Website hacking is often done by automated scripts written in code to search the web for known website security problems in hopes of exploiting them for malicious purposes. This kind of hacking is known as “malware”, which stands for Malicious Ware. Some common attacks include data mining, key harvesting, keystroke logging, and cross-site scripting. Website owners should take note that although this kind of hacking is not new, the rate of it growing has been increasing over the past few years. For this reason, website owners must learn how to best guard their websites against these types of attacks. Below are nine tips to keep you and your website safe on the Internet today.
– Keep applications up to date with the latest security fixes and patches. Many security flaws are found in relatively unknown applications. In some cases, website owners can unknowingly provide a vulnerable application with the incorrect or bad installation of scripts. While there are many website vulnerabilities that can be exploited to bring down a server or cause a denial of service, some of the most common ones include SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and file download vulnerabilities. When site owners do not make sure their applications are secure, they are putting themselves and their company at risk of attacks.
– Utilize HTTP instead of URL for web applications. Although URL URLs have been around for ages, they do not provide the protection or security schemes needed for web applications. The primary reason for this is because web applications can typically be distributed without being secured using Transfer Encoding or Secure Socket Layer (SSL). SSL is the most widely used security practices for web applications in the world and is required for all secure transaction of information between a client and a server. Although most companies do make certain they implement SSL on their web servers, those are usually only for internal or third-party transactions.
– Create multiple factor authentication to provide enhanced security solutions. Using two or more factor authentication provides the added protection and security needed for your web application. This method involves two factors for authentication that require the user to supply a specific piece of information in order to access the information. The first factor is a session cookie, which authenticates the session and ensures the user has legitimately logged onto the website. The second factor is an external key, which is also stored on the user’s computer and used when the user logs onto the website. Using two-factor authentication makes it impossible for anyone to log into your website without having a valid user.
– Prevent unauthorized access from outside sources by implementing a web application firewall. A web application firewall is a simple mechanism that protects your web application by blocking access from untrusted sources. There are many ways an attacker can get into your web application. The most common method is via cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. Cross-site scripting is a scripting technique that can be executed by someone other than the developer or site owner of the website. The major risk of XSS attacks are that if a person performing an attack on your system knows how to trigger the right HTML code, he or she can easily escape from your site and take down your entire network.
– Implement a security solution that limits the number of allowed visitors to a single file. Preventing untrusted content from being uploaded prevents attackers from leaking information on your services or products. It’s best to keep track of file sizes and limits to prevent uploads of malicious scripts and data that could harm your customers or clients. Using an FTP security solution that limits the number of allowed files keeps your information secure while still allowing the transfer of files and information that are needed by your customers.
– Use traffic and access control to limit user flow and malicious scripts. You can implement both deny/ban and restrict access control using a WAF. A deny-ban policy prohibits a certain type of traffic from entering a site, while restrict-a-ban is similar but more detailed, limiting access based on authorization. A basic deny-ban policy simply prohibits all traffic to the web server, preventing untrusted script and data from being able to make their way into the site. A restrict-a-ban policy is more involved, placing a more detailed restrictions on the types of information that can and cannot be accessed.
To further improve your security and ensure that you provide quality customer service, you should consider utilising advanced API security. Using API controls such as HTTP Authentication with Digest authentication and SSL creates a stronger firewall as well as providing improved quality of service for your customers. For more details on securing your API business, contact a managed API security provider today.