Websites are unfortunately prone to security risks, and by extension, any network a web server is connected. Web server by default opens a window between the network and the world. Website security is any action or application taken to ensure that the website/web server information/data isn’t exposed to cyber criminals to be exploited in any way. Web Application Security is a branch of information security that deals especially with the security of websites, web application, and web services. At a high level, web application security draws on the principles of application security and applies them specifically to internet and web systems. 

Website Security protects against;

There are many different types of cyber-crime, but we would focus on the four most common types of cybercrime:

 Denial-of-Service Attacks:

A denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. Another way of understanding DDoS is seeing it as attacks in cloud computing environment that are growing due to the essential characteristics of cloud computing. Although the means to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally consists of the concerted efforts to prevent an Internet site or service from functioning efficiently or at all, temporarily or indefinitely. DoS attacks often use bots (or a botnet) to carry out the attack.

 Session hijacking:

Some cybercriminals can take over a user’s session and force them to take unwanted actions on a site. This is linked to an identity thief, where a cybercriminal impersonates a victim and manipulate his personal properties i.e Initiating a bank transfer, making online purchases, and requesting for credit etc.

 Phishing:

Phishing isn’t restricted to only emails. Some attacks take the form of web pages that look legitimate but are designed to trick the user into providing sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as something trustworthy, like a bank.

 SEO Spam:

SEO Spam also known as spamdexing, is the attempt to manipulate search indexes so that they include content they otherwise wouldn’t. Content Spamming involves manipulating the content on web pages in ways that are inconsistent with the guidelines of search engines. Content spamdexing can include tactics such as meta tag stuffing, the use of invisible text on web pages, gateway or doorway pages, duplication of copyrighted content from high-ranking web sites and more. Link Spamming refers to the use of improper links to or from web pages in an attempt to artificially elevate the reputation of a web page or site by a search engine. Link spamdexing can include activities such as the use of purchased links or link-generating software tools, link farms, hidden links on pages, page hijacking, cookie stuffing, and more.

 Hacking:

Hacking is when someone gains unauthorized access to any technological device to either collect personal/private data or manipulate the device system. A Hacker is an unauthorized user trying to gain access to websites, web servers or web services to obtain personal/private data to carry out malicious activities or manipulate the technological devices to perform certain disruptive actions. How do you know if you’ve been hacked?

1. Your anti-virus program triggers an alert that your system has been infected, especially if it says that it was unable to remove the virus
2. Your browser is taking you to unwanted websites and you cannot close them.
3. Your password no longer works when you try to login into your online accounts.
4. Your friends and workers are receiving odd messages from you that you know you never sent.

Why do I need website security?

1. Hosting providers protect the web server your website is on, not the website itself.

2. It’s cheaper than a cyber attack.

3. You will protect your reputation and retain visitors, and/or customers.

4. Malware and cyber attacks can be hard to spot. Cyber criminals specialize in malware that can discretely enter a site and stay hidden, so your website might be infected and you may not realize it. Some sneaky malware attacks include back-doors, a type of malware that allows cyber criminals to access a site without the owner’s knowledge and can gain admin access into the website.

How can I secure my website?

An SSL Certificate:

SSL certificates protect the data collected by your website, like emails and credit card numbers, as it is transferred from your site to a server. This is a basic website security measure, but it’s so important that popular browsers and search engines are now labeling sites without SSL as “insecure,” which could make visitors suspicious of your site. Depending on your site, you may be able to get an SSL certificate for free. SSL only protects data in transit.  Fortunately, Broaddrive offers free Basic SSL for every hosting plan. You can upgrade to advanced SSL certificates when you so wish. Click here to purchase a hosting plan and enjoy free SSL for your website.

A web application firewall (WAF):

A WAF stops automated attacks that commonly target small or lesser-known websites. These attacks are carried out by malicious bots that automatically look for vulnerabilities they can exploit or cause DDoS Attacks that slow or crash your website.

 Software updates:

Websites hosted on a content management system (CMS) are at a higher risk of compromise due to vulnerabilities and security issues often found in third-party plugins and applications. These can be prevented by installing updates to plugins and core software in a timely manner.