a global CDN, your central server could get overwhelmed by traffic, making your website particularly vulnerable to DDOS attacks.

By serving your content through a global CDN, you can distribute traffic across this network of servers, making your website much more secure. As an added bonus, using a CDN will greatly improve your site's speed. This will not only improve the overall user experience but give you a boost in organic search results.

Implement a Website Monitoring Service

One of the simplest ways to make sure your website is secure over the long-term is to implement a website monitoring service. These services provide you with information on how your site is performing, whether there are outages that need to be addressed, and whether or not there are vulnerabilities on your website that need to be addressed. By using these services, IT teams can proactively fix problems as they arise before they get out of hand and cause serious damage to your business.

Website Security: SaaS vs. On-Premise CMS

There are tools available to any business that wants to start taking their website’s security seriously. The problem is managing the systems and tools required to ensure your site is secure can often be a full-time job. Wordpress, the most popular CMS in the world, has a number of plugins that you can leverage to customize your website, but 98% of security concerns on Wordpress originate from the plugins that people add to their site.

The alternative is to leverage a SaaS CMS. By hosting your website in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about managing servers, or constantly updating plugins on your site as they go out of date. SaaS CMS platforms take care of the maintenance work for you — and often provide you with customization options that allow you to set your security settings to meet your organization’s specific needs.

Learn more about how CMS Hub provides security features like the ones above.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Originally published Aug 19, 2020 7:30:00 AM, updated September 08 2020

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