Saturday, 2 July 2011

If Your Online, Be Prepared to get Hacked

As with everything in life, there is always two sides to the story, the good and the bad, now as part of going on line and having a presence on the internet, there's plenty of good stuff that we can benefit from, such as more business exposure, networking, and many others, but at the same time there is also the dark side of the internet. If you are launching a website on the net, one thing you have to be prepared for and I would say it's a must to put into your action or business plan as a backup, is the preparation of getting hacked, and recovering from it as swiftly as possible.


Many major house hold brand names, such as Sega, Twitter, websites have been stung in the past when their systems got hacked, these companies have millions of dollars behind them and a full team of expertise always looking to protect their sites, now if they can get hacked, what chance does that leave for any other website on the net. But what we can do is look into preventing hacking and ensuring that your site is as secure as possible, the internet is always changing, with new technology and applications being built and launched every day, what you build today maybe secure, but couple of months down the line, it could be vulnerable again to threats.


So when you setup your business online, have a clear mind that things can always go wrong, and being open to the world, there will always be a chance of being hacked. It's just like driving a car, you could be the safest driver on the road, but it doesn't mean you are safe from having an accident, just like that, your website could be the most secure, but there will always be the concern what if it does get hacked.


As a website owner what precaution can we take to prevent our site from being less vulnerable to hacking and attacks.


"Anything that can be changed by an authorized person remotely, can be changed by anyone that wants to do enough research to get in. There is no such thing as absolute security". - ex Hacker


3 Simple things you can do help to prepare your online business from hacking.


Update your coding


Many websites at times use third party codes, which may have not been developed in house by your development team, but bought or downloaded from the Internet. These codes code be anything from a full CMS platform, the framework and structure of the site, and even small java scripts or general coding. Whatever the case over time these codes can be out dated with new updates becoming available, which may have creased out lope holes and close open doors that may have been found. Now it's important if your site has any of such codes, that you update them soon as a new update patch becomes available.


By doing so, your site is up to date with the latest coding, which will be it difficult for hackers to crack and get access to your website. Just remember the hackers just need one back door open to gain access to your site. So it's important to update ALL the coding.


Backups


Taking regular backups of your online site should be part of your business plan, and a regular practice within your business. Every time you make any changes to your site, take a backup, even though if it means that you update your site daily, you need to take backups daily.


Many hosting companies and CMS platforms have the option to do automatic backups, implement this feature, as doing it manually, you can easily forget or push it to the bottom of your priority list. The automatic backup will take care of your backup and some of them even email a zipped backup file to you, or FTP upload it to a different server. When you do setup your backup for your site, ensure that you know how to restore it, if things go wrong. Run a simple test run with your backup file, so that you are familiar with the process. As its no good backing up your site, if you do not know what to do with it.


By having a regular and up to date backup of your online business, if ever your site was to get hacked and you lost your online files, you can easily get your site fully functioning and uploaded again, with minimum disruption, as you have an up to date backup, which you can restore within minutes, if required.


Passwords


This may seem very basic, but yes, DO NOT, give out any of your usernames and passwords to your hosting or websites access to anyone that you do not know. Also do not save them in obvious places. Its amazing how many emails we get where our customers have given out their login details, and now they cannot log back into their website. Always keep your websites passwords secure, and something that is not simple to crack.


Your developer would also take extra precautions in the coding and also putting various features in place to alert or protect your site from attacks. No matter what you do, there will always be a slight possibility of being vulnerable, yes you can take precaution and always ensure that at the time your site is secured to the best of your and the developers ability, the best thing one can do is be prepared if anything does happen, your business is not effected as much.

No comments:

Post a Comment