The Role of Web Security in Web Development

Running a business in today’s digital world means that an online presence is becoming more of a necessity rather than a luxury. It is an essential element you can’t ignore because that would mean limiting your business’ reach. Given the rise of e-commerce sites and how most people spend their time browsing stores on the web than in person means having an online platform is key if you want your business to grow. 

While the world wide web is beneficial to businesses, it isn’t exempt from cybercrimes such as phishing scams, identity theft, and the like. To counter those, you would need to implement web security measures as you go about your website’s development stage. 

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

It is easier to create something than to revise or make modifications to an already existing system and this applies to websites as well. However, the problem lies in the discrepancy between the business and the developer. Most companies require customization in their website, so developers are faced with a dilemma of tight budgets as well as an even tighter deadline. This is where website security is placed on the back burner in favor of the more pressing demands.

Don’t forget that while web development is getting more sophisticated, the same goes for the techniques on how to penetrate them. This leaves your website vulnerable to attacks. But by establishing web security while your website is still in its development stage, you are creating a solid foundation. In doing this, you are effectively protecting your business from trouble in the future. Think of it as similar to reinforcing a building’s walls. That way, no matter how intruders try to get in, they would not be able to make it past your solid defense. And if they do, you are already alerted that an intruder is trying to enter your premises, so you can take the necessary precautions. 

Starting From the Ground Up

Nowadays it is easy to create programs and websites given the different techniques of coding at your fingertips. You could even make use of content management systems (CMS) if you don’t want to code manually. 

But the great thing about starting from the ground up is that you can customize it the way you want from early on. That way, when you do install security measures, you won’t have to compromise much of your intended function, design, or desired aesthetic. All you have to do is to put in place preventive security measures such as encrypting your data, installing firewalls, password management, and even limiting access to both employees and customers. This ensures that only a handful of people know are privy to sensitive information and it is easier to keep track if something does indeed go wrong.

Anticipate Possible Problems

Any good business worth its salt should show the ins and outs of the company’s processes. That way you can easily resolve any challenges that might arise. This involves conducting a dry run or soft opening to check for any gaps that might have been missed. The same principle can be applied to running websites. The company must mandate testing web development before launching it. This gives a general overview of how the websites work. In doing so, you can provide better performance to your clients. It would not look well if the company has to learn alongside the client how to navigate their website.

Doing a trial run does not simply mean assigning a single person to navigate the website or conduct a mock-up of a product or service purchase. Proper web testing should include pushing the website to its limits in anticipation of high traffic, say for instance you are planning on putting up a big sale. This allows the company to determine if the website is capable of hosting large capacities of traffic, whether it will buckle under pressure, and if the website will lag or even crash. 

This also lets employees identify which parts of the website are not working and lets you see if it is secure and stable enough to safely store sensitive information like a customer’s bank or card information, home addresses, or other personally identifiable information. It should also be easy enough for the customer to use, otherwise, this could give way to client dissatisfaction. If your website has undergone testing, it will run like a well-oiled machine and you would have better chances of retaining customers. 

Beefing Up Security

But even if your business already has an existing platform online, you can always stand to improve your website security. This is because as technology evolves, so do the means for the crime. It means knowing your business’ risk level so you can take the appropriate security measures for it. It also means being familiar with the common threats to website security that are not always obvious to the naked eye such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and cross-site request forgery (CSRF). These methods are often embedded deep into the programming code without users being aware of them, making them virtually undetectable.

But being made aware of their existence would let you take preventive steps to ensure your website is protected against them. It would save you from possible fraud, identify theft, loss of money, or data breaches involving sensitive information.  Website security not only secures your business but your clients as well. This also makes it easier to have your business adhere to GDPR compliance especially if you cater to people abroad.

Keeping up with the digital world requires an online presence but prioritizing web security in your quest for modernization has long-term benefits that would make your business efficient, secure, and more attractive to customers. This in turn ensures your business will keep on thriving. 

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