31Mar 2020

Website Security Checklist: Measures to Take While Developing a Site

They’re close to a billion active websites today, implying that one out of seven people living in the world today owns a website. Interestingly, in every second, several websites are developed which is incredibly significant to web service providers. But the worry is, how are these websites developed, and how do the creators make them? And how do they protect them from cyber-threats? To create a secure website, the procedure must abide by some steps from registration, design, coding, functionality, and growth. This article compiles the steps required to create a secure website for personal and business purposes:

Choosing a Capable Host

Choosing a Capable Host

When starting a website, a developer has a variety of hosting options to choose from where every provider has peculiar benefits that enables them to advance their websites. Most importantly, their level of protection is determined by features such as WAF – web application firewall – as well as DDoS security. There are many certified web hosts that enable web developers to determine the degree of security, and this is indeed the first step of creating a secure website. Web application firewall (WAF) is a critical tool that averts any attempt to break into and compromised websites. For instance, WAF monitors the existence of SQL –structured query language as well as cross-site scripting which are notorious at exposing personal information. Loss of data from the website can result in loss of money and wastage of time but choosing the right hosting provider keeps your website secure from cyber-attackers.

Choosing the Correct Content Management System (CMS)

How do you want to build your website? In modern days, putting together a completely functioning website does not require you to be a programmer, thanks to CMS tools. CMA is a crucial tool to apply when creating a website as it enables the management of future web content, and most importantly improving web security, inspecting the program code and managing the fast web processes. CMS allows website creators to build, edit, run, and support web pages on one interface. The tool streamlines the design of websites as well as publishing of content online, consequently ensuring the website and the content in it are streamlined. CMS guards the website against vulnerabilities and eliminates possible security gaps. The developers of the system update the tool to make websites withstand advanced and lethal attacks by cyber-criminals. Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress are some of the various well-known CMS platforms regarded as user-friendly that allows convenient installation modifications for both web developers and users. With these CMS tools, creating a website has become as easy as putting together a typical house from scratch.

CMS gives absolute control over the published content. Content marketing is heavily connected to customers and business owners require constant control over all the content that is published on their website. With the CMS tool, it is possible to make regular modifications concerning the needs of the customers. CMS tool comes with automatic indexing capabilities that enable sites to appear on search engines hence increases their visibility on search engines. The tool allows mobile optimization which enables website and content in it is accessed from various devices/systems. With regular updates performed by creators of the CMS software, the security of the website and content are guaranteed. Moreover, many CMS-powered websites require users to use register with multi-factor authentication information. This boosts its protection against intruders and impedes data loss.

Management of Add-ons and Plugins

management of add-ons and plugins

A plugin is a software that improves the functionality of a browser. Provided by a third party and also referred to as add-ons, these web accessories add toolbars and provide support for various capabilities such as graphics, animations, and both audio and video features. For instance, when you intend to watch videos online, your browser will tell you to install a flash plug-in. Whereas add-ons and plugs improve the experience of web users, excessive use of these elements is not healthy for your website. The overabundance of add-ons and plugins causes low responsiveness of the site. Regular monitoring of these web accessories weakens the likelihood of defensive systems. Add-ons and plugs require constant updates and maintenance, just like the CMS tool. The mechanism of protection to bugs is equal to the method of development. Without regular updates, the accessories are potential entry points of serious cyber-attacks. Web developers can use security-particular add-ons with the capability to reduce malware. For instance, Wordfence Security and Sucuri Security are examples of WordPress plugin tools that reduce the penetration of bugs into websites and helps developers to learn how to create secure websites.

Enabling Several Access Levels

For a business website, a variety of personnel can help you come up with a site but you require distinct tiers to enable you to monitor their behavior and protect the site. During website development, accessing some website features must be restricted to prevent possible errors and crashes. For instance, providing separate logins for your workers is a significant method of managing tweaks and publishing content that fends off errors. The website owner holds the overall control of the site as they are privileged with controlling manipulations and modifications that occur.

