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The Ultimate Guides on How to Secure Your Business Website

Sigma School
1st March 2024


  • Nearly 1 billion emails were exposed in a single year, affecting 1 in 5 internet users.
  • Data breaches cost businesses an average of $4.35 million in 2022.
  • In 2020, malware attacks increased by 358% compared to 2019.

The surge in cyber attacks globally saw a staggering 125% increase in 2021 compared to the previous year. And guess what? They're not slowing down in 2022. They've become so common that they're now the fifth top-rated risk out there, hitting both the public and private sectors.  As we move into 2024, projections indicate that the industry will only intensify, with IoT cyberattacks expected to double by 2025.

If you're running a startup, you've probably felt the heat of 2020. The pandemic shook things up for everyone, especially in the business world. And you know what's crazy? It made cybercrime even worse, especially with everyone suddenly working from home and scrambling to figure out how to keep things safe.

Securing your website isn't just about protecting your data anymore; it's about safeguarding your customers' info too. Putting up a good defense not only saves you from headaches but also keeps your brand's reputation intact.

Let’s discover effective strategies to bolster your website's security and how to secure your website to avoid these cybersecurity threats.

Why you should be concerned about your website security?

Your website is like your storefront in the digital world. It's where customers come to check you out, learn about your products, and decide if they want to do business with you.

Now, picture this: someone lands on your site, and instead of feeling safe and secure, they're bombarded with warnings about how risky your website is. Talk about a major turn-off! Not only will they run away from your site faster than you can say "security breach," but you might even end up on Google's blacklist, sending your traffic into a nosedive.

Your connection is not private warning

Whether you're a big corporation or a small local shop, hackers don't discriminate. They're out there scanning the web for any vulnerable sites they can sneak into. And guess what? If you've got a website, you're fair game.

That's why website security is crucial. It's something we all need to keep on our radar, no matter how big or small our slice of the internet pie is.

How to ensure your business is secure?

When it comes to building your website, there are loads of options out there. Some are super easy to set up, but they might leave you vulnerable in the security department. On the other hand, you've got platforms that give you more control and security, but they can be trickier to work with.

Depending on how your site was built and how comfortable you are with code and web development, you've got a few different ways to check if your site's security is strong enough. Here are a few methods to consider:

Install an SSL certificate

To enhance the security of your website, you may consider implementing an SSL certificate. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption safeguards the data transmitted between your website and the web server, significantly complicating unauthorized access by potential hackers.

To break it down in simpler words – if you have sensitive user information or any financial information, an SSL certificate is a must. It is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure or HTTPS you see at the start of most website URLs. 

Sigma School website using SSL certificate to boost cyber security

Additionally, search engines like Google tend to favor websites equipped with SSL certificates, often ranking them higher in search results. Installing an SSL certificate is typically a straightforward process, and numerous options are available to accommodate varying business requirements and preferences.

Work with a Reliable Hosting Provider

Selecting the right hosting provider can be a daunting task, particularly for those venturing into website ownership for the first time. 

When evaluating hosting providers, it's essential to consider several key factors: Do they offer an SSL certificate, automated backups, malware scanning, domain privacy, and server firewalls?

According to the insights from CyberNews, leading hosting providers renowned for their security features in 2024 include SiteGround, DreamHost, Hostinger, A2 Hosting, and Interserver. Additionally, Hostinger, IONOS by 1&1,, and Network Solutions are highly recommended by

Use strong passwords

One of the common mistakes people make with their website and email is using easily guessable passwords. Combining names with dates of birth or simple number sequences with a basic symbol is like rolling out the red carpet for hackers. It's crucial to fortify your passwords by incorporating a mix of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters.

how to create a strong password with guidance

Fortunately, most browsers can generate strong passwords for you, and there are free password managers like Dashlane that can help organize and secure your passwords across different devices.

To strengthen your website security even further, consider implementing two-factor authentication (2FA). This adds an extra layer of protection by requiring not just your password but also a second form of verification, such as a text code, facial recognition, or fingerprint scan. Services like Duo offer 2FA setups for free, which can be a game-changer in safeguarding your online accounts.

Update your site regularly

Keeping your website software up-to-date is crucial for maintaining security and preventing cyber attacks. Outdated software can leave your site vulnerable to viruses and security breaches. To mitigate these risks, it's important to regularly check for updates or enable auto-updates whenever possible.

By staying current with software updates, you not only enhance your website's security but also improve the visitor experience. Updates often introduce new features and functionalities, optimize speed, and ensure compatibility with the latest tools and technologies.

One of the primary sources of security vulnerabilities is outdated Content Management Systems (CMS) and plugins. Therefore, it's imperative to keep all software and plugins updated to minimize security risks.

To stay informed about new security enhancements, consider setting up alerts from software vendors like WordPress or Microsoft. These alerts help you address security gaps promptly, ensuring that your website remains protected against emerging threats. Timing is key in managing security threats effectively.

Back up your site regularly

picture of backing up your site

Backing up your website is a crucial step to safeguard yourself against hardware failures and hacking attempts. With a backup in place, restoring your website becomes a straightforward process. Without it, you risk losing all your settings, data, and customizations. 

