Website security is often overlooked during a web application’s development. As a web developer, you also have the responsibility of ensuring that your website is safe from hackers. If you’re unfamiliar with the fundamentals of cybersecurity, now is the time to learn! In this blog post, we’ll go through twelve strategies for keeping your website secure from attackers. We will also go in-depth about penetration testing.
Why do website need protection?
Every week about 18 million websites get infected with malware.
This means that if you are not protecting your website from hackers, it is only a matter of time before they will be able to get into it and cause chaos in your online presence. If this happens, you could lose customers, money, and even your reputation.
Not buying it yet? Let’s look at ten things that could go wrong with your website’s security.
Top 10 attacks on websites in 2021 (OWASP)
- Broken Access Control: This type of attack exploits weak authentication and authorization controls, such as easily guessable passwords.
- Cryptographic Failures: This type of attack targets vulnerabilities in the security algorithms used to protect data.
- Injection and Cross-Site Scripting: This type of attack injects malicious code into web pages, resulting in the execution of unauthorised actions including manipulating and reading databases.
- Insecure Design: This type of attack takes advantage of vulnerabilities in the design and implementation of websites such as loopholes in source codes.
- Security Misconfiguration: This type of attack takes advantage of insecure default settings and poor configuration management.
- Vulnerable and Outdated Components: This type of attack exploits vulnerabilities in third-party components such as libraries and frameworks.
- Identification and Authentication Failures: This type of attack exploits the lack of or weak authentication and authorization controls for users.
- Software and Data Integrity Failures: This type of attack targets the integrity of software and data, resulting in the manipulation or deletion of information.
- Security Logging and Monitoring Failures: This type of attack exploits the lack of logging and monitoring capabilities for websites. For example, a website without a firewall will fail to detect anomalous behaviour from an IP address.
- Server-Side Request Forgery: This type of attack tricks the server into executing unintended actions, such as accessing confidential data or running commands.
12 tips to safeguard your website from attacks
Now that we’ve seen some of the most common website attacks, let’s take a look at how to defend our site against them. The following are twelve tips that you can follow to protect your website from hackers.
Tip 01: Implement Strong Password Validation
One of the simplest and most effective ways to protect your website and its users from hackers is to implement strong password validation. This means requiring users to create long and complex passwords and verifying that they meet certain requirements before they are accepted.
Tip 02: Use a Firewall
A firewall is another simple way to protect your website from hackers. Firewalls exist to keep people from viewing your website without permission. They serve as a barrier between your site and the internet, preventing attackers from gaining access to your website’s data and files.
Tip 03: Use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and TLS (Transport Layer Security)
SSL and TLS are security protocols that provide encryption and authentication of communications between two systems. This means that any data sent between your website and its users are protected from hackers. Be sure to use an SSL/TLS certificate for your website.
Tip 04: Backup Your Website Regularly
It is important to backup your website regularly so that if your site is hacked and damaged beyond repair you will have a recent copy of the original data. Make sure that these backups are stored in a safe place, such as an offsite server or hard drive. You should also think about using an online backup solution such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
Tip 05: Use Strong Encryption
Strong encryption is another important way to protect your website from hackers. This means using encryption methods that are difficult to crack, such as AES-256 bit encryption.
Tip 06: Harden Your Servers and Applications
Harden your servers and applications by disabling unnecessary features and tightening up the security settings. This will make it more difficult for hackers to break into your website.
Tip 07: Educate Yourself and Your Team
It’s critical to educate yourself and your team about cybersecurity risks and how to prevent them. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to
Tip 08: Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Your website will be more secure with two-factor authentication, by adding an extra step for hackers to breach through. When a user logs into their account, they will be prompted for both their username and password as well as another piece of information such as their phone number or email address. This makes it more difficult for hackers to access accounts because even if they have the correct login credentials, they still need this additional piece of information in order to log in successfully!
