It is wrongly assumed by almost everyone that their site is not worth getting hacked and therefore bypass vital security measures. Not all security breaches are necessarily meant to steal data or deface your website. In fact most attempt to use your server to do some other ‘activity’ they have in mind, for eg: use it as an email relay for spam or setup a temporary server to store illegal files.
Hackers use automated scripts nowadays that crawl all over the internet to find websites without security measures and make them their victims. You definitely do not want them to use your business for their illegal means on a server registered in your name, do you?
We have some tips to make sure you avoid such a stressful situation.
Ensuring the Software is up-to-date
Keeping your software up to date is vital as the latest updates are always amended based on the latest security threats. This means your server OS and any other third-party app, widget or function you are running on your site. Keeping everything updated ensures you don’t leave security holes for the hackers to abuse them.
Here it must be noted that while you are using a managed hosting solution, you don’t need to worry about anything related to servers as the hosting service provider will take care if it.
Using Parameterised Queries
SQL injection attacks are the most common form of attack where attackers use a web form field or URL parameter to gain access of your database and then to manipulate the data (add/edit/delete). Unknowingly, it is possible to enter a rogue code that can be used to alter tables, which is why it is advisable to use parameterised queries, which isn’t a big deal at all, if you know what you are doing?. Hiring professional developers to build your website even at a little higher price is therefore the best and safest option!
When you allow your users to upload files, your website is at a complete risk, that is if proper measures aren’t taken. There could be script in the files that can self-execute and completely open up your website for the attacker. You can rename the files upon upload or change file permissions so it can’t be executed further.
It is essential to setup a firewall to your server that blocks all non-essential ports. Another solution is to have your website on a completely different server. By doing this your database cannot be accessed directly from the outside world and minimizes the risk of your data being exposed.
It guarantees the users connection to the servers are private and that no one can intercept the data transit. Interestingly Google has announced that the sites with HTTPS get better rankings which gives SEO benefit.
Website Security Tools
Finally you have to test your security once you think you are done with implementing all measures. Use a website security tool to get it tested. If you have a professional developer and IT partners they will ensure that your website is safe.
In any case, you may want to discuss security features at length before getting into any deal with an IT company.
Stay safe from the cyber black market out there! All the best!