Today web world is penetrated with malicious attacks and hacks. Similar to advancement in technology, the risks associated with the technology also increases. Unlike earlier days, the data and information on our website may be stolen or leaked anytime.
Stealing data stored in a website, inserting malicious code into websites and use the website as a pavement to spread spam, viruses and other vulnerable data have been increasing in the recent years.
Why do you need to secure your website?
You may know the personal details of few Facebook users have leaked a few months ago. This shows how smart the hackers are. With the help of automated tools, the hackers are empowered to steal data from websites of reputed organizations.
Business websites and online stores are highly prone to such attacks because business websites are provided with various customer related data like Email ID, Transaction details, credit card numbers, hacking the website puts your customers also at risk.
Websites having low security levels have higher chances of attack but educational, financial, healthcare including dental websites are prone to malicious attacks and hacking.
In this post, you can get simple but effective measures to tighten the security of your websites. Let us see.
1. Secure with SSL Certificates
SSL stands for Security Socket Layer. It encrypts the protocol to provide security to the website. It is very difficult to infiltrate, modify the content and rob data from websites having SSL protocol.
It is easy to identify the websites secured by this protocol. When you enter the URL in the address bar of Google Chrome, websites having SSL certificates contain https:// in the URL and Google displays it as secure in the address bar itself.
In contrast, websites without SSL protocol are shown as “http//”. The additional “s” does not present in the hypertext transfer protocol. Similarly, You can notice a red colored text “Not Secure” in the address bar.
Google consider this protocol as a factor to rank the website in Search Engine Results. Hence SSL will benefit your SEO campaign as well as security.
2. Update the platforms and software
By keeping the platforms like CMS software and plugins you installed in it up-to-date, you can safeguard the website from malicious attacks.
As the platforms are open source, it is easy to get the code. Hackers take advantage of this to intrude the malicious code. The old version content management software and third-party plugins do not possess strong security features. It acts as a security loophole of our website to get hacked.
If you are using managed hosting, you do not need to worry about the security updates because the hosting company takes care of the security update actions.
It is easy and simple to update the CMS platforms as they show the updates in the dashboard.
Similarly, using tools like Genasium will help the website owners and web developers to get notifications when the site encounters any issue in the third party tools or plugins using in the website.
3. Install security plugins
Once you update the platform and scripts you are using for your website, you can install the security plugins. Wordfence security, Vaultpress, Bulletproof Security are some of the widely used security plugins for CMS websites.
(Source : https://www.wpblog.com/top-security-plugins-for-wordpress/)
If you are using HTML web pages, you can use SiteLock. SiteLock keeps track your website for 24/7 and notifies you as soon as it identifies any blacklist, vulnerabilities or malicious terms in your website.
4. XSS Prevention
Cross-site scripting(XSS) is one of the most dangerous issues which targets the website that requires user or client side contents (like comments). In this case, the attackers act as the client and inject the malicious code into the website. The codes are effective to run in the browsers of the users who open the web page.
Thus with the hackers steal the data stored in the user’s browsers by controlling your website. Nowadays, most websites are based on the client side content or contribution like feedbacks, comments, etc. Most of the websites are vulnerable to this issue.
We suggest two strategies to get rid of XSS attacks:
- CA Veracode Platform
5. Data Sanitization and Parameterized queries
SQL injection is another strategy used by hackers to abduct a data stored in the database. Mostly, this is done by using the forms. As web applications require user input, the hackers use the forms by entering a data. If the web application does not sanitize the data, the backend database begins to process the data.
The hackers take advantage of this to intrude the database and steal, delete or modify the data stored in the database.
It is preventable by sanitizing the data and using parameterized queries.
It is important to analyze and check the data entered by the user for any errors before processing.
Similarly, if you left any field blank or open without giving parameters, the attackers use this space to steal the data. Hence it is essential to provide parameters to all the fields.
6. Use odd username & password for admin directories
Besides automated tools and brilliant hacking codes, the hackers put all their efforts to directly access the admin directory of your website.
It is possible by entering the common username as “admin” and trying a various combination of passwords. If you are using such kind of simple username and easy to access password, it will put your website at the risk of data stealing or inserting malicious code directly to your web page.
Hence it is mandatory to tighten your website security by using an abnormal or exceptional username and password for the admin directory or folders.
Every website developer and website owner need to battle against the hackers in order to secure data in the website. Remember the malicious codes are powerful to turn your website as an abolished site and affect the system of users who visit your site.
Internet users use SSL as a scale to analyze the security of the website. It is clear that people prefer secured websites nowadays. It is time for every website owners especially people who are running online stores to think about the security issues along with technical issues of your website.