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 softwares to target your website and web server, and use it for their advantage.
The effect of this maybe just defacing of your website, stealing your confidential client data, or even worse, use your server resources to perform illegal activities.
There are some simple tips you can leverage to strengthen your website software and 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 permanent loophole.
- SQL Injection 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.
- Weak Passwords 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 admin account hacked. It is recommended to have passwords with minimum 8 letters, digits and special characters to avoid quick password guesses.
- Brute-force Attack 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.
- Code Injection 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 root-kit ie. administrator 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.
- Unencrypted Protocol An unencrypted channel allows man-in-middle attack to steal information from your users.
It preferred 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 softwares 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 ensuring you keep all software up to date is vital in 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 much 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 affordable solution to all these problems. Your own security professional who 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, and regular updates to softwares and apps as well.