How to Protect Your Website From Malware Attack
Posted on 1st April 2020
A friend who lives in a flat in the city centre of Milan and who has been in lockdown for far longer than any of us here in the UK, emails to say that one of her biggest problems in recent weeks has been the surge of dodgy spam mail. We are going through the most difficult time almost all of us can remember, but there are still a lot of nasty cyber-crooks out there, determined to take advantage of the crisis. As this guest blog from Josh Wardini explains, this is no time to relax our guard.
Michael Phair, Be-IT
How to Protect Your Website From Malware Attack
The presence of malware in any system spells one thing for the owner - bad news.
Over the last decade, malware infections have risen by an incredible 87%, with 32% of those occurring over the previous 12 months. Global malware damage should also hit the $6 trillion mark by the end of 2020, according to experts.
For UK businesses, cybersecurity is of high priority. This follows from the fact that 67% of them have a dedicated budget to tackle cybercrime. In the last 12 months, 46% of UK businesses have suffered from some form of cybersecurity attacks. Each of these attacks resulted either in a temporary loss of files, system corruption, a website being taken down, or loss of intellectual property and money. It’s noteworthy that for every successful malware attack carried out on a business, it takes an average recovery time of 50 days for that business to regain complete operation.
That’s why you must understand how to protect yourself, your business, and your employees from all forms of malware attack.
Tips to Help Keep You Protected From Malware Attack
Invest in a Trusted Host, Especially One With a Firewall
In case of a breach, you would need all the help you can get from your website host to get your site up and running again. That is why it is vital to select a host that will provide customers with ongoing support and excellent customer service.
For security reasons, it is advisable to choose a host that has firewalls, as this will ensure continuous, automatic scanning of your website for optimum protection. However, in the case where your website host has no pre-installed firewall, you can always install a web application firewall on your system.
Either way, your firewall stands as your first line of defense, helping to regularly scan your website for possible threats, while also eliminating them in the process.
Switch to HTTPS (SSL) Secure Hosting
Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS), which was formerly a compulsory requirement only for e-commerce websites (due to online payments), is now recommended for all sites. HTTPS ensures the security of customer data that is being sent to a web server through the computer. The essence of encrypting customer data through the HTTPS protocol is to prevent the hijacking of sensitive information by a third party, as it is being transported from one server to another over the internet.
More recently, Google, in its quest to provide improved customer experience and security, has made the HTTPS protocol a compulsory requirement for any website hoping to get ranked on their search engine.
Keep Your Software up to Date, and Always Backup Your Data
If you make use of a content management system like WordPress or any other form of plugins for your website, be sure to keep them up to date. Hackers are always on the prowl to exploit vulnerabilities anywhere possible. These updates help developers address weak points in previous versions that can be exploited by hackers.
Also, performing regular backup ensures that you are not left stranded in case of a successful malware attack on your website. When you regularly backup your website, you can quickly revert to the last update before your site was attacked, thereby restoring all your site data at the time of your last backup.
Use Strong Passwords and Encourage Cybersecurity Awareness Amongst Employees
Many of us fall victim to using the same password across online platforms, even for those associated with our websites. However, experience shows that such practices are not very secure. Where possible, especially for site-related platforms, use different passwords that have a combination of both upper and lower case letters, numbers, and even symbols.
Of all businesses in the UK investing heavily in cybersecurity websites, 20% have had staff attend or receive cybersecurity training or seminars in the past. Your workers can serve as a means of vulnerability for hackers to explore if they are not well educated on the do’s and don’ts of cybersecurity.
With cybersecurity becoming a rising concern for both small, medium, and large enterprises, it has become paramount for business owners to understand how to best protect their website from the millions of malware in existence.
.. Back to Blog