What the TalkTalk data breach means for YOUR website

 

Most modern websites are not a simple set of documents but instead composed using a series of inter-connected online software packages, running 24 hours a day to deliver content to your visitors. As with all software, this needs updating to give you new features, fix bugs and plug security holes to counteract the activity of online hackers. 

Protecting your website

You should run regular ‘patches’ on your website’s software, to keep intruders out and to make sure that your site’s server is not used for nefarious purposes.

You should also take other steps to ensure the safety of your website:

  • Assess all software that you run on your site, not just for functionality but on the track-record of the software developers to ensure, as far as you can, that the software security will be patched over time, as new threats emerge.
  • Configure your website software to minimise unauthorised access. For example, keep FTP (File Transfer Protocol) locked by default, only unlocking it when you need to upload key files to your website.
  • Servers based in reputable UK data-centres monitored 24/7 with significant security measures in place should help (and also allow you to easily get in touch if anything goes awry).

Any other steps?

We used to not be great advocates of automatic update systems but with the increase in online threats, we think that you should give this serious consideration.

Keeping backups of your site away from your server is also recommended - try to make sure that the data is hosted within the European Economic Area if at all possible.

Obviously, website and data security is a cat-and-mouse game and no-one can give any hard and fast guarantees about security. However, by spending time on the above items, you should keeping your website safe from intruders and maintaining copies of your data.

For the sites that we have designed, built and host, we carry out most of these on behalf of our clients, so they won't need to become web security experts.

If you would like more information about any of the above, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to talk geek to you!