Even if it never happened to you or anyone else you know, be sure that hacker attacks are real. People like to go with the idea that there’s nothing worth hacking on their site, so no one will bother to touch it. But that’s not how things work. All kinds of websites are compromised every day, and it doesn’t only happen because someone wants to steal your data. Most of the time, they want to use your server as an email relay for sending out spam. And if that’s not the case, someone probably wants to use your gear as a part of a botnet or to mine Bitcoins. None of these things are naive, and they can all cause you plenty of problems. So, how can you protect your website from hackers? Is there a way?
A good thing for you here is that automated scripts are the ones that perform such attacks. Hackers write them to search the web and look for the sites with weak spots. When they find them, these scripts try to exploit them using the known flaws and issues in software. What they did with a critical zeroday in devices from SonicWall is a clear example of what can happen to any of us.
Of course, we want to help you protect yourself. So, here are 7 of the best security tips you can use to shield your site.
As we already explained, the easiest way for hackers to get into your system is through holes in software. It should be obvious why everyone needs to do this, but many people still choose not to bother with regular updates. So, hear our advice here. If you’re hosting your website by yourself, be sure not to postpone any updates, no matter if we’re talking about CMS or forum.
Besides that, keep an eye on your antimalware and website security programs. This way, you’re reducing your chances of hacking as much as possible.
If you’ve never heard of it, cross-site scripting attacks inject malicious scripts into your otherwise safe site. By doing this, hackers can steal your or the user’s login credentials, and they can access their cookies. As soon as they get in, they’ll be able to change anything on the website in any way they like.
3. Use HTTPS
When you add HTTPS security to your site, you ensure that users have nothing to do with any fraudulent servers. If the users can type in their credit card info or anything similar anywhere on your site, this is a must.
We’d go as far as saying that you can’t protect your website from hackers if you leave your site without using HTTPS. If they gain access to cookies, it’s all gone. They’ll see all the sensitive information about your customers, and you’ll have to inform your clients about that. We don’t have to explain how downhill things can go from here if you’re not careful.
SQL injection is a website security loophole that allows attackers to get into your database using nothing more than a web form field or URL parameter. If you’re using standard Transact SQL, you are in the vulnerable group. Hackers can inject a rogue code into the query, and they’ll get a chance to see and change lots of your essential data.
To overcome this, don’t use standard Transact SQL. Google’s Logica language addresses SQL’s flaws, so why not try it instead? You may need some time to get the grips with it, but your site will be safe, so it’s worth it.
Double validation is a great way to add another layer of security to your site. Malicious insertions will be a lot harder to perform as they’ll need validation from both the server and browser sides to do it. The browser will stop all simple attempts right away, and that can’t be a bad thing.
On the other hand, the downside is that it’s possible to bypass double validation. So, if you want to play it safe, enable server-side validation. When you do this, malicious code or data won’t find its way into the database, and your site won’t be compromised.
We can’t stress how important it is to integrate a strict password policy in your company. It’s not a secret that traditional passwords aren’t enough anymore, so you need to do more. Here’s what any good password must have:
- At least ten characters
- Included special characters
- Upper and lower case letters
- No common phrases
In general, the longer your key is, the better it is. If you need to store your passwords, be sure to keep them in encrypted form. And if you want to go all the way, use a hashing algorithm to make them even safer.
And the last thing you need to pay attention to is the design of your error messages. Here, you must be smart and choose the words you use to describe the failed login error. Pay attention not to reveal any information about which part of the query is wrong.
If a hacker tries to make an entry with a username and password, and you let them know which part they got wrong, they might get lucky and get it right in one of the following attempts. So, keep your messages minimal and tell your users only what they must know.
There’s plenty of things you can do to protect your website from hackers. And if you want to keep yourself and your customers safe, you’ll do them all. The more security protocols you have, the harder it will be for anyone to breach into your system. Don’t play with fire and do everything you can to make your site as safe a place as it can be.