The online technology that brings you convenience and speed can also leave your information and websites vulnerable to outside attacks. Website security should be a top priority for every company or business that owns a website. Nearly every modern company uses a website, however, so this creates an overwhelming amount of potentially insecure websites and businesses. Learn more about some aspects of website security you might not notice or take for granted.
- Physical Security
- Waste Disposal
- Cross-Site Scripting
- Cross-Site Request Forgery
- Software Updates
- Password Security
- Restrictions and Permissions
- Outsourced Security Services
Companies and their security teams often overlook the physical protection of both onsite and offsite computer equipment and storage. IT personnel and security forces rarely meet face-to-face until a break-in occurs, and something is stolen. All it takes is a small window of time for someone to break in and run a cyberattack, or make a breach directly into the system. Also, beware of social engineering, a practice where hackers and other criminals use deceit to infiltrate companies in order to trick people into revealing important cybersecurity information. Security forces and IT technicians should collaborate to improve physical security as it relates to computers.
One of the most surprising methods cybercriminals are using to infiltrate website and online information is by going dumpster diving. Company employees tend to be lax when getting rid of old devices with crucial information inside, such as outdated cellphones, PDAs, and hard drives. If companies throw away these devices without a proper data wipe, they can provide anyone with sensitive information such as employee phone numbers, IP addresses, payroll records, and bank and credit card information. Trashed papers can also reveal information such as passwords and employee identities. Always remember to wipe electronics and shred paper files before disposing of them.
This practice, also known as XSS, involves an injection attack where the criminal can introduce malicious code snippets to a website in order to hijack it, obtain important information, and use it for other malicious tasks. The hacker can insert malicious scripts on a website as well, so the browser of anyone visiting the website will become infected and execute the malicious code. There is no certain method to prevent cross-site scripting, so use anti-XSS plugins and use best practices, such as output encoding.
Cross-Site Request Forgery
Another type of injection attack, also known as CSFR, it involves the attacker creating a harmful request that takes the form of seemingly-harmless images and links. This attack deceives the user into committing an action that the attacker desires. CSFR attacks are sometimes created by the user’s browser, since the affected website does not recognize the request as a threat. Use tools and tactics such as anti-forgery tokens and additional authentication requests to protect your users from these attacks.
One of the simplest practices you can adopt to consistently improve your website’s security is updating your software. Many software companies will develop patches and updates as they discover new security breaches in the older versions of their systems. These companies are persistent in sending update requests to their users, and even your hosts can remind you about them. Maintain the health of your website by updating your software and checking information about your current software version constantly.
Password systems are such a common and reliable security measure that some companies and businesses overlook them. They either tend to use the same passwords for every website, choose a short, simple password, or have it set up as something that holds meaning to them. If you are setting up a website, one of the first things you should do is change your default password and user name immediately. Create a strong, somewhat complex password, and remember to change it often.
Restrictions and Permissions
As a website administrator, you can grant or rescind permission over the functions that users have on your site. These users range from visitors, to contributors, and editors who are sometimes under your employ. Think about each set of users and the kind of power they need to have over the website. Generally, you should restrict their permissions as much as possible to prevent security compromise.
Outsourced Website Security Services
If you run a small or medium-sized company and cannot handle every aspect of your website security, consider outsourcing your security services to a third-party like Imagine Monkey. Managed security service companies employ IT experts who will handle several security tasks and busywork, such as monitoring servers, maintaining and upgrading firewalls, and analyzing log files. These companies also offer anti-spyware, antivirus, and other monitoring programs. Not only will you have professional help with your cybersecurity needs, but you can also dedicate your time to other aspects of the business.
Reinforcing the security of your website is always a good idea, no matter what kind of business you run or the purpose of your website. At Imagine Monkey, we provide several managed services for your website, including managed maintenance that monitors for security vulnerabilities, as well as malware removal for WordPress. Contact us today to learn more about our custom web design services.