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Website Security: How to secure your site

You’ve launched your website and done all you can to ensure its success, but you may have overlooked a critical component: website security. Cyber-attacks are very common for sites that don’t have the proper security measures in place and can cause costly clean-up, damage your reputation, and discourage visitors from coming back. Fortunately, you can prevent it all with effective website security. We’ll discuss what website security means and what solutions will help ensure your site isn’t taken down by a cyberattack.

What is Website Security?

Website security protects networks, servers, and computer systems from damage to or the theft of software, hardware, or data. It includes defending computer systems from misdirecting or disrupting the services they are designed to provide.

Website security is synonymous with cyber security and also covers website security, which involves protecting websites from attacks. It includes cloud security and web application security, which defend cloud services and web-based applications, respectively. Website protection technology has enabled enhanced protection mechanisms, such as the protection of a virtual private network (VPN), which also falls under the web security umbrella.

Website security is crucial to the smooth operation of any business that uses computers. If a website is hacked or hackers can manipulate your systems or software, your website – and even your entire network – can be brought down, halting business operations. Businesses need to account for the factors that go into web security and threat prevention.

website security

Why is it important?

Website security can be challenging, especially when dealing with a large network of sites. Having a secure website is as vital to someone’s online presence as having a website host. If a website is hacked and blocklisted, for example, it can lose up to 98% of its traffic. Not having a secure website can be as bad as not having a website at all or even worse. For example, a client data breach can result in lawsuits, heavy fines, and a ruined reputation.

Threats to Website Security

  • SQL injection – SQL injection is a technique an attacker uses to exploit vulnerabilities in a database’s search process. With SQL injection, an attacker can obtain access to privileged information, create user permissions, modify permissions, or execute plans to change, manipulate, or destroy data. In this way, a hacker can capture sensitive information or alter it to interrupt or control the functioning of a crucial system.
  • Cross-site scripting – Cross-site scripting (XSS) refers to a vulnerability that gives hackers an opening to insert client-side scripts inside a page. This is then used to gain access to critical data directly. XSS can also be used by a hacker to pretend to be another user or to fool a user into disclosing crucial information.
  • Remote file inclusion – With remote file inclusion, an attacker references external scripts using vulnerabilities in a web application. The attacker can then attempt to use the referencing function within an application to upload malware. These types of malware are also referred to as backdoor shells. All this is done from a different Uniform Resource Locator (URL) within a separate domain.
  • Password breach – Breaching a user’s password is a common technique to gain access to web resources. In many cases, the hacker will use a password that the user or administrator had used to log in to another site for which the hacker has a list of login credentials. In other cases, hackers use a technique called password spraying, in which they use common passwords like “12345678” or “password123,” and try them out one after the other until they gain access. There are several other techniques like keyloggers or simply finding your password written down and using it.
  • Data breach – A data breach refers to when confidential or sensitive information gets exposed. Data breaches can sometimes happen by accident, but they are often perpetrated by hackers with the intention of using or selling the data.
  • Code injection – Code injection involves an attacker using an input validation vulnerability in a computer’s software system to introduce and run malicious code. This code then proceeds to make changes to how the software and computer work.

What technology is used in Website Security?

Most website security strategies have multiple cyber security tools that work together. When you select technology for your organization, remember that no tool or vendor is the same. To make the right choice, identify which features are most important and research every vendor. Once you are ready for rollout, make sure each tool is properly configured to avoid vulnerabilities.

These are some common website security technologies:

  • Web application firewall (WAF). A good WAF stops sophisticated DDoS attacks and blocks malicious code injection when users submit information using online forms. It should not be your sole method to stop web-based attacks, but it can strengthen your security posture and reduce attacks.
  • Vulnerability scanners. Before it’s deployed to production, all software should be penetration tested. But testing shouldn’t stop there. All production software should constantly be monitored for vulnerabilities.
  • Password-cracking tools. You can’t know if your users are creating weak passwords or network credentials unless you try to crack them. It’s a good idea to run tests to determine whether users are following policies and best practices for password length and complexity.
  • Fuzzing tools. Fuzzing tools are similar to scanners, but they’re used to assess code as it’s developed in real-time. A fuzzer searches code during testing, after it’s deployed to staging, and when it’s finally deployed to production. Unlike a simple scanner, a fuzzer provides insight into potential problems to help developers fix any issues.
  • Black box testing tools. Attackers use several methods to find vulnerabilities in software. Black box testing tools mimic real-world threats, use common exploits, and perform malicious actions against deployed software to help developers identify and fix any potential vulnerabilities. The term “black box testing” describes the black-hat hacker methods that are used.
  • White box testing tools. As developers code their applications, coding mistakes introduce vulnerabilities. A white box testing tool analyzes code as it’s created and provides insights to developers about the application’s internal structure. This analysis helps them avoid common mistakes.

website security

Conclusion

Website security is critical for protecting web applications and data from malicious attacks and unauthorized access. It is critical to implement precautions such as updated software, understanding of SQL injection and cross-site scripting, proper error handling, extensive data validation, and strong password restrictions. These methods assure the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of information, protecting both users and organizations from security risks.

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