5 ways to Implement Website Security

: A developer implementing website security

With cybercrime occurring more frequently, many website owners are at risk of becoming a target. It’s nothing personal against you, but rather just the way cybercriminals try to exploit weaknesses in a website’s security. They don’t go around looking for websites to attack as this process would be time-consuming and arduous to implement. Instead, they use web-crawlers and website scanners to automate searching vulnerabilities in a website’s code.

Neglecting website security may leave you open to attack, resulting in dire consequences. Depending on the type of business you manage and operate using your website, your personal, customer/client, employee, or sensitive information, like trade secrets, may get in the hands of cybercriminals. Data leaks lead to downtimes, privacy litigations, a negative brand image, and customer dissatisfaction, all fatal to your business. Hence, it becomes critical to employ means to secure your website. Here are some ways you can do that.

Automatic Backup

Starting with the worst-case scenario, let’s assume your website gets hacked by a cybercriminal who’s injected their code into your scripts to hijack it for their purposes. You cannot work with this altered code in these cases as it would take you ages to find out any remnant threats such as malware or spyware. If you have a backup of every time your website code gets altered, it can be deployed with ease, but make sure to remedy the vulnerability that led to the attack in the first place.

Manual backup works, but it takes time and is not secure enough. Try looking for cloud-based platforms that automatically secure your source code without you having to go through the hassle. Check out our Worry-Free Website Backups!

Scan for XSS Vulnerabilities

Cross-site scripting, or XXS, happens when the user entered data gets interpreted as code by the web browser. Hackers use this to exploit your website and inject information that looks like code to make pop-ups appear containing malware and steal information.

XXS scans are the best way to make sure you stay clear of such defects in your code. If found, you can set up a filter code to check user input and subsequent server output so that it doesn’t get misinterpreted by the server.

It may happen that not all XSS vulnerabilities get past you; in these situations, a Content Security Policy (CSP) comes in handy. It is an additional layer of website security that helps prevent XSS attacks along with some injection attacks. It can be enabled easily via CSP in response headers to select and specify traffic permissions, providing a standard for website owners to verify the content that gets loaded for a visitor.

Use Strong and Secure Passwords

Most website owners underestimate how easy it is to crack passwords. Hackers and cybercriminals have evolved multiple algorithms instead of just opting for brute force attacks that take a lot of time. They keep up to date with word lists that store commonly used passwords for dictionary attacks. Depending on the strength of your passwords, this method can crack your passwords instantaneously.

The most intuitive and most straightforward approach would be to keep a long password with 8+ characters. Use a combination of numbers, letters, and special symbols to strengthen your password, as these combinations aren’t commonly found in word lists, making them harder to crack. Change your passwords frequently, and make sure the database you store your passwords stores them as hashes rather than plain text.

Update your Website and Plugins Regularly

Cybercriminals don’t operate on the surface web to exchange information as it takes away their anonymity and makes them visible to the eyes of the law. Instead, they communicate via dark web infrastructure to sell information regarding weaknesses in website code. Most developers use open source code for parts of their build. This code is accessible to all, including cybercriminals, who try to find weaknesses in it.

The developer community tries to stay ahead of cybercriminals and regularly updates their scripts. Look out for these updates and update your website proactively to prevent future security issues. If you use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, install updates and plugins as soon as you receive notifications. Additionally, CMS’s give you options to install free or paid plugins like iThemes Security on WordPress, jomDefender on Joomla, and Amasty Watchdog Pro on Magento. They are designed to prevent the most common modes of website security infiltration cybercriminals use and set up security features, such as admin page URL masking, and login failed attempt limiters to avoid breaches in website security.

Use SSL Certificates

Cybercriminals don’t operate on the surface web to exchange information as it takes away their anonymity and makes them visible to the eyes of the law. Instead, they communicate via dark web infrastructure to sell information regarding weaknesses in website code. Most developers use open source code for parts of their build. This code is accessible to all, including cybercriminals, who try to find weaknesses in it.

The developer community tries to stay ahead of cybercriminals and regularly updates their scripts. Look out for these updates and update your website proactively to prevent future security issues. If you use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, install updates and plugins as soon as you receive notifications. Additionally, CMS’s give you options to install free or paid plugins like iThemes Security on WordPress, jomDefender on Joomla, and Amasty Watchdog Pro on Magento. They are designed to prevent the most common modes of website security infiltration cybercriminals use and set up security features, such as admin page URL masking, and login failed attempt limiters to avoid breaches in website security.

Final Thoughts

As a website owner, it is your task to make sure it has all the necessary infrastructure to support website security. Some of the steps mentioned above do not even require any investment and can be quickly taken care of by following a regular website maintenance protocol. You can create a checklist of all the plugins, software, scripts, or passwords that need updating so that you don’t leave any vulnerabilities and weaknesses for cybercriminals to exploit.


Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

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