7 Secure ways to protect your website from Hackers

29 May 2017 | By Jish

Topics: Making the Websites Secure


If you have a website, be prepared for any vulnerable security hacks. The majority of security breaches are not intended upon stealing your important data, but in using your server as an email relay for spam. Sometimes, the hackers can use your web server to setup a temporary server to send out files of any illegal nature. Hackers can also use your servers as part of a botnet or to mine for Bitcoins. 

Botnets and Bitcoins

In botnets, your internet connected devices such as PC's, servers, mobile devices and IOT’s are used by hackers to send spam emails, engage in click-through fraud campaigns and generate malicious traffic for distributed denial-of-service attacks.

While in the latest global cyber-attacks of May 2017, the hackers demanded a payment through Bitcoins to retrieve the important files and data on the victim’s computers. They had threatened that the records will be destroyed if payments are not received within the specified time.

 

Bitcoin is an open source and uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks. The transactions and the issuing of Bitcoins are carried out collectively by the network. Everyone can take part in due to its public nature and authoritativeness. Many unique properties of Bitcoin allows exciting uses for it which cannot be covered by any previous payment system. The value of Bitcoins keeps on growing and makes it a popular choice among cyber criminals.

Everything valuable on the Internet attracts the attention of cyber criminals of different types searching for security breaches and vulnerabilities. Hacking is regularly performed using automated scripts written to exploit the security issues in the software of a website.

Here are 5 secure ways to help keep your site safe online.  

  1. Keeping Software Updated

Ensuring all your software is up to date is vital in keeping your site secure. This applies to both the server operating system and any third-party software you might be running on your websites such as a CMS or forum. If the software your system uses has some security issues then hackers are quick to attempt to abuse them.

  1. Using Parameterised Queries in SQL Injection Attacks

SQL injection attacks usually happen when an attacker uses a web form field to gain access to your database. They send harmful commands to the database sneaking through unauthorised channels. The unsanitised input data is the most common channel used by hackers. It is easy to unknowingly insert rogue code into your query when you use standard Transact-SQL, which could be used to change tables, get information and delete data. You can easily prevent this by always using parameterised queries, most web languages have this feature and it is easy to implement.

  1. Avoiding Cross Site Scripting (XSS) Vulnerabilities:

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks inject malicious JavaScript into your websites, which then runs within the browsers of your users, and might make changes to the page content, or steal important info which then sends back to the hacker.  

For example, an attacker can submit comments containing script tags and JavaScript if you show comments on a page without validation. This script could run in every other user's browser and steal their login cookie, allowing the attacker to take control of the account of every user who viewed the comment. Cross-site scripting vulnerabilities are most commonly found in WordPress plugins.

To avoid cross-site scripting vulnerabilities you need to ensure that users cannot inject active JavaScript content into your pages.

  1. Limit the Info Send in Error messages

 Be careful with the amount and kind of information you communicate in your error messages to users. Make sure you send only solely stripped-down error message to your users so that they do not leak secrets gift on your server (e.g. API keys or information passwords). Take care not to give full exception details either, as these will make complicated SQL injection attacks much easier. Keep detailed errors in your server logs, and show users only the information they need.

  1. Keep Browsers and Servers Validated

When you enter text into a numbers only field, the browser can catch these simple failures entered on mandatory fields. To avoid malicious code or scripting code being inserted into the database, you must ensure that validation both on the browser and server side is done. Failing to do so could cause undesirable results in your website.

  1. Creating Complex Passwords

Everyone knows that they should use complex passwords to avoid any security breach, but are often ignored. When it comes to your server and website admin area, it is all the more crucial to consider it. At the same time, it is equally important to insist your users to protect the security of their accounts following good password habits.

Although most users may not like it, enforcing a minimum of around eight characters in the password, including uppercase letters and numbers will help to protect the users’ information in the long run.

For this, the web admins should make sure that the passwords be always stored as encrypted values, preferably using a one-way hashing algorithm such as SHA. Using hashed passwords could help damage limitation in the event of someone hacking in and stealing your passwords. Decrypting them is not possible

  1. Securing with HTTPS

Getting your website the HTTPS protocol will provide it security over the Internet. A website with HTTPS encryption guarantees the users that they're in a safe place and nobody else can intercept or change the content they're seeing in transit.

Every website that uses a payment method should be secured with an HTTP on their web address. Of course, that means credit card and login pages (the URLs they submit to).

Hopefully, these tips will help keep your site and information safe. Although most CMS software sites have inbuilt website security features, it is a still a good idea to have the knowledge of the most common security exploits to stay alerted.

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