No one wants to hear that their website can be hacked. For business owners, this notification can result in a sinking feeling — wondering if your hard work has been compromised or if your customers' experience with your brand has been negatively affected.
You may be tipped off to the hacking by Google AdWords blocking your ads or ads that are hosted on your site. You could also hear from a more personal source. But whether you're notified by sympathetic family members or confused clients, your reaction is likely to be panicked and disappointed. For smaller businesses and those who have never been hacked before, things may seem gone from your control.
Fortunately, there are myriad services and tricks designed to keep your hard work safe, secure, and free of malware. Here's everything you need to know about protecting your website and malware cleanup.
Protect Your Website Now!
Website Malware Monitoring
Also referred to as a periodic website malware scanner, website malware monitoring is your first step toward secure website protection. This is your site's equivalent of the AntiVirus software you may run on your PC, laptop, or other mobile devices. Outdated software on your website can introduce its own unique vulnerabilities and thus requires its own occasional monitoring.
Think of this as a regular check-up for the health and safety of your website. A scanner serves to monitor the external user experience as well as the internal security of the server. These two parts break down as follows:
An external malware scanner simulates the experience of a visitor to your website. It can verify that viewers of your pages see malware-free content. This is crucial for brands who use their website to promote or sell products. Not only will it increase legitimate engagement, but it will also protect the information of your customers.
These scans can be completed fully remotely, without any new installations on your webpage. You can visit Quttera to take advantage of our free public malware scanner. This will give you an initial impression of the status of your page.
A server-side malware scanner verifies that the source files of your website are safe, not altered, and malware-free. This isn't something that you can necessarily tell just by looking at a webpage. By staying informed of the behind-the-scenes workings of your page, you can feel more confident in the long-term security of your site.
If your website operates on WordPress, you can use Quttera's free malware scanner plugin. This includes full server-side malware scanning capabilities and can be used to periodically check the health of your platform.
Staying on top of regular scans can give you a daily dose of reassurance in the form of a website health report.
Establishing a Website Application Firewall
To take your website protection to the next level, you will want to set up a web application firewall (WAF). This installation serves as a bouncer for your webpages - monitoring and filtering all incoming HTTP traffic. It can block visits from suspicious sources, stopping problems before they even arrive.
Although these applications can be a bit of an investment, they will pay off in terms of peace of mind and increased safety. Together with these other strategies, you can develop a multi-layered security system that prioritizes the experience of you and your visitors.
Website Maintenance for Ultimate Protection
As the owner of a website, you also need to be aware of weak spots on your pages. These are areas of vulnerability that may not be currently compromised (and thus won't trigger other security software), but pose a risk for future invasion. You play a crucial role in your website's security team. Here's what to look out for.
Website Using Vulnerable or Outdated Software
As software ages, it becomes more vulnerable to attack from the latest tech. Maintaining software updates (or perhaps making the occasional upgrade) is essential for ensuring security. It can also help your website run smoother and be more sustainable for the long-term.
Scheduling a time to verify that all of your website components are up-to-date is the best practice for this website protection strategy. We recommend that you do this at least once a month. Planning this date in advance will help create accountability. It will also allow you to better prepare for any delays associated with making updates.
Stolen Credentials Offering Access to Hackers
Credential theft can be especially frightening for website owners, as this cybercrime results in a hacker gaining access to owner passwords and capabilities. This information can be gained through malware, phishing, or credential stuffing — where an attacker uses an automated bot to test millions of stolen usernames and passwords on your site's security.
To give yourself the best defense against credential theft, you need to periodically change or update your website management credentials. This includes the log-in information for your admin dashboard, FTP, and control panel.
All of the normal security suggestions also apply here — don't use the same password across platforms, take advantage of multi-factor authentication, and stay wary of unfamiliar "log-in" pages asking for your codes.
Shared Hosting Creating a Chain of Infection
Shared hosting can ease the process of managing a large chain of sibling websites. However, it can also provide an easy path of infection for malware. Besides mitigating personal attacks, you also need to keep your website safe from attacks posed to sites hosted on the same server.
Setting up proper file permissions — likely through the hosting support team — will prevent malware from immediately gaining access to your files in the event of a successful breach on a sibling site.
Managing a business is hard enough without having to worry about managing your website protection. Quttera developed ThreatSign to be business owners' peace of mind. This one-step, complete security solution allows website owners to monitor, protect, and recover material from malware. Sign up today to clear up your website and your worries.