Remember Heartbleed, that age-old bug that only surfaced last year and left more than half of all internet servers around the world exposed? Looks like we might have yet another Heartbleed on our hands. This one has been codenamed Shellshock and experts are already saying that it could impact millions of Unix systems that operate on Linux or Mac IOS. And may even threaten consumer devices including home routers.
Tag: antivirus software
It’s been a good time for malware and its authors, but a very bad time for businesses and especially those caught in a malware snare. A variety of point of sale (PoS) malware has run rampant through thousands of business and retailers in just the last few months, creating a massive haul of stolen credentials for hackers worldwide. And making consumers a very nervous bunch.
The latest victim is Home Depot, which only just announced that it had lost at least 56 million customer credit and debit cards to hackers who used a variant of PoS malware that’s growing in popularity amongst criminals — because it apparently works very well.
Confused about how to protect your website? It’s actually not that hard (hint: there are great companies that will do it all for you for less than a buck a day). But perhaps the easiest way to get your head around website security is to think of it like a PC. Except this is the most important PC you could ever have, because much if not most of your business probably relies on it.
Think about all the things you need to do to protect your PC, and how easy it is. For example:
- You protect it from malware by making sure you have good quality antivirus software. You constantly update that software so it can detect the latest threats, and you regularly scan your computer in case anything slipped past.
- You use a firewall, so that you can deny access to hackers and malware that constantly stalk the internet looking for vulnerable computers like yours.
- You practice computer hygiene. You’re careful about what websites you visit and what you download, so that you don’t inadvertently infect your computer.
- You make sure your PC is constantly patched. Most malware infections result from unpatched vulnerabilities, from Windows to Flash, so you want to patch those vulnerabilities before a hacker can exploit them.
- If other people have access to your PC, you let them know what the rules are, so that they don’t do something that breaches your good security habits.
- If there’s sensitive information on your PC, you take a variety of precautions to protect it. You use strong passwords that are hard to guess, you change those passwords frequently, and you guard them well. And you encrypt any sensitive information on that PC so that if hackers make it past your first lines of defense, your crown jewels are still safe.
- And you take a bunch of precautions, from backing up your data to regular maintenance, to make sure that your PC is always available to you.
The principles of protecting your website are not much different. Granted, putting them into practice can be a little more challenging, which is why you have companies like SiteLock to do it automatically and comprehensively.
But back to those principles. If you’re serious about protecting your website, think about it like you would any PC or laptop:
- Protect it from malware that can infect your website, steal data, and spread to your customers.
- Protect sensitive data, especially customer and credit card data, with layers of security that should include encryption.
- Use strong passwords, especially for web access and FTP, that are changed often and protected well.
- Teach all employees about your website security rules so that whenever they have access to your site, they use it responsibly.
- And regularly review and update your security so that it can match the latest threats, meets any regulatory requirements (like PCI), and does not end up being blacklisted by search engines.
Protecting your website can be challenging. But that doesn’t mean it has to be hard. A little common sense and some basic security tools, and your little baby should continue to hum along very nicely for as long as you need it.
When you purchase a new PC, you wouldn’t dream of connecting to the Internet without having an antivirus tool in place. Because it’s fairly common knowledge that the pace of growth and infection of viruses and attacks that affect personal computers is increasing rapidly and they can do serious damage. PC viruses and malware are often looking for personal information, like credit card data, that can be used for criminal and fraudulent activities.
To counteract the PC infection and theft that viruses and malware can cause, anti-virus tools have a sophisticated knowledge base of active threats. And they continuously look out for computers that have out-of-date antivirus software so they can update it automatically to protect PC owners and their computers from new threats as they are discovered.