Did you use web-based software or plugin? Suppose you answered ‘yes‘ to both of those questions. In that case, it is more important than ever to understand the need for site security and implement an effective security strategy to protect your data from hackers and cybercriminals.
Read more about the principles of Website Security, why they are essential, and how you can implement them in your business!
Table of Contents
Key Principles of Website Security
Privacy relates to the information confidentiality that only the sender or receiver is able to access the message. No third party can intervene and read the message as it is highly encrypted with modern algorithms.
Strong Validation means a confirmation of business existence. The documents or original messages are verified carefully. In the absence of validation, a third party can mimic the actual sender and the receiver innocently falls victim to such a trap. Therefore, validation is a crucial part of any security system.
Reliability in security means the message once sent to the intended receiver is not modified and its integrity is preserved. If a message during transit is altered without the knowledge of a sender and receiver party then, it can put security in danger.
Non-repudiation creates transparency between the sender and the receiver. However, once the message is sent, the sender cannot deny not sending that message. In this process, a transaction is completed without any non-repudiation.
Access Control specifies what information a specific person or group should access. It keeps outsiders away from that information and saves it from alteration or misuse of records. Access Control mentions role and rule management.
Accessibility refers to the information available to both sender and receiver. If a hacker accesses the information then resources will not be available to the receiver. Suppose, a hacker tries the maximum password to log in to your account and results in a block of account. Thus, a legitimate user cannot access that account.
Challenges when securing a website
Website security is a challenge for many site owners especially, those who own more than one website. There are a few challenges that a site owner faces like lack of proper knowledge, prevention of attack, software updates, passwords, and many other challenges. In the image below, a few challenges are shown.
We have summed up other challenges as follows:
Lack of Knowledge
Many site owners have little knowledge about how to secure a website. They do not have enough knowhow about security tools and their installation process. Moreover, if any security solution comes their way, they are not sure if it works or not.
Attack prevention is a big challenge for site holders. Site owners find it difficult to check for rising vulnerabilities that can influence their sites. Blocking bots, preventing DDoS attacks, firewall prevention for attacks, and automation of protection are a few challenges that have become hurdles for site holders.
Plug-in vulnerabilities are the main concern for site owners. WordPress plug-in vulnerabilities are the best example. Statistics show that 90% of WP vulnerabilities are related to its plug-ins. WordPress is an open platform where any developer can make and add plugins that cause security issues. Here, the knowledge of developers is at the centre and it is difficult to say which plug-in is written poorly.
Outdated software is an easy target of any hackers and they can easily exploit them. It is necessary to update software timely as it boosts the strength of software with new patches. The main issue is updating third-party software. How to keep them updated against rising malicious activities.
Passwords are a sensitive aspect of any website login page where users share their personal details. Most security professionals advise using a unique password and changing it frequently. However, it makes it difficult to remember each password. Password management tools are there that take care of passwords and generate unique passwords whenever required.
Mistakes are part of any human life and without realizing that the mistake could cause the loss of millions of dollars. Around 20% of data breaches are caused due to human errors or negligence. Such errors include sending sensitive details via email, installation of malware or malicious software or app, and sharing details on phishing pages. People should be aware while dealing with the internet and do not blindly respond to emails or any fake webpage.
The Top Practices for Securing a Website
A secure website that protects your most sensitive data and offers users the highest level of protection is an essential asset to any business. While there are several site security practices you can use, here are the five you should follow if you are looking to secure a website.
One of the most necessary features of a secure website is end-to-end encryption. It prevents data from intercepting and storing in transit, as the sender and recipient can only decrypt it. Whenever possible, always use end-to-end encryption when processing sensitive information such as passwords or banking credentials.
Monitor Data Sharing
Ensure that you are monitoring who has access to the information you share. Hackers typically steal user credentials, so make sure that you know who might be logging in to your account. Next, review the permissions for any accounts with which your system is integrated.
If an account does not need access, remove it from integration, as it can put your data at risk. Finally, establish a backup and recovery plan to ensure that all of your data is recoverable in case something happens to your data centre or systems fail.
Use SSL Certificate
To secure your website, SSL security is necessary nowadays. Therefore, it is important to buy an SSL certificate. If you wonder which SSL should you purchase? The answer is a low-priced or cheap SSL certificate can provide the necessary assurance for your organization’s visitors, customers, and other stakeholders. It will also improve user trust, ranking your website on search engine results pages (SERPS).
In addition to securing websites from nefarious actors, it is important to perform regular security audits to check for vulnerabilities that need to be patched.
Run a Penetration Test
A penetration test is not just for big companies. It is for anyone who uses a computer to share sensitive data with other people. The test will find problems with how your system protects against hacking, spyware, and malicious programs that could expose confidential information about you, your customers, or your employees.
Personal Device Security
Many organizations forget to secure personal devices. Hackers can access loopholes in a website and pose a threat to personal devices. They can steal FTP login and inject malware. Personal computers play a role in entering into an organization’s system. Professionals can install antivirus on their devices. Antivirus alerts users while downloading malicious apps or software. Use a firewall that prevents malicious traffic from entering a network.
Change of Default Configuration Settings
It is wise to change the default configuration settings of security. Hackers have an ideal default setting, which can be easily exploited. Sometimes default settings do not provide enough security and therefore, it is necessary to have customized settings that can reduce the chances of malicious attacks. A few settings should be changed regarding access control, file permission, visibility of particular information, and comments.
Whether you are the CTO of a start-up or a Fortune 500 company CEO, securing your online assets is not just a nice to have. Still, it is an absolute requirement for your employees and customers to be able to use the website securely. In this case, it is recommended to buy SSL certificates from established brand providers. There are steps that all administrators need to take to protect their organizations and customers from malware.