What the Healthcare.gov Launch Says About Website Security

This week “white hat” hacker and cybersecurity expert David Kennedy joined an expert panel hosted by the House Science Committee to hack into the already plagued Healthcare.gov. The reason? Show any weak privacy safeguards in place.

The result was scary.

While my team creates the best performing website in terms of design, audience appeal, brand, and lead generation, my highest priority is building a backend that can support any activities the client wishes to perform. For instance, many clients request eCommerce functionality for easy and swift payment processing on the company website. What is critical for my job is installing safe plugins that ensure financial data isn’t easily retrieved and shared. Even simple name, business, and email collection requires some level of security.

Level of security is entirely dependent on how a client needs the website to function, but here are some helpful tools to consider:

  • CAPTCHA – Helpful for avoiding spam bots, CAPTCHA is the acronym for the collection of letters and numbers, typically morphed, which requires visitors to type in the characters.
  • SSL certificates – SSL (or Secure Socket Layer) checks the transmission of data over a network and verifies the identity of the server, therefor telling visitors your site is secure to do business.
  • Malware detection – These programs (popular ones include Sucuri or Google Webmaster Tools) will uncover dangerous software hiding on websites that damages or disables individual’s computers.
  • Strong passwords – I can’t stress enough the importance of a strong password required to enter the backend of a website. That means no play on name, email, and definitely no “password1234”.

For clients, we often suggest third party security partners that specialize in this field. For more information of website development, read up on these topics:

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