10 Website Security Issues You Should Be Aware Of
by Joey George
Technology has become more advanced, and with it, hack attacks in the online world are increasing at an alarming rate.
Hackers use known vulnerabilities in third-party software to target your website and web server, and use it to their advantage.
The effect of this could possibly deface your website, steal your confidential client data, or even worse, use your server resources to perform illegal activities.
There are some simple tips below that you can leverage to strengthen your website software, and be able to sleep with peace of mind.
XSS or Cross Site Scripting
XSS occurs when a hacker embeds scripting code into a web form or url, and run malicious code to change your web visitor’s experience and steal passwords or other data.
XSS can also be persistent nature, where an attacker can manipulate a specific web page and show it as a login screen to users. The recent XSS comment hack on WordPress 4.2 is an example of such a permanent loophole.
SQL injection occurs when a hacker uses a web form field or URL parameter to manipulate your database. Almost all web platforms have a database, and generally open source CMS platforms maintain dynamic aspects of the website in database.
DOS or Denial of Service Attack
Denial Of Service (DOS) or Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS) attacks are by far the most notorious kinds of attacks.
That is because, any level of hacker with a small investment can bombard a victim website, with millions of requests, and make them look like they are legit users.
This eventually crashes the web server, and makes the site offline, requiring manual intervention to bring it back online.
We should all use complex passwords, because the weakest link is all it takes to break the chain. It is imperative to use strong passwords for admin areas, but equally important for all users to protect the security of their accounts.
One account compromised can lead to another and that could lead to the admin account being hacked. It is recommended to have passwords with minimum 8 letters, digits and special characters to avoid quick password guesses.
These attacks are trial-n-error methods to guess your username and password. Weak passwords are prone to getting hacked easily.
Methods like temporary blocking of IP and accounts, and multi-factor authentication, help mitigating such attacks.
Websites with file upload capability, or sites missing proper client and server side form validation, can be dangerous.
The risk is that any file uploaded, could contain a script which can be leveraged as a root-kit administrator with ””’access to your website.
Lack of form validation on simple form fields could lead to malicious code being inserted into the database, and could cause undesirable results in your website.
An unencrypted channel allows a man-in-the-middle attack to steal information from your users.
That unencrypted channel prefers to use security certificate SSL, whenever passing personal information between the website and web server, or database.
Debug Mode on Production Server
Some developers may accidentally enable debug mode on the live production server, which dumps extensive error logs to the browser.
Thus a hacker can obtain valuable information about the software used by the webserver and target his attack much better. Its crucial to hide as much internal information about server to minimize and delay the attacks.
Old Software Versions
It may seem obvious, but keeping all software up to date is vital with keeping your site secure. This applies to both the server operating system, and any software you may be running on your website such as a CMS or forum.
When website security holes are found in software, hackers are quick to abuse them.
No Backup Plan
No matter how vigilant you are, attackers can find new loopholes to doom your website. So besides prevention, you should also have a backup-restore plan.
Just in case your site is compromised, you should have a team which can quickly restore the last known backup, and avoid reputation and sales loss.
Coversine provides a simple and affordable solution to all of these problems. Your own assigned security professional will maintain your site’s uptime, performance, and security all-in-one for as low as $10 per month.
The subscription takes care of performance checks, regular updates to your software, and apps are included as well.
Coversine LLC caters to any website related matter, whether it is design, development, maintenance, security, hosting, and more. Visit us to know how we can help your small business online presence.