Cyber Security Essentials for Website Owners

As a website owner, security should be at the top of your priority list. Not only is it important to protect your own business and customer information, but it’s also crucial to ensure that your website is a safe and trusted place for your visitors. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing some key considerations for maintaining website security and how to secure your site against potential threats.

First and foremost, it’s important to have a strong password policy in place. This means requiring all users to create unique, complex passwords that are difficult to guess or crack. You should also consider implementing two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to enter a one-time code in addition to their password when logging in. This code is typically sent to a user’s phone via SMS or generated by a authenticator app.

Another key aspect of website security is keeping your website software and plugins up to date. Hackers are always finding new vulnerabilities to exploit, and by ensuring that your software is up to date, you can protect against these potential threats. It’s also a good idea to regularly scan your website for malware and vulnerabilities, and to use a web application firewall (WAF) to help protect against cyber attacks.

One common threat to website security is SQL injection attacks, which occur when an attacker injects malicious code into a website’s database through a vulnerable form field. To protect against this type of attack, you should always validate and sanitize user input, and use prepared statements when interacting with your database.

Another way to secure your website is to use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. SSL helps to secure the connection between your website and your visitor’s browser by encrypting the data that is transmitted between them. You can tell if a website is using SSL if the URL begins with “https” instead of “http”. SSL is especially important if you have an online store or handle sensitive information such as user passwords and credit card numbers.

Finally, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for handling security breaches if they do occur. This should include regularly backing up your website data, as well as having a process for quickly identifying and fixing vulnerabilities. It’s also important to have a communication plan in place for informing your users in the event of a security breach.

In conclusion, website security is an essential consideration for any website owner. By implementing strong passwords, keeping your software and plugins up to date, protecting against SQL injection attacks, using SSL encryption, and having a plan in place for handling security breaches, you can help to ensure that your website is a safe and trusted place for your users.

7 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website

WordPress is by far the most used content management system and website builder globally. Millions of individual site owners, organizations and businesses take advantage of this easy to use platform to build their website or blog. In 2021, about 35% of the 1.3 Billion of active websites were estimated to be using WordPress. WordPress however is also, unfortunately, one of the most targeted platforms by hackers and other malicious actors. Launching a WordPress site without taking the necessary measures to keep it secure, is a disaster waiting to happen.

While the average site owner might not be a cyber security expert, understanding the basics of website security and taking a few actions can prevent your WordPress website from being hacked in 95% of cases. Here are 7 steps you can take to keep your WordPress site secure.

1) Keep your WordPress installation and plugins up to date
Most hacked websites happen due to the site owners not having updated WordPress to the latest version, or using an outdated plugin. WordPress is NOT a set up and forget it system. As a website owner, you need to make sure your WordPress installation and all plugins you use are always kept updated to the latest version.

2) Install a security plugin
There are various security plugins available from third-party providers, that can help improve the security of your WordPress site. Such plugins can help scan your website for vulnerabilities, block IP addresses where brute force attempts originate from, disable access for malicious visitors and bots, prevent your WordPress files from being modified among other features. Make sure to use one from a reputable vendor.

3) Change default settings
By default, WordPress comes with a default admin URL and a default admin user (“admin”). Obviously, these settings are known to threat actors and are the first ones to be used by malicious actors trying to hack your website using brute force or social engineering. Make sure to change those default settings when launching your WordPress site. You might even consider removing altogether your admin user after creating a new user to which you would have given admin privileges. Another default setting that is often targeted is the wp-config.php file which host key information about your installation. You need to take action to harden that file using the .htaccess file, and restrict its access to unauthorized parties.

4) Monitor your website
It is important to monitor your WordPress site for changes that may be indicative of malicious activity. This can be done using plugins, third party remote tools, or having a website security company handle that function for you. Samurai Defender offers. You can consider our Web Defender website security packages which include monitoring for uptime, online reputation, blacklists and more.

5) Choose a reputable web host
Not all web hosting companies are the same when it comes to maintaining a secured WordPress website. You need to choose a web host which provides WordPress hosting or is familiar with hosting WordPress sites, and maintain servers with secure software including up to date PHP and MySQL versions. If you are looking for a new host to your WordPress site, we recommend

6) Install a SSL certificate
Enabling SSL/https ensure that traffic between your website’s visitors browser and your server is encrypted. Not having SSL enabled will have a warning on most major browser and Google next to your website, which has a negative impact on your website reputation. SSL with help with SEO, your visitors first impression, but also is an important component of your website security posture. Many hosts today offer SSL certificates for free. If not, look into purchasing one from your host or from a third party SSL provider. Samurai Defender does not sell SSL certificates as of now, however we can help install SSL for your site for just $29.

7) Backup your WordPress site
If all fail and your WordPress site happens to be hacked, the last thing you would like would be in a situation where you have no backup available to revert your site to. Even if your host offers automated backups, you cannot rely on those. We have seen so many cases where hosts backups failed, were corrupted, or just too old. Luckily, there are many options to backup your WordPress database or complete files to a remote location. You can also download manually a backup manually at regular periods, which is an option available from cPanel, Plesk and other major control panels today. Samurai Defender also offers a secure backup service for just $10/month

We hope you have found this article interesting. By implementing the above steps, you will strengthen the overall security of your WordPress website and make it more resilient to online malicious threat actors. If you need professional help in securing your WordPress website, you can check our WordPress hardening service. Alternatively, simply contact us to discuss your needs.