Every website no matter the size is vulnerable to attack. Hackers continuously look for ways to invade your system and compromise your website or server. To keep your information secure, it is crucial to perform website security audits. This post will quickly review common forms of attack and steps you can take to secure your information.
Malware is the most common threat and is a word no business owner ever wants to hear. The general term refers to viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware or another harmful system that is implanted into your computer to erase your data, freeze your site, steal customer information or cause other troubles.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
A DDoS attack can crash your site by overwhelming it with an excessive amount of automated traffic. When your site is down you risk losing customers and sales.
Hackers use applications to cycle through passwords to find the right sequence that will give them access to your system, exposing your sensitive data.
Cross-site scripting, XSS, sends user-supplied data to a web browser without validation. Hackers use this tool to take users away from a site or deface it, costing a business owner time and business.
SQL injection is a code injection technique, used to attack data-driven applications, in which malicious database queries are inserted into a form entry field. When unprotected, attackers can compromise your data, destroy databases and obtain and redistribute your data.
A zero-day attack occurs when a vulnerability in a system is realized and a patch is not available. The incorporation of a web application firewall, proactive auditing and following server-side security best practices are the best safety measures for this type of invasion.
Every website is susceptible to attack but there are steps you can take to ward off the attempts to breach your data.
Update, update, update
Your website is an application that needs updating regularly. Avoiding an update because of time constraints or perceived hassle may lead to a larger headache down the road. Even if you have a firewall and an antivirus system, updates to your software and all plug-ins should be done immediately upon notification to keep hackers at bay. Several steps can be done to increase your website security.
Use Strong Passwords
It is easy for you to remember the name of your favorite pet or preferred restaurant but using those familiar terms as your password is a hacker’s dream. Using strong passwords and two-factor authentication are better ways to protect your data and that of your clients.
Implementing Secured Socket Layer (SSL) ensures that the online connection between your users and your website is secure and information submitted is encrypted and transmitted securely. Websites using SSL are identified by the tiny lock shown in browser address bars. Having the designation gives comfort to your customers and Google will give you higher search placement as a reward for you being safety conscious. There are a few different types of SSL certificates. Prices can range from free to $30/yr. to $400/yr.
When backing up your website or taking files through an FTP, use Secure Shell Protocol to help secure remote login when connecting from a computer to a server. The SSH protocol utilizes encryption and several layers of authentication to prevent anyone from gaining access to the files during transfer.
Keep a Backup Schedule
Maintaining a website backup may be the most important safety measure a website owner can take because it allows for a quick recovery in the event of a cyber-attack and prevents loss of your work. More importantly, move some of your backups to off-line media to protect them from exposure to attacks.
Make a Scan Part of Your Plan
Owners who develop an awareness of security concerns such as malware and out-of-date software will be less vulnerable to security risks. Best practices include a routine audit of your system.
Firewall Log Auditing
Knowing your site is being probed is an important aspect of being proactive with security. Periodic auditing of firewall logs is a great start for this. Having a professional analyze your firewall logs can bring light to what areas of your site may need to be looked at. In addition, you may learn more about the rate of which your site is being attacked and from what geographical locations and networks. This auditing is also crucial for making effective firewall rules and filters to mitigate hostile traffic.
Use a CDN when Appropriate
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centers. A CDN serves your website content to end-users with high availability and high performance. In addition, most CDN providers offer an extra layer of traffic filtering and security.
Many aspects of a business impact the bottom line and website security is among those factors. Keeping your site functioning and safe for your customers is a priority. Performing a website security audit can be challenging for some owners; partnering with a marketing firm like CorpComm Group can ease the task. Our experienced team of developers, hosting partners and security software providers have the skills to keep your website secure. If you would like to learn more about how we can assist you, Let’s have a conversation today.