Creating a new website can be an exciting process, particularly for a small business. There are numerous steps involved, starting with the initial design before moving on to coding and eventual growth or marketing. One thing to think about right from the start is security. By building security features right into the initial design, you can help create a stronger, safer site for you and your eventual readership or customers. Just as you would put locks on the doors when constructing a new house, you can secure your site from the ground up. Here are a few steps to help you get started.
Install a firewall and security programs
The minute your website goes online, it will be exposed to new threats. Fight these off with a web application firewall. This could be hardware or software based, and filters all data passing through your server and the network connection. You can also choose a cloud-based WAF as a monthly subscription service. A firewall goes a long way towards protecting your site, but you should also download additional security apps to scan for malware and viruses. Some can hide your website’s CMS identity, while others alert you to unauthorized log-in attempts.
Avoid unnecessary plug-ins
As you start designing your website, you’ll want to keep the overall user experience in mind. Many of today’s best websites are also the sleekest and most minimalistic. From both a security and design perspective, there’s no need for extra add-ons or plug-ins. You should showcase your product or service with clean lines, minimal text, and clear images. There’s no need for gimmicks that could also cause security threats. If you do decide to use plug-ins, be sure to read their reviews carefully and only source them from reputable platforms.
Test for vulnerabilities
Testing is vital before your website goes live. This is particularly important if you plan to operate an e-commerce site that will be dealing with sensitive financial information. Scan your site regularly for malware, which can lurk in graphics or third-party advertisements. Use security apps to scan your code for vulnerabilities, and schedule regular check-ups to make sure that everything’s working as it should.
Don’t neglect mobile security
Part of designing a new website involves thinking about how it will scale up and down for different devices. You might choose a different user interface or layout for your mobile site, for example. At the same time it’s also important to think about the unique demands of mobile security. Telco security from Nokia Networks or other mobile providers involves keeping content secure on mobile devices or in the cloud. You should think about this factor as part of your initial design as well.
Arrange regular backups
Just as you should plan for regular testing, you should also plan on backing up your website regularly. Hopefully you’ll never need to access your backups, but it’s always best to be prepared. Back up your files both on and off-site, and do so several times a day. New files should automatically be backed up, whether that’s in the cloud or a separate server.
Keep up-to-date on the latest threats
So you’ve now designed a secure website! The work isn’t finished just yet, however. The world of cyber-security is always changing, so it’s important to be vigilant about uncovering new threats. You don’t have to become a professional hacker yourself. Simply create Google alerts for the latest malware or hacking news to stay on top of what’s out there.