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Threat Intelligence

2/4/2020
12:00 PM
Steve Zurier
Steve Zurier
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7 Ways SMBs Can Secure Their Websites

Here's what small and midsize businesses should consider when they decide it's time to up their website security.
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Image Source: Adobe Stock -- Monster Ztudio

Image Source: Adobe Stock -- Monster Ztudio

Too often small and midsize business (SMBs) run websites that aren't secure or even have the basics, such as SSL encryption technology or a Web application firewall.

It's understandable: SMB owners are typically very busy and wear many hats. Few have an IT person on staff, let alone a professional security person. Yet few can do security on their own.

What's an SMB to do? Turning to the site's Web hosting provider to find out what security features it offers is a good start. Getting recommendations for and then interviewing at least two or three other specialty security providers would be the next steps for an SMB to determine whether a security specialist makes sense.

Working with a provider for basic website security doesn't have to break the bank, says Monique Becenti, a product and channel marketing specialist at SiteLock. Depending on the site and how much e-commerce traffic the business runs, it's possible to have a strong level of security for roughly $1,000 a year.

Pricing will vary based on how many features are required and how much real business is done on the site. The advice on the following seven slides provides an excellent game plan for when SMBs decide it's time to up their website security.

 

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

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royjason123
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royjason123,
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2/8/2020 | 2:49:40 AM
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Townsend Security
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Townsend Security,
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2/4/2020 | 5:08:00 PM
Don't Forget About Key Management
These are all great recommendations.  One in particular that I think SMBs could also benefit from is key management - both encryption and API keys.  Both Drupal and WordPress (there may be others that I am not aware of) have encryption and key management modules/plugins that can help businesses protect their private information.  The importance of storing and managing keys separate from the CMS is paramount.  Here are two examples of why key management is important. 1) Encrypted data needs strong key management. If you store your encryption key in the clear next to the encrypted data, you aren't really protecting it. Hackers can easily "unlock" you encrypted data with simple apps that are readily available. 2) API Key Management.  Almost every website uses API keys to integrate with other web services like PayPal, MailChimp, etc.  Without proper protection, hackers can steal API keys and easily gain access to your services and customers.  A common misconception about web security is that the hosting company takes care of EVERYTHING.  While they do an excellent job at securing their systems, SMBs are still building web sites on top of their hosting provider's infrastructure, and often leave themselves vulnerable.
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