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How to evaluate and improve the security of your site

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How to evaluate and improve the security of your site
There was a time when people and companies simply abandoned sites, hoping that no one would hack their contents or install malware on the site.


In order to avoid getting your personal phone number to cybercriminals, we recommend using the services of receiving SMS to a virtual number.

These days are long behind, because the number and frequency of attacks means that there is a constant threat - and the more successful the site, the greater the danger.

So, how can you protect your website and how to reduce the chance of its hacking and illegal modification?

Before we move on to this, we need to understand the most basic level of security that is responsible for many hacked sites - even those that are hosted on secure servers.

First line of defense
Although some companies insist on hosting their sites, most business domains are located on secure, contracted servers.

When you choose hosting, you get the opportunity to determine which OS the system is running on (Windows Server, Linux or Unix), and this determines the necessary security protocols.

The people responsible for administering the site have administrator rights to modify the file structures on it, and no one else.

From the very beginning, this can go wrong if too many people know the details of the administrator account and the password does not change on a regular basis. And the keylogger should be installed only on one of the machines used for administration, and the password is disclosed to those people whom you most trust.

But honestly, how many people work in an office where passwords are regularly remembered with post-notes? Sure, a few hands will reach there.

Protecting these passwords is the first line of defense, and without it, everything you do can be in vain.

Security audit
Conducting a security audit on the site is a relatively simple exercise that can be performed by IT professionals using a number of software tools. Or, alternatively, you can contract with a third-party vendor to perform a scan for you and provide a list of potential weaknesses that need to be strengthened.

If you buy a web hosting service, your provider may also include a security tool to ensure that you are sufficiently protected, but usually not permanently, from the very beginning.

In addition, many providers also offer a website security package where they promise to respond quickly to threats and mitigate denial of service attacks. If you do not have a small personal blog, this is a reasonable investment.

The price of these services is low, considering how expensive it can be to turn off a site for any period of time, especially for those who offer e-commerce.

Whichever approach you choose, it is important that security checks are performed on a regular basis, in order to identify possible new threats as they arise and to eliminate them immediately.

Common problems
The most common forms of attacks that websites encounter are:

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). Many remote computers, usually infected with a trojan, repeatedly work in demanding web pages to such an extent that servers cannot process the number of requests.

Malware infection. Somehow, the site hosts files containing some kind of malicious code with the intention of downloading it to any visitor.
SQL injection is malicious code inserted into a form or input that is then executed by an SQL database on a server. This code can provide access to client data or open the machine for external access.
Brute force - often a flaw in the OS allows a repeated attack to cause a reset, which briefly opens the port for a secondary attack. Given the complexity of modern operating systems, new vulnerabilities are discovered on a regular basis.
Cross-site scripting is a hacking method in which the browser can be redirected to another site or replace content on the victim’s site without notifying the visitor.
Zero-day hacking is new and difficult to stop attacks that exploit weaknesses that are not publicly available. The time between detecting and fixing a vulnerability is critical and may require a temporary shutdown of some server functions until a fix is ​​found.

Design weaknesses
Although many sites work with active features, they are a source of many security issues for many reasons:

Forms - everything that processes input on the server is a potential entry point for malicious code, and it can also be used to extract user data.
Forums Hosting scripts and redirecting users to malware-spreading websites are just some of the potential problems that arise in user-created forums.
Logging in to social networks - using your Facebook or Google account to log in to the site is quick and easy, but it can also be a way to hack these accounts.
E-Commerce - A crime follows money, and hackers will spend a lot more effort hacking an e-commerce site.
Unregulated content. If you publish news and articles from other sites, you depend on their security measures, whatever they may be.
Obviously, removing all of these features from a website would make it a less attractive place for visitors. A judgment needs to be made about which elements you are willing to use and how you intend to mitigate possible security problems associated with them.

Appropriate protection

Website security is a mitigation measure when you do enough to make hacking your site less profitable and provide faster recovery from any incident.

The exact level of security efforts made is the choice that all companies must struggle with, but for those involved in online sales, the commitment must be 100% to protect the personal and financial information of those who trade with you.

In many companies and organizations, all their customer data was stolen and then used to steal personal data, which led to costly consequences.

Whatever level of protection and monitoring you choose, it must be consistent with the goal. Finally, keep in mind that having a higher level of security than you need has minimal costs, but reducing it can have huge legal and commercial consequences.


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