It's important to note that backups can include not only media and non-media content but also your website's core files and databases.

You have the option to create backups manually or through online tools. Alternatively, if you have a small website, you can rely on your hosting provider, which may offer options to schedule and automate backups, either for free or for a nominal fee.

Use anti-malware software

To keep your website safe from malware and other threats, it's essential to use anti-malware software and conduct regular scans on your computer.

There are several free malware scanning services available, including Quterra, Astra Security, SiteGuarding, and VirusTotal. These services help detect threats before they can cause damage to your website.

For websites that don't involve e-commerce activities, another option is to choose hosting companies that offer malware and virus scanning services as part of their packages. Companies like Namecheap and Hostwinds provide built-in scanners that help enhance website security.

For WordPress websites specifically, tools like WP Engine and WPX are highly recommended for ensuring comprehensive protection against potential threats.

By utilizing these anti-malware solutions and conducting regular scans, you can significantly reduce the risk of your website falling victim to malicious attacks and ensure a safer online experience for your users.

Implement Web Application Firewalls (WAFs)

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is essential for protecting websites by filtering HTTP traffic between the site and the internet.

It's part of a cybersecurity toolkit, combating cross-site forgery, XSS, file inclusions, and SQL injections.

illustration of how WAF works

A WAF acts as a shield, ensuring users pass through it before accessing the site, and operates based on a blocklist, allowlist, or a combination.

Implementing a WAF requires consideration. Network-based WAFs minimize latency but are costly. Host-based WAFs offer customization at a lower cost but need extensive maintenance. Cloud-based WAFs are affordable and easy to implement.

Cybersecurity training for your team

Prevention beats cure any day. Educating your team is key. Sure, you can set up top-notch security infrastructure, but many breaches stem from human slip-ups and oversight.

So, it's crucial to school your employees on how to safeguard themselves. When they're protected, they shield your business too.

Hackers? They're not just masterminds coding in dark rooms. A lot of them are smooth talkers, capitalizing on your slip-ups.

Take ransomware, for instance. They lock up all your files and demand Bitcoin to set them free. But how do they get in? Simple. Victims download seemingly harmless software from the web, thinking it's legit. But surprise! It's malware. The moment you click, your system's toast. All because of human oversight.

A Checklist for Making Your Website More Secure

Ensuring the security of your website is vital, regardless of whether it's a content-based site, an e-commerce platform, or a membership portal running on various platforms like HubSpot, WordPress, Magento, Drupal, WooCommerce, Craft CMS, OroCRM, Sylius, or ExpressionEngine.

Here's a checklist for securing your website at no extra cost:

1. Install an SSL certificate: This encrypts data exchanged between your website and its users, enhancing security.

2. Regularly update your website: Keep your website software up to date by either manually updating or enabling automatic updates provided by your hosting provider or third-party add-ons.

3. Use strong passwords: Encourage your employees to use complex passwords to prevent unauthorized access.

4. Create regular backups: Ensure data security by creating backups regularly or utilizing automated backup services from your hosting provider or third-party add-ons.

5. Provide cybersecurity training: Educate your employees to recognize and prevent phishing attacks and other cyber threats effectively.

6. Employ anti-malware software: Many hosting plans come with built-in anti-malware tools, providing an extra layer of defense against malicious software.

7. Implement Web Application Firewalls: WAF is for protecting websites by filtering HTTP traffic between the site and the internet.

8. Work with a Reliable Hosting Provider: Choosing the ideal hosting provider can be intimidating, especially for beginners entering the realm of website ownership.

By implementing these measures, you can significantly enhance the security of your website without incurring additional costs.

Consequences of cybersecurity risk

Knowing the fallout of cybersecurity risks is key because they can seriously mess up individuals, businesses, and society. It's vital to get a handle on these consequences and take proactive steps to fend them off.

Consequences of cybersecurity risk

1. Loss of sensitive information. Your private info, like credit card numbers and emails, can get snatched up by hackers, leading to major headaches.

2. Interruptions to website operations. If there's a data breach, your website might go offline, disrupting your business until it's sorted out.

3. Failing to meet PCI DSS requirements. This can land you with hefty fines, especially if you handle customer payment data.

4. Poor SEO performance. If search engines like Google catch wind of malicious code on your site, they might boot you off their listings, tanking your web traffic and revenue.

5. Damaged business reputation. A hacking incident can seriously tarnish your business's reputation, and rebuilding trust isn't always easy after getting blacklisted.


Your website is a reflection of your business, and without proper protection for yourself and your customers, retaining clients becomes challenging. Whether your business is big or small, the significance of website security cannot be overstated.

While coding skills are advantageous, non-coder business owners should remain vigilant about security vulnerabilities and take corrective actions to ensure a safe online environment for users. Utilizing online tools for security reports or hiring penetration testing services can fortify your website's defenses.

If you are interested in building your website, and of course, making it as secure as possible, check out our Full Stack Software Development where you can learn to build some awesome projects, even if you have zero coding experience. 

Need help with website development or managing your tech team? Visit Sigma Studios for more information. 

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