Implementing Reliable Passwords

Implementing Reliable Passwords

Owning a secure website requires you to implement a reliable password. Using inadequate passwords often results in data breaches which are serious problems to businesses. With the developer or a bunch of personnel teaming to create a site, it is critical to set the best password practices. Cyber-security pundits advise users to use diverse password platforms to create reliable passwords. For example, the developer should ask the web user to combine symbols, letters, and numbers when creating their passwords. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an example of an authentication technique to access websites that prevents infiltration by cyber-attackers. Additional factors such as one-time passwords (OTP) sent to your mobile phone, biometric details allow the identification of the approved users.

Setting up Automatic Backups

It takes a lot of effort and time to invest in website development, but sometimes the servers fail, resulting in loss of critical information. Backup systems are critical solutions that revive the significant materials of your website and assist to relaunch the website. While the victims of data loss try to determine what exactly led to the crash, business owners can protect their information from time-consuming recovery and hiring expensive services by adopting a backup system. Business owners should store their data in trusted areas such as a central server, to secure it against threats. These automatic backups eliminate the need for starting the entire work from scratch when a crash on the websites occur. Also, the automatic backup solutions enable the website owner to gather information regularly.

Regular Upkeep of Security Subscription

Regular Upkeep of Security Subscription

Security applications such as SSL certificates require the owner to purchase them through subscriptions. Website owners are required to subscribe to updates of the recurring security features for their hosts and CMS platforms. These paid subscriptions require them to prompt re-financing failure to which their subscription will be terminated, making the websites vulnerable to attacks. Viruses and malware can take advantage of websites whose subscription for security applications have ended, so constant updating of these features are critical. Website owners are advised to follow and stay informed on which subscriptions are actively operating and their significance to their website. Setting notification alerts or allowing automatic renewal of subscriptions for these applications eliminates the breaks and keeps the website protected. Any other form of security patch must be maintained up-to-date and fully paid for.

Using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates

Performing secure transactions online is one of the core functions of businesses today. SSL certificates are considered as one of the surest ways of guarding online purchases. SSL certificates enable website owners to verify the information submitted by customers or other visitors to their website with the data provided by their host. SSL enables the website owner to collect critical information such as credit card numbers. In addition to SSL, websites can as well as exchange HTTP addresses for HTTPS addresses. The HTTPS addresses enhance the security of the website and act as a trust alert for the customers and other business partners.

Setting Testing Time

Setting Testing Time

While developing a website and structuring your security application, it is possible to list the various liabilities but fails to linger the possible instability associated with it. Systematically scrutinizing the websites enables developers to test all the sections of the website to determine which part must be worked on. The developer can go through the webpages and features that are available to the website visitors, and if error notifications or suspicious glitches appear, the developer must solve them. Planning a regular testing process allows developers to diagnose the wanting areas and patch up the website. Although a website owner could be eagerly waiting to launch their website, performing the final security touches gives them a reliable platform.

Conclusion

Whereas it is almost becoming a requirement for every business today to own a website, it is not clear how much they should keep themselves secure against cyber-attackers. But the truth of the matter is that they must mind securing their websites as much as they have doors to their premises. The small business owners are more vulnerable as they lack sufficient funds and diligence to contract good security pundits. But most security experts concur that most websites that experience attacks are the ones that do not follow simple preventive measures during their development. The above steps are simple ways to create a reliable, reputable, and secure website.

Acodez is a renowned web design and web development company in India. We offer all kinds of web design and web development services to our clients using the latest technologies. We are also a leading digital marketing company providing SEO, SMM, SEM, Inbound marketing services, etc at affordable prices. For further information, please contact us.

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Rithesh Raghavan

Rithesh Raghavan

Rithesh Raghavan, Co-Founder, and Director at Acodez IT Solutions, who has a rich experience of 16+ years in IT & Digital Marketing. Between his busy schedule, whenever he finds the time he writes up his thoughts on the latest trends and developments in the world of IT and software development. All thanks to his master brain behind the gleaming success of Acodez.

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