Digital & Social | 5 minute read
In today’s digitally saturated world, the ever-growing importance of cyber security is more prevalent now than ever before. Breaches are happening all around us, growing in quantity and in scale. The cost to remediate cyber-attacks can be seriously damaging to a brand, particularly when the confidence of your customers is compromised.
The value of data
Data is now the currency of modern businesses, and we are all becoming increasingly aware of the sheer value of our data, especially when we choose to share our precious information with companies. Customers now want something in return for providing their data, as well as having confidence that their information is safe and secure.
According to the recent statistics published by the Government, 32% of businesses identified cyber security attacks in the last 12 months, with 100% of those affected now working on new measures to prevent future attacks. Understandably, after these data breaches occurred, there was a considerable amount of time and money spent to take care of the remediation as well as repairing the company’s reputation.
The increasing number of cyber security attacks reflects a much more complex digital landscape; with a multitude of web applications launching every single day, companies need to ensure they are keeping their data secure now more than ever.
Keeping your data safe
Data security can often be overlooked unless companies have all the correct processes in place to verify the stringent security standards. However, the price for overlooking data security can be detrimental. The introduction of GDPR brought a huge amount of cyber-care into the world of data and made companies take immediate action, re-think their policies and the technical measures in order to protect data.
Having the right agency partner to support you in developing and keeping your web applications secure is key if you want to maintain a high standard of protecting your valuable data. A trusted agency partner will also provide advice on data security best practises to ensure your data is kept safe, secure and GDPR compliant.
Act sooner, rather than later
The responsibility for an agency when working with your website is to keep an excellent level of security awareness on the development platform, whilst being familiar with where the vulnerabilities can be and develop a security solution accordingly.
This approach starts from the very beginning, ensuring the server you are using to host your assets is set up securely. The process does not end there, but rather, requires ongoing review and maintenance. New vulnerabilities are created and released into the wild more than we would like, so it is key to find an agency partner who will keep up to date with known vulnerabilities and install security patches and updates accordingly. It is important to also undertake regular checks to maintain a view on any significant changes that have occurred.
There are a number of best practices to keep in mind when building and maintaining websites, including the code you are using to create the site if this is based on pre-existing code or an established framework (always ensure this has come from a credible and trusted source) but one such area to keep an eye on is any instance of user input, such as a form. Form validation is critical, and the use of strict rules, prepared SQL statements and a CAPTCHA is vital to deter unauthorised data entry into the site. Without these layers of security, you will receive a lot of spam, or worse, someone may be able to submit an attack on to your database – and create a loss of data as a result.
One final thing to note, a website is something which requires constant attention. It is important to maintain it to ensure it performs the way you need it to by updating your website to the latest working version and updating its plugins along the way. This ensures the website runs correctly, but it also helps contribute towards the fight against data theft and cyber-attacks.
Author: Marcela Bohorquez, Senior Developer