Content Management Systems have ushered in a new era of new webmasters- business owners. These days, one doesn’t have to be tech-savvy or know anything about coding, web design, or web development to create a website. With the right tools, resources, and some level of motivation, you can have your website up and running in just an hour.
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The ease of creating websites has brought in a fresh set of web security problems. A 2019 report by Google Registry and The Harris Poll indicates that, although many people are rushing to create websites, most of them do not have the requisite knowledge about the safety of websites.
Joining the webmaster’s league by creating your website means that you take up all the responsibilities for web security. But, first, you must know the top web security challenges and how best to handle them. If you do not know where to start, this article has you covered.
Read More: Why is Web Application Security Testing Important?
Top web security vulnerabilities that you should be aware of
1. SQL Injections
Attackers may at times tamper with the queries that an application makes to the database. This creates a web application vulnerability referred to as SQL Injection. SQL injections will allow a hacker to retrieve and view data that they are not allowed to retrieve. The data might belong to your clients or related web application data.
SQL injections are dangerous because, once the hackers get hold of sensitive data, they can tamper with it by deleting or altering it. Sensitive data might include things like credit card information, passwords, financial records, or personal records. SQL injections have been rampant, especially in recent years, representing two-thirds (65%) of all web security problems.
2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Attacks
An XSS attack is one of the most common web security challenges today. In an XSS attack, the cybercriminal’s main intention is to execute malicious code or codes in a user’s web browser by including the malicious code in a web page. We can define a cross-site scripting attack in simple terms as a client-side code injection vulnerability.
The actual XSS attack occurs when the web visitor navigates to a web page that has malicious code. The web page acts as a vehicle that delivers malicious code to users’ browsers.
3. Distributed Denial of Service Attack
A DDoS attack is when cybercriminals maliciously attempt to interfere with the normal functioning of a specific server or network by flooding the server or its target with traffic.
A Distributed Denial of Service attack remains one of the most potent hacker’s weapons. In most cases, when you hear of “a computer system has been brought down,” it is mainly because of a DDoS attack.
4. Security Misconfiguration Vulnerability
It covers myriad vulnerabilities that increase the susceptibility of a web application or infrastructure to cyberattacks because of a lack of maintenance or attention to the web application configuration.
Security misconfigurations show hackers and cybercriminals your weakest link. Hackers will easily craft attacks by exploiting such weaknesses. They can lead to severe consequences such as data leakages. The 2019 Teletext exposure of 530,000 data files is one example of how dangerous security misconfigurations could be.
5. Data Breaches
Data breach refers to when security walls are compromised, leading to the accidental or unlawful loss, destruction, or alteration of data. The breach could result in the loss of confidential personal and user data.
Data breaches are increasing, and so are the costs of a successful data breach. Compromised login credentials are the primary cause of data breaches. Other causes include malware vulnerabilities, lost devices, and software misconfigurations.
How to Improve Your Websites Safety:
After going through the above web security problems, you realize a great need to protect networks and all organizations’ IT systems from such vulnerabilities. There are several web security solutions that you can follow to protect your networks from cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The following are some of the few practical web security solutions that you must know of.
1. Regularly Update Your Software and Plugins
Software and plugins usually become vulnerable with time. Hackers always find a way to get past the security controls of the existing software and security plugins. On the other hand, developers will try to figure out the security vulnerabilities in software or plugins and fix them before they become a tool for hackers.
Once the vulnerability is fixed, the developers or software vendors will release a new version with advanced security measures. As a best practice, you must ensure that you install the update once it is released. Failing to update your software promptly will make you susceptible to the security vulnerabilities explained above.
2. Install an SSL Certificate on Your Website
As you rush to create a website for your business and have an online presence, you must know that the internet is full of hackers who will want to access the information your web visitors share with you.
To ensure that all data remains secure, you must buy and install an SSL certificate. If your website has several first-level subdomains under the main domain, you do not have to worry. All you need is a single Comodo Positive Wildcard SSL, and you will be good to go.
SSL certificates encrypt the communications between web servers and web visitors. As a result, hackers will not be able to access or read encrypted data. To protect your data from data breaches, you must buy and install an SSL certificate.
3. Use Smart Passwords
Before a hacker tries other techniques to access your website, they will first try brute force attacks. Weak passwords give hackers the easiest and quickest route to your web servers or networks.
To prevent unauthorized access, you must adhere to the best password practices. It would be best if you also fortified your authentication links by using two-factor authentication.
4. Access Controls
Insider threats are so common. Some of the cybersecurity risks that have occurred in the past have been a result of insider threats. Either because of malicious intentions or negligence, employees could be the best enemy of the organization’s security.
As a web security solution, you must enact stringent access rules. Only employees who have business with specific data should be allowed to access the data.
5. Regular Backups
You never know when a data breach will occur. As such, you must be prepared to deal with the repercussions of a data breach. Because data is one of the most valuable assets in an organization, having a plan that recovers all your data after a data breach is the right way to go.
Data backups assure you of continuity even after a data breach. Unfortunately, no cybersecurity solution can fully protect you against data breaches, and this is why you should invest in regular data backups.
The best way to secure your networks against cybersecurity attacks is by knowing the various web security challenges and the practical solutions you can take to protect your systems from such threats.
This article has explained the top 5 web security threats and given you some of the most viable solutions to protect your networks against such attacks.