The security of your website, be it personal or corporate, must be your highest priority.
Your website is your storefront, your brand and, in many cases, your first contact with potential customers. An insecure site can:
- Become infected with malware, which is then often passed on to website visitors
- Lead to lost data, both your own and your clients’
- Crash frequently and suffer from periods of downtime
- Damage your company’s reputation and even compromise your entire business
For these reasons, any website owner must be conversant with the five basic principles that define website security:
- Integrity – Ensure all web content is not altered to maintain authenticity
- Availability – Always be available to users
- Confidentiality – Prevent unauthorized users from accessing website data
- Authentication – Use a series of information to identify legitimate users
- Accountability – Have mechanisms for tracing and identifying user activities and operations
In today’s article we’ll run through the basics of web security. If you’d like the ultimate managed web security solution, for complete peace of mind, check out CyberAlpha’s prices and packages.
The Dangerous Rise In Cyberattacks
There are currently more than 1.3 billion websites. An estimated 30,000 of these get infected with different types of malware every day.
One of the biggest culprits is a weak password. Did you know that hackers can crack passwords with six lower-case characters in under 10 minutes? Is your password strong enough?
On top of the threat from malware, over 90,000 websites are hacked daily. WordPress, a content management site with more than 59.7% market share and approximately 22.6 million websites, accounts for 83% of total hacked websites.
One of the more common (and dangerous) types of attack is a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). Cyber actors flood the website with a huge number fake requests, so that it slows down due to the surge in traffic. “Successful” DDoS attacks can even cause your website to crash.
According to an Akamai report, DDoS attacks have increased significantly in the last few years:
- DDoS attacks increased by 16% from 2017 to 2018
- A new record of 1.35 Tbps in a DDoS attack was recorded
- In 2018 alone, a record 7,822 DDoS attacks were mitigated
If you want to protect yourself completely against DDoS attacks, check out our managed website DDoS protection service.
How Hackers Can Target Your Site
If a hacker gains access to your site, he can cause a number of serious problems:
- Edit, replace or even delete entire pages
- Upload ads laden with malware and use them as delivery channels both to the website and your visitors
- Create backdoors and retain unlimited access for as long as he wants
Hackers start by identifying “vulnerabilities” and then exploiting them to execute malicious attacks. Website vulnerabilities can provide a hacker with multiple entry points into a website.
Hacker can breach weak website security protocols in a number of ways. One of the most common ways a hacker can gain entry to your site is via a browser hijacker. This is a malware program which modifies the settings of a website without the owner’s permissions.
Even design and modification aspects of your website can, inadvertently, allow hackers to attack you more easily. For example, integrating third party services such as ad platforms has significant security implications. Ads have a plethora of cross-site scripting risks that can allow the hacker to inject a secure site with malicious scripts.
Some website owners also continue using themes and plugins even after their developers have stopped supporting them. This means that they don’t have current security patches and threat definitions. Out of date themes and plugins are easy picking for hackers and one of the first things they’ll look to target.
How To Secure Your Website
Continuous website monitoring allows for a preventative security approach, which is currently the best way to remain protected. The best security packages will keep you informed of:
- Possible malware infection
- Login information changes
- Modification or deletion of website files
- Changes in search engine results
- Increase or decrease of traffic
A strong firewall remains one of the oldest and best security strategies. Network firewalls prevent intrusions or infection of malware which can find their way to the website through a network.
Web Application Firewalls secure websites by applying a set of defined rules to prevent attacks such as SQL Injection and cross-site scripting.
Password Best Practice
Always create strong and unique passwords which cyber actors will find difficult to compromise:
- The system for resetting passwords must be fully secured
- Long passwords are better than shorter
- Apply password encryption
- Use two-factor authentication
- Don’t use words, birth dates, obvious sequences etc
- Change passwords frequently
Risk Assessments & Professional Tools
Conduct regular risk assessments and make sure you have a formal strategy for identifying and mitigating cybersecurity issues.
For complete peace of mind, integrate automated web security tools into your cybersecurity strategy. CyberAlpha offers a cloud based managed web security platform with best-in-class features for all budgets.
How We Can Help
CyberAlpha has developed a state-of-the-art managed website security platform which beats any other security tool hands down. By signing up to one of our packages, you’ll have access to a whole range of features which provides your website with maximum security.
The whole platform is based in the cloud, easy to use, and leverages a leading Web Application Firewall (WAF), tools for website monitoring, and services for removing malware:
- Cloud based Web Application Firewall monitors the website 24/7 automatically blocking attacks
- The Web Application Firewall blocks attempted DDoS attacks and instantly notifies you
- Regular website scanning to detect malware
- Removal of malicious code and programs
- Uptime monitoring with prompt alerts regarding any issues
- Immediate notification in case your Google blacklists your website
- Alerting is integrated with other platforms to ensure you get all notifications as quickly as possible
- Immediate notification when unauthorized configuration changes are made
- Real time dashboard providing insights into the security status of your website
Website Security – Key Takeaways
Cyber-attacks targeting websites are on the increase. As such, any website can be targeted. If you fail to protect your website properly, you risk your reputation and even your whole business.
With attacks such as DDoS on the rise, it’s essential to make use of the best website security tools and products. Some companies offer one of two features, but an effective product must provide a holistic approach in protecting a website.
CyberAlpha website security is a cloud-based web application platform which offers complete peace of mind to any website owner. It actively monitors your website for security issues (including DDoS attacks) 24/7. It scans for, detects and removes malware. Most importantly, it keeps you informed of all security issues.
If you’d like to discover how we can help protect your website against cyber crime, we’re currently offering a free 14 day trial, no credit card required.