Tip 09: Stay Up-to-Date on the Latest Cybersecurity Threats
It is important to stay up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity threats in order to protect your website from becoming a victim. This means keeping track of new vulnerabilities and exploits that are released and taking steps to protect your website against them. Subscribe to newsletters, read blogs, and follow social media accounts that focus on cybersecurity so that you can stay ahead of the curve.
Tip 10: Monitor your traffic
It is important that you monitor your website’s traffic regularly so that you can identify any threat right away. Some firewalls like the one from Astra Security, allows you to block any IP address performing malicious activities on your website.
Tip 11: Perform Penetration Testing
Penetration testing is a great way to test how well your website is protected against hackers. You will be able to identify any potential vulnerabilities before they become problematic for you and your users by conducting penetration tests regularly. This will help ensure that your website stays safe from hackers because it tests for weakness using the same methods as hackers and those weaknesses have been addressed appropriately. A good way to do this is by using best penetration testing tools like Astra Pentest or Metasploit Pro.
Tip 12: Hire a Professional Penetration Testing Service
Hiring a penetration tester to test your website and identify vulnerabilities can help you protect it even more effectively. One company that offers penetration testing services is Astra Security. You’ll want to consider whether or not this type of service is appropriate for you and your website.
More on penetration testing
Penetration testing is the act of simulating cyberattacks against your website. This is a very realistic approach to testing. Testers will more or less use the same tactics a hacker would. It works by following up on which attacks go through successfully, revealing which attack your website is vulnerable to.
Types of penetration tests:
There are a few different methods for each type but generally speaking, these three categories will cover everything from social engineering attacks to automated website scans:
Black-box testing: This type of penetration testing is also known as “blind” testing because the testers have no prior knowledge about the target system. This type of attack is usually used to test how well an organisation’s security measures hold up against real-world hackers as testers will use the same methods.
Grey-box testing: Here, testers have some knowledge about the target system but not enough to completely compromise it. This type of attack is often used to test the security measures in place as well as how well employees respond to a potential breach.
White-box testing: Testers have complete knowledge about the target system and all of its vulnerabilities. This type of attack is generally used for internal audits or when trying to replicate a real-world attack.
When it comes to penetration testing, black-box tests are the most common. This is because they’re the most realistic and can be used to test any website’s security measures against actual hackers. However, grey-box and white-box tests can also be useful for identifying potential vulnerabilities.
What to look for in a penetration testing service?
When looking for penetration testing services, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Make sure that the company you’re considering has experience in your specific industry
- Look for a firm that provides a variety of services so you can get everything you need from one place
- If possible, try to find testimonials and reviews from previous customers so you know what other people thought about their service
- Check to see whether the firm has a positive reputation and is known for delivering high-quality services.Ask about their certification and accreditation process to ensure they’re up-to-date on all relevant standards
- If your website has to comply with specific regulations, make sure the company you’re considering is familiar with testing according to them
If you’re a web developer, it’s important to be well-versed with cybersecurity best practices. These twelve tips will help keep your website safe from hackers.
Additionally, penetration testing can provide valuable insight into how secure your site really is. Hiring a professional service to conduct these tests can ensure that everything goes smoothly and is performed correctly.
Make sure that the company you hire specializes in your specific industry so they’re familiar with all relevant standards and regulations. Doing this can help ensure that you get the most out of your penetration testing service.
Image credit: depositphotos
Ankit Pahuja is the Marketing Lead & Evangelist at Astra Security. Ever since his adulthood (literally, he was 20 years old), he began finding vulnerabilities in websites & network infrastructures. Starting his professional career as a software engineer at one of the unicorns enables him in bringing "engineering in marketing" to reality. Working actively in the cybersecurity space for more than 2 years makes him the perfect T-shaped marketing professional. Ankit is an avid speaker in the security space and has delivered various talks in top companies, early-age startups, and online events. You can connect with him on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankit-pahuja/ View all posts by Ankit Pahuja
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