Website Security for SMBs: Best Practices and Features

Website Security for SMBs: Best Practices and Features

Website security is undoubtedly a primary concern for most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The list may include SMBs in a service industry like plumbing, handyman services, contractors, and lawn and landscaping services. According to a recent survey, more than 40 percent of small businesses around the world found their businesses at risk from cyber-attacks. These businesses regularly depend on their websites for drawing in clients, booking appointments, and handling payments. However, they may not have the same assets as more prominent companies to contribute to website safety. This blog explores the best practices and features for SMBs to guarantee their website\’s safety.

Ways to ensure website safety for SMBs

Constant updates and maintenance

While it may come as the simplest, yet one of the most compelling safety measures is keeping the site and its elements up to date. For example, a local plumber might utilize a content management system (CMS) like WordPress for their site. It\’s vital for this plumber to routinely update the CMS, themes, and plugins to fix security vulnerabilities. Also, failing to do so may make his site open to cyber threats, such as the notorious \”TimThumb\” vulnerability that impacted thousands of WordPress websites.

The plumber needs to update and maintain the content on the website. As their customers continually look for information related to plumbing services, they may also want to book the appointment right away. So, if the website doesn\’t have the correct information or the data is compromised due to any safety threat, their business may be impacted. 

Strong Passwords and User Authorizations

Strong passwords and User permission or authorization is another way to ensure website safety. If you aren\’t using a strong password, chances are that your website data may be exposed to random online hackers. For example, the website of Handyman Services might offer a customer portal for clients to book appointments. 

Hence, make sure that strong passwords are used and give user permissions cautiously to other users. Also, customers should only have access to their data and not the backend system of the site. That said, a strong password combined with client authorization, limits the chance of unauthorized access in such cases.

SSL/TLS Certificate

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificates are essential for encrypted information transmitted between the site and the user\’s browser. For instance, a contractor\’s site that employs SSL/TLS guarantees that any data exchanged, such as personal details, is encrypted and safe from meddlers. Also, most browsers presently mark websites without SSL/TLS as \’not secure\’, which can hinder potential clients from utilizing the services. This especially damages your organic search rankings on Google as it considers SSL certificates in its ranking algorithm.

Firewalls and Security Plugins

 Firewalls act as a boundary between websites and the internet, sifting out malicious activity. For example, in the case of a landscaping website that will not have an advanced framework, a web application firewall (WAF) offered by providers like Cloudflare or Sucuri can offer considerable security against common assaults such as DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service). On the other hand, security plugins for CMSs can moreover include extra layers of protection, checking for malware and blocking suspicious activities.

Secured Payment system

For SMBs that accept online payments, such as plumbing, it\’s essential to have a safe payment processing system. Moreover, integrated payment systems like PayPal, Stripe, or Square, which adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), diminish the business\’s introduction to random online threats and hackers.

Constant Backups

Routinely backing up the site ensures that a business can quickly recover from a cyberattack. For instance, a handyman might utilize a benefit like Dropmysite or a plugin like UpdraftPlus to plan auto-backups. These reinforcements ought to be stored off-site and encrypted to keep them safe from various ransomware.

Training the employees

Employees should be prepared for essential cybersecurity practices, such as locating phishing emails. For illustration, a contractor\’s employees might get an email apparently from a provider with a fake link. Making the employees aware of such threats can easily anticipate a security breach.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor Authentication includes an additional layer of security above and beyond a string password. For example, a landscape services provider might use MFA for their client portal, requiring an OTP(One-time password) from a phone app or a text message. Moreover, such OTP may be asked from the user before allowing them access to sensitive customer data.

Pay attention to the Incident Response Plan.

The role of an Incident response plan is highly critical for the safety of your business information. For example, if you offer landscaping services and someone has hacked your website, you should take immediate action to cover for the damage. This approach may include contacting the hosting provider, taking the website offline, or even sharing the news with the impacted users.

Real-Time Monitoring

 Real-time monitoring can caution businesses to security concerns as they happen. A plumbing service, for instance, might utilize an instrument like Wordfence that sends immediate alerts in case there\’s a suspicious login or if any security breach is reported within the used software.

Restricted external access

Limiting external excess of the website\’s backend is pivotal. For example, a handyman service website\’s admin panel must only be accessible via the internal network or through a VPN. This strategy will reduce the risk of any external threat to your website. Moreover, you will also minimize the risk of any critical data leak via random cyber threats or hackers.

Summing it up!

SMBs such as plumbing, handyman services, or even contractors must prioritize website safety to protect their data from any cyber threats. By ensuring regular updates, strong passwords, SSL/TLS certificates, firewalls, safe payment systems, and instant backups, these businesses can save their sensitive data and customer information. Indeed, with limited resources, taking these steps can anticipate noteworthy monetary and reputational damage that might emerge from a cyber attack. As technology advances, so do the cyber attacks. Still, by following these best practices, SMBs can avoid becoming easy targets for cybercriminals.

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