“Many hackers use automated tools that do not discriminate between small and large businesses, so even the smallest of businesses will eventually be attacked,” said Nitzan Miron, principal web application security engineer and product manager at Barracuda.
Here are four ways you can patch your website to minimize a data breach:
- Perform those pesky software and web platform updates. “Most platforms will offer an automated feature that checks for upgrades and helps you through the upgrade process,” said Miron. He advised small business owners to take time to regularly check for updates and install them as recommended.
- Avoid the temptation of emailing passwords and usernames. “Email is a very insecure form of sending information,” said Ryan Slack, CTO of LocalSignal.
- Make your passwords long, but not necessarily complex. “For example, ‘&$3FH!dt’ is less secure than ‘localsignalisamarketingsoftware.’ ‘&$3FH!dt’ would take a computer about nine hours to crack. ‘Adhereisamarketingcompany’ would take a computer about 188 quadrillion years to crack,” Slack said.
- Serve your website over HTTPS, especially any pages that collect information or passwords. “HTTPS encrypts traffic so that attackers cannot eavesdrop and intercept your passwords or other information,” said Miron, who advised small business owners to obtain an SSL certificate in order to implement HTTPS.