There is no question that security is essential for online businesses. Between hackers and identity thieves, if you are not protecting your customers’ information, it is likely to end up in the wrong hands. In addition to ensuring that your website and information is protected, you should also be sure that you have backups of all your files and data so that if something happens, you are easily able to recover.
Protect Your Website
Depending on how your website is hosted, you may need to either look for the right hosting provider or put your own security measures in place. If you are going through a hosting provider, you should be sure that they use the most up-to-date security protocols and that they are proactive about keeping hosted sites secure. When you run your own hosting server, you will want to be sure that you employ a security service like Incapsula or CloudFlare. These services protect servers from things like DOS attacks, SQL injections and PHP hacks. No matter what type of hosting you have, SQL certificates are critical if your website handles credit card transactions, and you should be sure that encryption is 128-bit at a minimum.
Secure Your Computers
Any online business will have a selection of computers and it is important that these are fully secure. This can be achieved through firewalls and antivirus software. For small businesses looking to save on costs, there are various free options. This includes software programs such as AVG Security, Ad-Aware and Avast. Programs like these provide security against viruses and malware, helping to protect your computers against various online threats.
Protect Your Network
With a group of computers, it is likely that they will be connected via a network. With information flowing freely between computers, this increases the importance of protecting your network from any possible threats. One way of doing this is through hiring the cloud services of OpenDNS who will provide a protective security layer. They offer a range of web filtering tools to ensure that the websites that your employees visit are secure and offer no threat to your network or confidential data. Lumension are another company that offers a free vulnerability scanner, which can check networks with 25 computers or less for any possible risks. This tool can be very useful in monitoring software vulnerabilities and misconfigurations.
Data Backups and Encryption
Keeping your data secure from hackers will not help you if you have a hard drive crash or your server runs into a problem. This is why it is essential that you do regular and automated backups for your website and related data. It is also suggested that you do remote backups if you run your own server so that your information isn’t all in the same location. There are a number of services like Carbonite and Mozy that will do automatic backups of your files for a very low cost.
However, backing up your data will not make it completely secure, which is where encryption steps in. Having backups is simply another possible way of losing the data and as such, the information needs to have security measures in place. TrueCrypt provide free open source software that allows you to encrypt data on various storage devices. This will make the important data unreadable and other encryption tools include the previously mentioned Mozy and FileVault2, which is specifically for Apple users.
All online businesses need to be aware of security and have some protocol in place to protect their users from becoming victims of fraud or theft with the security tools mentioned in this article.
Author Bio: Oliver Macpherson has worked in the [online security business] for the past 10 years and believes in the importance of protecting confidential data where possible. He currently works for [SSL247].