19 Website Security Checklist: How to Secure Your Website?

Published On: December 1, 2015
Last Updated: December 5, 2023
19 Website Security Checklist: How to Secure Your Website?

As we have seen nowadays, businesses rely heavily on their online presence, ensuring website security has become paramount. Cyberattacks are becoming frequent and targeting businesses of all sizes and industries.

Around 71% of businesses reported being victims of ransomware attacks. Every day 300,000 new malware is created, and every 39 seconds, a hacking attack happens, so it’s difficult for organizations to protect themselves.

A single breach in your website’s security can expose sensitive customer data, damage your brand reputation and even lead to financial losses.

However, your website deserves a robust security strategy that protects your organization’s interests and the trust of customers.

In this blog, we have created a comprehensive website security checklist businesses must use to protect their websites from threats.

Whether you run a small e-commerce store or manage a large corporate site, this checklist will help you create a safer digital environment.

So let’s uncover it.

10 Website Security Checklist

Here is the comprehensive checklist we have created that includes essential website security measures to protect your online platform. Let’s look at it in detail.

1. Keep Software Up to Date

The software update is obvious but often overlooked. Hackers can break into your system and compromise your data with the older software version with known vulnerabilities.

It includes CMS, plugins, themes and even server operating systems that may be exploited. So regular security patches address these vulnerabilities and protect your website from potential threats.

Ensure to incorporate a strict routine to keep all software up to date and protect it against cyber threats that could otherwise compromise your business and reputation.

2. Implement Web Application Firewall (WAF)

Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) are robust security tools designed to protect web applications from a wide range of online threats. It helps defend against these risks, including SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and remote file inclusion.

WAF acts as a barrier between your website and potential attackers. It analyzes incoming web traffic, filters out malicious HTTP requests, and allows only authentic traffic to reach your web server.

However, proper maintenance is essential for their effectiveness. Regularly updating rule sets, monitoring WAF logs, and analyzing fake traffic are necessary tasks to maximize the security potential of your WAF.

Depending on the implementation, there are three types of WAFs: cloud-based, software-based, and hardware-based.

For small-to-medium businesses, cloud-based and software-based are often low-cost and easier to maintain but more simple with a lower performance. On the other hand, hardware-based WAF tends to be harder to maintain and more expensive.

Also Read: Best Security Practices to Protect Your Web Application

3. Regularly Backup Your Website

Regular website backups are crucial for website security and data protection. At this time, when cyber threats are rising, unexpected events such as hardware failures, software glitches or malicious attacks can lead to data loss.

In the meantime, maintaining backups ensures that you can quickly recover your website and data in any unfortunate incident.

In overall security strategy, following backup management is vital to ensuring your website remains strong against potential threats.

4. Use Strong and Updated Passwords

One of the fundamental practices to do is securing passwords and updating them regularly. While this might seem obvious, it’s not always easy to do on a regular basis.

Data shows that 59% use their name or birthdate in their password. Passwords serve as the first line of defense, so using a password that someone can’t guess is a skill.

In most cases, weak passwords are the reason behind hacks. So implementing strong password practices is crucial to maintain the confidentiality of websites.

You can use password managers like LastPass and 1Password to generate unique passwords. It also tracks & stores all the passwords, so you don’t have to worry about remembering all the passwords.

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5. Enable SSL Certificate for Secure Connections

Setting up an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is crucial to enhance website security and build trust with your visitors. SSL establishes a secure encrypted connection between a web server and a user’s web browser.

They are particularly important for websites that handle sensitive information like login credentials, payment details, or personal data. SSL ensures that data transmitted between the two remain confidential and cannot be hindered by malicious actors.

When a website has an SSL certificate, it is identified by the “HTTPS” prefix in the URL, along with a padlock icon. This visual signal reassures visitors that their interactions with the websites are secured, and data is safe from potential breaches.

Additionally, there are different types of SSL certificates available, depending on your specific needs, such as Extended Validation (EV SSL), Organization Validation (OV SSL), and Domain Validation (DV SSL).

Moreover, setting up an SSL certificate is a relatively simple process, and many web hosting providers offer SSL certificates for free or at an affordable cost.

6. Use Anti-Malware Software

Using anti-malware software is essential in strengthening your website against different cyber threats and malicious attacks. These threats can include viruses, trojans, ransomware, and more.

Hackers use malware not only to cause great damage but also to use your website as a medium to infect your visitors’ devices.

By utilizing anti-malware software, you create robust security against malware threats, as it actively scans and detects potential malware threats, reducing the risk of infection and maintaining the integrity of your website and its data.

Most website hosting platforms, such as HostGator and GoDaddy, also provide anti-malware software as an added functionality.

7. Protect Against SQL Injection Attacks

Protecting against SQL injection is an important security measure for your website and its underlying database from malicious attacks.

SQL injection is a type of cyber threat where attackers utilize most common vulnerabilities in a website’s input parameters to inject malicious SQL code.

This attack, when successful, can access the database, leading to unauthorized data access, data manipulation, or even taking complete control of the website.

So preventing SQL injection is essential to maintain data integrity, user privacy, and overall website security. It provides users a safe online experience and protects your brand reputation from cyber incidents.

8. Enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)

Enabling HTTP strict transport security (HSTS) is a crucial step in enhancing the security of your website and protecting your users from certain types of cyber attacks.

It is a security feature that instructs web browsers always to use a secure HTTPS connection when communicating with your website.

If you fail to implement HSTS, your website may likely become a victim of man-in-the-middle attacks where hackers can easily modify the domain name and redirect visitors to a fake website that resembles the real site.

By implementing HSTS, you ensure that all communication between the user’s browser and your web server is encrypted. It prevents attackers from intercepting sensitive data during transmission.

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9. Minimize XSS Vulnerabilities

XSS is a type of attack where hackers inject malicious code into web pages. When the user’s browser loads the compromised page, the code executes, which allows attackers to steal sensitive information.

You most likely need to hire dedicated developers who help you with website security to prevent this attack. By combining secure coding practices and implementing security features, they ensure to protect your website from potential damage.

Actively address these XSS vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of attackers exploiting your website and compromising user data.

10. Monitor Your Traffic Surges

Monitoring your website’s traffic surges is an essential aspect to consider for optimal performance. Traffic surges can occur due to several reasons, such as sudden increases in user activity, viral content, marketing campaigns or even DDoS attacks.

DDoS attacks bombard your website with fake traffic, aiming to take down your web servers. By closely monitoring your website’s traffic helps you gain valuable insights.

With the help of that, you can proactively respond to potential threats, optimize server resources, and ensure a seamless user experience for your visitors.

A well-monitored website enhances its security and ensures a positive user experience that builds trust and loyalty among your visitors.

Bottom Line

We hope you understand the critical importance of implementing website security for your business. Following this comprehensive checklist can strengthen your website’s security against a wide range of cyber threats.

If you want to ensure smooth website operations and reliable security, consider seeking professional guidance. Contact us today for your security concerns.

At Guru TechnoLabs, being a trusted website maintenance company, we will work towards protecting your online presence and keeping your website running flawlessly.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.