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When Do You Have A Website Security Problem?

When you have issues with the security in your systems, it means that your systems are vulnerable and at risk. Anything in your system can have vulnerabilities, and hackers can exploit this to inflict harm to data or systems. For example, there could be a vulnerability in the software, servers, or your customers’ private information. Website security to stop hackingEven if a hacker has not taken advantage of a vulnerability in your system, the vulnerability still exists and can allow an attack to occur. If there is a problem with the security in your systems, it should be addressed immediately. Website security breaches are inevitable, so it is important to put forth effort to find these vulnerabilities.

The links at the top of this page identify the most common types of hacking and website security problems.  Visit any link above to learn about hacking and how to protect your website, data and business reputation against hacking. To get information about the security of your website visit the free website security checker at Sucuri. Only a full website security audit will give you the most information about potential problems with your website.

Website Security: Authentication Issues and Weak Passwords

Basic website security demands that every password should be complex and have an adequate length. At minimum, a secure password should contain 18 characters – the longer it is, the better. While complexity is good, password length enhances security. A good password includes upper case and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Your password should not use the same character consecutively more than two times.

Website security authentication

How to Avoid Authentication Issues

Wherever available, make use of two-factor authentication. Doing so can protect a login even if the true password is retrieved or guessed. On top of that, change your passwords often. Do this every sixty or ninety days. Never use the same password or the username as a password.

Website Security: No Backups

Having a restoration plan in place if a total loss occurs is paramount to website security. Do frequent backups and maintain sufficient backup retention policies to ensure this. Back Ups are often the easiest way to restore your website after a malicious attack.

How to Prevent Lack of Back Ups

Every situation will warrant a different solution. Listed below are three backup best practices.

Retention: Preserve as many past backups as you can in the event that a website is compromised. The more backups you have, the better. It is a good practice to store your back ups away from the live server. If the live server is hacked, you won’t run the risk of losing your back ups in the hack.

Scope: Ensure that the backups are sufficient enough to recover all aspects of your website.

Scheduling: Have an adequate backup schedule. It will frequently record backups to stay up to date, but not so often that it negatively affects website function.

Website Security: Insider Threat

As discussed in social engineering, you cannot depend on your ability to judge a person’s character to maintain your protection. Treachery can come from within. An attacker can be anyone you consider to be trustworthy – like an employee. They can inflict severe damage to your organization.

How to Avoid Insider Threat

Other than running background checks on employees, you can also limit users’ access inside the company – and provide only the minimum level of access to accomplish tasks given.

An ill-natured insider wants to remain unknown. Create precise logins for each employee with the relevant authorizations necessary to complete their duties. Dispose of these logins when it is no longer needed.

It should be mandatory for staff to stay up to date with the most efficient security practices. Unattended workstations in your office should remain locked with a secure password.

Website Security: Not Updating or Patching Frequently

Outdated and unpatched systems are one of the most frequently imposed on security issues. Security issues are often the catalyst for a program update.  Although frequent updates can be bothersome they are necessary. There are hacker circles where software vulnerabilities are shared for future use and exploit.  There is automated hacking software with databases full of known vulnerabilities to be exploited.

All software should be updated when a security vulnerability is found. Very popular software like WordPress, must be updated frequently. Because it is very popular; it is popular to hackers and requires a development team to maintain. The hacker does not care why you need the software, they only care that they can get into it and/or break the software …sometimes for nothing more than bragging rights.

WebShoppingSystems.com Fully Managed WordPress Hosting relieves you of this responsibility. All updates are performed automatically so that you never have to worry about security problems.

Website Security: Sensitive Data Leak

Data leaks are similar to ransomware. They can contain classified intellectual property like source code or have consumer information. If it is confidential, it is automatically a target for hackers. Oftentimes, this information is well guarded. Compromise generally happens via other techniques like social engineering or insider threats.

How to Avoid Sensitive Data Leak

Sensitive information should be kept behind login restrictions and network security. Control the number of users approved for entry. Make certain that all user entry is protected with multi-factor authentication and solid passwords wherever possible and that users modify these passwords often. A secure maintained email platform will clear away suspicious links and phishing. Additionally, limit physical entry to vital systems.

Hacking: Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Attack

JavaScript and other browser-side scripting languages are generally used to update page content with external data like revenue-generating advertisements, social media feeds, and current market data.

To attack your customers by manipulating your site as a means to administer unwanted advertisements or malware, hackers use XSS. Your organization’s reputation can suffer as a result, and you may lose the trust of your consumers.

How to Avoid Cross Site Scripting

Modify security programs on your website to restrict images and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) remote scripts to only your realm, as well as whatever external URLs you need. This can prevent several XSS attacks.

The majority of XSS attacks depend on the website formulator having done nothing to intercept it. You are able to alleviate these website security issues with input sterilization by duly escaping HTML tag characters if you are a developer. Deterrents can give a great deal of protection.

Hacking: Social Engineering (Plain Old Fraud and Deception)

Social engineering is the lies, fraud, and deceit people will use against your web system and personnel. People will call and try to gain access through tricking you or your personnel into believing that they’re someone they’re not. There is almost no limit to the amount of deceit used by hackers. Below is a list of the trickery that is very common. People have called and claimed to be the following:

  • Our Banker
  • Our New Vendor
  • Utility Company
  • Police Department
  • Fire Department
  • Our CEO and other high ranking personnel of our business

They usually call with the most urgent situations. We’ve heard such things as “we’re a new vendor and haven’t been paid in 60 days. You need to pay us today to avoid ruining your credit.” We’ve also received the super urgent “we’re going to disconnect your phone service for non-payment.” These are just a few of the scams designed to make you move urgently and hopefully before thinking.

Hackers will use trickery and bribery against your personnel to gain access to your systems. If they can convince someone to “try their excellent, new software” then that’s potential access to your systems. If your personnel can be convinced to shut down the web security for “systems testing” then all the more easier their hacking becomes. They will pretend to be your customer needing help with their account. They will try to have your personnel give them sensitive data like credit card numbers.

There shouldn’t be any credit card numbers to give since they’re not supposed to be stored on web enabled computers. If you’re ever audited by your merchant processor or Visa/Mastercard and credit card numbers and/or credit card security codes are found in your computer – not only will you be fined heavily but other problems will soon follow. You could  lose your merchant account, be banned from processing credit cards in the future, and you would open yourself up to all sorts of financial liabilities if found to be the cause or contributor to identity theft.

Social engineering attacks can have disastrous ramifications. The reason for this is because the individuals who initiate these attacks are skillful at trickery and coercion. A number of them posses several years of experience and an arsenal of highly polished characters. It is imperative that you do not depend on your ability to judge someone’s character.

How to Prevent a Social Engineering Attack

Teach your personnel to be suspicious of the following scenarios

  • People who get highly agitated at security questions.
  • Threats of a law suit if you don’t follow their instructions immediately.
  • People who have the solution to a problem that you can’t verify exists.

Your organization should set policies that define methods of verifying your customers. If a customer refuses to follow your verification requirements then don’t give them any information. If a person insists that they are someone you do business with then let them know that you’ll call them back at their publicly listed number or the number you have on file for them.