Small and medium-size businesses are often too swamped or resource-strapped to tackle website security, putting their organizations at risk of cybersecurity attacks. However, lack of attention (or knowledge) does not equate to a lack of importance. Website security is critical, regardless of your business’s size.
Once a website is up and running, it’s a quick thing to mark off as ‘done’ and move on to other tasks. Website security is not usually a top concern—until it’s too late. Alarmingly, nearly half (48%) of SMB leaders In Sectigo’s State of Website Security and Threat Report, January 2021 think that their organization is too small or unimportant for hackers to notice. However, the harsh reality is that any website or cloud-based system is a target.
Our study also found that 50% of SMBs experienced a website breach, and 40% are attacked monthly. It’s not a question of ‘if’ your site will be probed for vulnerabilities. It’s a question of ‘when.’ The consequences of a website attack are severe. Companies risk losing revenues, customers, productivity, search engine rankings, IP, and more. Sixty percent of SMB website attacks resulted in site outages, and more than a third incurred revenue loss.
Comprehensive security doesn’t need to be daunting or expensive. By turning your focus to five automated technologies your website managers can achieve big-business web security and peace of mind using a single multi-layered solution.
#1. Be Authentic with TLS/SSL Certificates
More than 70% of respondents surveyed for Sectigo’s recent State of Website Security & Threat Report said that they collect or store sensitive data through their website. Providing clear assurance of authenticity is a must when earning customer trust. Every website needs an “identity” using a digital certificate. Visitors need to be confident that they are on your secure website and haven’t landed on a fraudulent site. Digital certificates help customers know that the personal information they enter is being shared on your authentic and verified site.
The rise of security automation has made it considerably easier to issue, renew, and maintain TLS/SSL certificates, meaning that small businesses can enjoy the benefits of identity security with minimal management. For web pages that collect sensitive personal data or financial information, it’s wise to upgrade from a Domain Validated (DV) to an Extended Validation (EV) certificate, which provides the highest level of trust available.
#2. Make the Effort to Stay Up to Date
It’s pretty critical to ensure that the tech platform you select for your web security is proactively updated to both expose and ward off vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by cybercriminals. For instance, automated CMS patching, such as auto-updates to Magento or WordPress, prevent hackers from sneaking in between updates. Keep the core site version and any plugins updated with the latest revision in real time. Pay attention to areas on your site that request user input, which is where many attacks occur.
#3. Detect Vulnerabilities and Malware
Every business prefers having the knowledge to stop an incident before it begins, rather than being alerted when something already went wrong. In addition, search engines typically blacklist websites showing signs of vulnerabilities, and it’s tough to regain that trust–so it’s wise be ahead of your risks. Often times, website owners have malicious code working silently in the background without the owner’s knowledge, or without causing any visible malfunction.
Utilizing an automated system to continuously scan for vulnerabilities on your website is a truly essential security measure. Vulnerability scanners will skim web applications for security problems, SQL injection, and cross-site request forgery. More advanced scanners will go deeper into the web application and then automatically and safely remove malicious code from legitimate files without compromising functionality.
# 4. Remove Discovered Threats
Once the web security system has uncovered a vulnerability in your database, website files, or another core component of your site, be prepared for removing (remediating) the threat. Website admins rely on remediation software that can automatically quickly remove active vulnerabilities without disruption. Choose a tool that prioritizes this business continuity in the event you need to remove a discovered threat.
#5. Have a Backup Plan
If your website is breached, your backups are your insurance policy and the key to recovery. Gain the peace of mind that if your website is suddenly unavailable, you will quickly be able to restore it to the correct version, with all of its data intact. Many hosting services have plans that periodically perform database backups and snapshots, and there are one-click restore tools – even as part of a single platform – that enable SMBs to quickly recover.
Cyberattacks are rising in numbers much faster than SMB leaders are preparing for them. Protect your business from the catastrophe that follows by automating SSL certificate renewals, proactively detecting malware and vulnerabilities, removing threats, and performing backups.
If you're curious about options, take a look at Sectigo Web for one-stop comprehensive website security.