Did you know?
Almost 30,000 websites are hacked every day![i]
Cyberattacks and security breaches are on the rise. In fact, there has been a significant uptick in cybercrime over the last few months. According to Metisware, there’s been a 30% increase in hacks since November 2021.[ii]
In fact, no website is immune to cyberattacks. Even the most secure websites can become a victim of security breaches and lose sensitive data.
Therefore, taking the right website security measures is crucial to keep cyber criminals and hackers from accessing sensitive information. Without a proactive web security strategy in place, businesses risk the spread and escalation of cyberattacks, security breaches, and attacks on networks, and IT infrastructure.
And even though every website on the internet is vulnerable to cyber threats, there’s still a lot you can do to secure your website against these attacks.
Let’s take a closer look at the most common types of cyberattacks in the online world and how you can keep your website secure.
What Are the Different Types of Website Security Threats?
Ever clicked a malicious email attachment or perhaps seen an antivirus alert pop up on your screen? If so, you’ve had a close call with malware.
Malware is nothing but different types of harmful software, like ransomware and viruses. Once your system is infected with malware, it can cause all sorts of problems – from monitoring your keystrokes and actions to silently sending all sorts of confidential information to the attacker’s systems.
Hackers love malware to infect the user’s computer – and, consequently, the organizations he/she works with.
An SQL Injection attack is yet another popular cyberattack wherein the attacker uses a URL parameter to exploit your database to gain access to your website.
If you are using a standard Transact SQL, you are at a high risk of falling prey to an SQL Injection attack. Because all it takes to gain access to your data and information is typing a rogue code into your query.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
In a Precise Security study, it was found that the XSS attack makes up around 40% of all attacks.[iii] And even though it is one of the most frequently used cyberattacks, most of these attacks are executed by amateur attackers and aren’t often sophisticated enough.
In this type of attack, the users of the website are attacked instead of the website itself. The attacker inserts a line of code into a vulnerable site, which, then the user of the site executes unknowingly.
This attack compromises users’ accounts, activating Trojan horses, or often modifies the site’s content to persuade the user to give out private information.
Fuzzing (or Fuzz Testing)
Fuzz testing is a black box testing technique that developers use to find coding errors and security loopholes in networks, operating systems, or software. However, it is also quite common among attackers to find vulnerabilities in a website or a server.
In Fuzzing, a large amount of random data is added to an application in order to crash it. Then, a Fuzzer software tool is used to determine the weak spots and loopholes that can be further exploited by the attacker.
Phishing is another attack that doesn’t directly attack websites. But it still has the potential to compromise your application’s integrity. This is because phishing is the most common social engineering cybercrime, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report.
Email is the standard tool used for phishing attacks. The attackers usually disguise themselves and convince victims to make a transaction or share crucial information. Phishing attacks can be as outlandish as the 419 scams. These attacks are very sophisticated as they use spoofed email ids, seemingly authentic sites, and persuasive language.
Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)
The DDoS attack doesn’t directly breach the security of the website but temporarily shuts down the site for its users. In simple terms, the attacker floods the website with more traffic than it could handle. Thus, as a result, makes it difficult for the site to respond to the requests of the users. The attack aims to overwhelm the website’s server.
Protecting your site against a DDoS attack is generally multi-faceted.
Learn how you can protect your website against DDoS attacks.
How to Protect Your Website Against These Attacks?
Now that we have discussed the most frequent types of website attacks, let’s learn how you can protect your website against these attacks.
Keep Your Website Up-to-Date
Keeping your website up-to-date is the first step. An outdated website is the number one cause of cyberattacks. A website running on old tech has a lot of loopholes and unpatched security holes. And these weak spots allow attackers to manipulate your website’s vulnerabilities and gain access to your server and database.
Use a firewall
Firewall is the first line of defense in a cyber attack. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends that every business should install a firewall to add a barrier between their sensitive information and attackers.
Besides standard external firewalls, several businesses now install internal firewalls as well to get additional protection against cyberattacks. It’s also crucial for employees working from home to set up a firewall on their home network.
Firewalls don’t always solve the problem. If an attacker manages to break the firewall barrier, your data is at risk.
Encrypting your data will ensure your data is unreadable to the attacker. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to use an encryption program to protect computer drives, files, and even email messages against cyberattacks and security breaches.
Add HTTPS and an SSL Certificate
To protect your website from all types of attacks, you need a secure URL. HTTPS and SSL are site protocols that ensure your website is secure enough for your users to send their private information.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a protocol that provides security over the internet. It prevents interruptions and interceptions when the content is in transit.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is another protocol that encrypts information and transfers it securely between the website and the database. It prevents attackers from reading or modifying information when it is in transit.
Use a Secure Web Host
A secure web host provides security for its physical servers at the most basic level. Beyond that, you can also expect to get security against cyberattacks such as DDoS. A vast majority of secure web hosts offer server security features that better protect your website data that’s uploaded.
Check these items when choosing a web host –
- Does the web host offer a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)?
- Does it provide file backup services?
- Does it use a Rootkit Scanner?
- Do they stay up to date with security updates?
Scan Your Website for Any Vulnerabilities
It’s crucial to conduct web security audits regularly to scan your website for any vulnerabilities and loopholes. Not only should website security scans be performed after you add new components to your site but also on a monthly basis or at least quarterly. You can choose from a range of tools available on the internet to measure how secure your website is.
You can even have a professional conduct security audits to get an in-depth report of all the vulnerabilities on your website as well as the possible solutions for the same.
Want to learn more about website security? We have curated an eGuide on Website Security 101 to help you understand everything about website security. Here’s what this eGuide entails.
- What is website security?
- Common website security threats and vulnerabilities.
- Impacts of website attacks on businesses
- How to ensure your website security?
- Benefits of investing in website security
The Bottom Line
Website security is crucial to protect your business as well as customers’ data from attackers.
However, even though website security won’t guarantee that your website is 100% secure from cyberattacks, it will significantly reduce the threat and make it difficult for attackers to gain access to your website.
Need Help with Your Website Security? Talk to Us!
If you’re concerned about your website’s security, our team of experts can help strengthen its security and protect your data from hackers. To know more about our services, drop us a line at [email protected], and we’ll take it from there.
[i] Zippia: 30 Worrisome Cybersecurity Statistics : Data, Trends And More
[ii] Metisware: Cyber-Attacks, You Are Not Immune
[iii] Precise Security: Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Makes Nearly 40% of All Cyber Attacks in 2019
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