Why is Website Security So Important?​

Your website is your brand, your storefront, and often your first contact with customers. If it's not safe and secure, those critical business relationships can be compromised. An unprotected website is a security risk to customers, other businesses and public/government sites.


XForce can perform a vulnerability health check and provide you with ways to improve the security of your website.

 

Common Web Security Vulnerabilities:


1. SQL INJECTIONS
SQL injection is a type of web application security vulnerability in which an attacker attempts to use application code to access or corrupt database content. If successful, this allows the attacker to create, read, update, alter, or delete data stored in the back-end database. SQL injection is one of the most prevalent types of web application security vulnerabilities.

 

2. CROSS SITE SCRIPTING (XSS)
Cross-site scripting (XSS) targets an application's users by injecting code, usually a client-side script such as JavaScript, into a web application's output. The concept of XSS is to manipulate client-side scripts of a web application to execute in the manner desired by the attacker. XSS allows attackers to execute scripts in the victim's browser which can hijack user sessions, deface websites, or redirect the user to malicious sites.

 

3. BROKEN AUTHENTICATION & SESSION MANAGEMENT
Broken authentication and session management encompass several security issues, all of them having to do with maintaining the identity of a user. If authentication credentials and session identifiers are not protected at all times an attacker can hijack an active session and assume the identity of a user.

Do you need a Website Security review or Application Maintenance? Check out our Website Support page for more information.

 

4. INSECURE DIRECT OBJECT REFERENCES
Insecure direct object reference is when a web application exposes a reference to an internal implementation object. Internal implementation objects include files, database records, directories, and database keys. When an application exposes a reference to one of these objects in a URL hackers can manipulate it to gain access to a user's personal data.

 

5. SECURITY MISCONFIGURATION
Security misconfiguration encompasses several types of vulnerabilities all centered on a lack of maintenance or a lack of attention to the web application configuration. A secure configuration must be defined and deployed for the application, frameworks, application server, web server, database server, and platform. Security misconfiguration gives hackers access to private data or features and can result in a complete system compromise.

 

6. CROSS-SITE REQUEST FORGERY (CSRF)
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) is a malicious attack where a user is tricked into performing an action he or she didn't intend to do. A third-party website will send a request to a web application that a user is already authenticated against (e.g. their bank). The attacker can then access functionality via the victim's already authenticated browser. Targets include web applications like social media, in browser email clients, online banking, and web interfaces for network devices.

Don't get caught with your guard down. Practice safe website security measures and always be ready to protect yourself, and your company's future, from an attack that you might never recover from. The best way to tell if your website or server is vulnerable is to conduct regular security audits.

 

Ways to Improve your Website Security:

 

KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE UP-TO-DATE
It is crucial to keep all platforms or scripts you've installed up-to-date. Hackers aggressively target security flaws in popular web software, and the programs need to be updated to patch security holes. It is important to maintain and update every software product you use.

 

ENFORCE A STRONG PASSWORD POLICY
It is important to use strong passwords. Hackers frequently utilize sophisticated software that use brute force to crack passwords. To protect against brute force, passwords should be complex, containing uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numerals, and special characters. It is best for passwords to be at least 10 characters long. This password policy should be maintained throughout your organization.

 

ENCRYPT YOUR LOGIN PAGES
Use SSL encryption on your login pages. SSL allows sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials to be transmitted securely. Information entered on a page is encrypted so that it's meaningless to any third party who might intercept it. This helps to prevent hackers from accessing your login credentials or other private data.

 

USE A SECURE HOST
Choosing a secure and reputable web hosting company is very important to your website security. Make sure the host you choose is aware of threats and is devoted to keeping your website secure. Your host should also back up your data to a remote server and make it easy to restore in case your site is hacked. Choose a host who offers ongoing technical support whenever necessary.

 

KEEP YOUR WEBSITE CLEAN
Every database, application, or plugin on your website is another possible point of entry for hackers. You should delete any files, databases, or applications from your website that are no longer in use. It is also important to keep your file structure organized to keep track of changes and make it easier to delete old files.

 

BACKUP YOUR DATA
Back up your site regularly. You should maintain backups of all of your website files in case your site becomes inaccessible or your data is lost. Your web host provider should provide backups of their own servers, but you should still backup your files regularly. Some content management programs have plugins or extensions that can automatically back up your site and you should also be able to back up databases and content manually.

 

SCAN YOUR WEBSITE FOR VULNERABILITIES
It is important to regularly perform web security scans to check for website and server vulnerabilities. Web security scans should be performed on a schedule, and after any change or addition to your web components. There are a number of free tools on the Internet that you can use to measure how secure your website is. Those tools can be helpful for a brief review, but they won't detect all the possible security flaws of your site. Having a professional perform security scans on your website will provide an in-depth review and explanation of the vulnerabilities on your website.

 

HIRE A SECURITY EXPERT
Developing a relationship with a firm that provides security services can be a lifesaver when it comes to protecting your website. While the small things can be taken care of on your own, there are many security measures that should be handled by an expert. XForce provides security services to regularly scan your website for vulnerabilities, perform full website security audits and monitor for malicious activity.

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