For too many website and business owners, website security doesn’t become a priority until it’s too late. Oftentimes, a breach occurs and as a result, a Google penalty that will destroy your Google rank and make it nearly impossible to gain the ground back for many years. The way to handle website security issues should be to take the proactive and defensive stance. Not just reactive. That being said, here are some common issues in website security in the modern era.
Exposure of Sensitive Information on the WebWhen it comes to website security, the exposure of sensitive information is one of the worst mistakes you can make. This is why it is of the utmost importance that you encrypt any and ALL sensitive information. Both on site, in transit, and wherever else it is stored. In some ways, this should go without saying, but both session ID’s and any and all sensitive data should not be traveling in site URLs and cookies. It’s never a good idea and it always leads to disaster.
Adding Components with Known VulnerabilitiesIf you don’t have experience in website development and care about the security of your site, hire an expert to do your website design and development. It’s not worth the time for you to fish your way around in a sea you aren’t familiar with and download or install a plugin or other third party component that will give someone else access to administrative privileges on your site in the coming months or years. In fact, you should always limit the use of plugins whenever possible so that your site remains more secure over time.
Server SecurityThe most secure server on the planet isn’t running because it’s always off. Of course, we can’t do much with that, so the next best thing is a bare-bones server with minimal open ports. And the fewer services on each port, the better it gets. Complex sites require more powerful and more flexible applications and this means more points of entry to watch, which means security is stretched thinner and thinner and thus isn’t as effective. Complex sites are naturally much more vulnerable to security threats and issues. So what can we do about it? If you system has been correctly configured and you’re good and punctual about security checks, patches and updates, you’ll lower your risk of having security issues.
Have a Website Defense StrategyThere are two good ways to go about having good website security. On one hand you could take the time to assign all of the resources needed to maintain constant alert to new security threats. You would need to ensure that all updates and patches are done at once and on time, as well as making certain that all of your existing applications are reviewed for correct security, ensuring that only the programmers that are informed in preventive security practices do work on your site. In addition, the work needs to be checked carefully by security professionals. You would also have to maintain a tight firewall, run IPS/IDS and have a very reliable antivirus software that could be trusted.
The other option is to use a web scanning solution of sorts to test your applications, current equipment and the website code itself to see if any known vulnerabilities exist. While firewalls, IPS/IDS and antivirus software are all very worthwhile and are definitely good security measures to take when it comes to preventing threats, it is far more effective to repair actual risks than it is to leave them in place while building higher and higher walls against them. Scanning for network and website vulnerabilities is one of the best preventive security measures there is when it comes to cyber threats and issues.