Website security is indispensable in today’s ever-increasing technology landscape. If proactive and pre-emptive website security is not put in place, then the business is pre-disposed to a wide range of security risks.
Do you want to stay one step ahead of the attackers? Here are the tips to secure your website.
10 Website Security Tips to Protect Your Business
Strong Password Policy
Passwords are like locks; the stronger they are, the harder it is to breach web security and gain access to confidential information. In fact, 4 out of 5 data breaches are caused by weak and stolen passwords according to the World Economic Forum. So, a strong password policy must be enforced for effective website protection.
- All default and generic passwords must be changed
- Inclusion of upper-case letters, numbers and special characters must be mandated
- A minimum length of passwords must be set 8-10 characters
- Password expiry can be included, especially for banking and financial services related websites. For instance, users can be mandated to change their password every 90 days
- Multi-factor authentication should be enforced for added security
Limited Login Attempts
Attempts are sometimes made by malicious actors to break into websites by guessing passwords (plenty of tools are available for the same). When the login attempts are unlimited, they can make incessant attempts to breach the website. The number of logins from the same IP address must be restricted to 3-5 attempts, after which their IP addresses must be blocked for a temporary duration, say – 10 minutes, an hour, a day, or even longer. Even if hackers were to use different IP addresses, it will be a time-consuming process for them.
Strengthened Access Controls
- The principle of least privilege must be followed for heightened website security
- All users do not need access to everything on the website. Different levels of access for different categories of users must be practiced
- Admin pages must be hidden from search engines to prevent being indexed
- Admin pages must be secured with strong and unique usernames and passwords
- Accounts and login credentials of users, who no longer need website access, must be deactivated, and removed. Or else, increases the chances of weak spots to the attacker
- Permission to upload files onto the website must be granted cautiously. The file type, size, extension, etc. must be clearly defined in the policies and scanning must be done to detect malware
Critical patches are contained in the updates. Outdated software, third-party components, web security solutions, etc. are dangerous as the risk of a security breach is heightened by them. If any of the software/ components do not have regular updates from the developer, it must be removed from the website.
Plug-ins are considered useful by developers to extend functionalities to the website with ease. Given that many plug-ins are free, they are chosen and used without due diligence. The plug-ins must be chosen after detailed research to ensure they are of good quality, are regularly updated, and from a reliable source.
Focus on Server Security
Low price servers from cheap hosting service providers may seem inviting. However, several websites are hosted by such service providers in shared hosting. Even if one of the websites is hacked, all others hosted on it are at a high risk of being hacked. A highly secure and up-to-date hosting service must be chosen.
Installation of SSL
A secure HTTP connection between the host (server/firewall) and client (browser) is ensured by SSL (Secure Socket Layer). All communication and data exchange between the host and the client is encrypted when SSL is installed.
Despite best efforts, there is a possibility that the website may be attacked. Using backups that are stored on a secure server is an effective way for the business to quickly recuperate after a security incident.
Continuous Security Scanning
With the increasing dynamism and complexity of websites and the ever-evolving threat landscape, proactive identification of vulnerabilities and misconfigurations is a must. Continuous security scanning (daily and on-demand) must be done using an intelligent, automated website security checker/ scanning tool to gain greater visibility and take corrective action.
A Managed, Intelligent and Comprehensive WAF
Such a WAF (Web Application Firewall) will enable continuous inspection of the web traffic and filtering out of malicious requests and bad actors. Through the virtual patching of identified vulnerabilities by intelligent WAFs, bad actors can be prevented from snooping around for and leveraging vulnerabilities, until fixed. When WAF is part of a managed website security solution, the policies are customized and tuned regularly for heightened security.
Unhindered availability of the website, protection of the voluminous customer and business data, better website performance, and business continuity itself is ensured by effective website security. Above and beyond these tips, you can also empower your businesses with intelligent and managed web security solutions like AppTrana from Indusface to always stay ahead of the attackers and pre-empt security risks.