Increasing Your Website Security: Protecting Your Online Presence
As the internet becomes an increasingly integral part of our daily lives, it is crucial to ensure that your website is secure and protected from potential threats. Cyberattacks are on the rise, and it is more important than ever to take the necessary steps to keep your website and your customer’s information safe. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to increase your website’s security and protect your online presence.
Understanding the Threats to Your Website
Before we dive into the measures you can take to increase your website’s security, it is important to understand the various threats that exist. Cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated in their methods, and it is crucial to stay informed about the latest threats and vulnerabilities. Some of the most common types of cyberattacks include:
- SQL Injection: This is a type of attack where the attacker injects malicious code into your website’s database, allowing them to steal sensitive information such as passwords and customer data.
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): This type of attack involves injecting malicious code into your website that is executed by unsuspecting visitors. This can result in the theft of sensitive information, such as login credentials, or the installation of malware on the visitor’s device.
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): This type of attack involves overwhelming your website with traffic, causing it to become unavailable to users. This can result in lost revenue, decreased brand reputation, and a significant amount of stress and frustration.
The Importance of Keeping Your Software Up-to-Date
One of the most effective ways to protect your website from potential threats is to keep all of your software up-to-date. This includes your website’s operating system, server software, and all of the applications and plugins you use. Software developers release updates and patches to address vulnerabilities and fix bugs, and it is crucial to install these updates as soon as they become available.
Not only will keeping your software up-to-date protect your website from potential threats, but it will also improve its performance and provide you with the latest features and functionality. Regular software updates are a simple, yet effective, way to protect your website and your online presence.
- Implementing Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
Another important measure you can take to increase your website’s security is to implement strong passwords and two-factor authentication. Passwords are the first line of defense against cybercriminals, and it is crucial to ensure that your passwords are secure and difficult to guess. A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection by requiring users to provide a second form of identification, such as a code sent to their phone, before being able to access their accounts. This makes it much more difficult for cybercriminals to gain access to your website and steal sensitive information.
- Using an SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that encrypts the data transmitted between your website and its visitors. This makes it much more difficult for cybercriminals to intercept and steal sensitive information, such as login credentials and payment information.
Having an SSL certificate also provides an added level of trust and credibility to your website, as it shows visitors that you are committed to protecting their information. An SSL certificate is an important investment in the security and protection of your website, and it is well worth the cost.
- Regular Backups and Disaster Recovery Planning
In the event of a cyberattack or other security breach, it is important to have a solid plan in place for disaster recovery. This includes regular backups of your website’s data, as well as a plan for restoring your website in the event of a security breach. Regular backups ensure that you have a copy of your website’s data that can be used to restore your website, while disaster recovery planning ensures that you have a step-by-step plan in place to respond to a security breach.
In addition to regular backups, it is also important to store your backups in a secure location, such as an offsite server or a cloud-based storage service. This helps to protect your data from potential threats, and ensures that you have access to your backups in the event of a disaster.
Open source tools to your rescue
Two-factor authentication: is a standard thing to list here, so I’ll mention it once and not again.
Zxcvbn Password Strength Estimator: It’s an open-source password strength estimator that can help your clients make better decisions. More in-depth article here
Recon Script: There are many options for this, and follow me as I’ll have a more in-depth article coming soon!
Bug Bounty Program: A great tool that will find vulnerabilities for you!
Most applications have a deployment pipeline. This can be a great place to implement monitoring of code changes. For example, if changes are made to a certain folder,
library/security/auth then curl to a Slack webhook to alert you that changes were made to that folder.
This will remove the reliance on humans to report that they are making changes to any sensitive code. You will also be able to check for certain keywords. If it’s a React project, whenever dangerouslySetInnerHTML is used, you can, for example, notify yourself. It will be specific to your application, but this can help catch vulnerabilities as soon as they are coded.
XSSHunter is a great tool for web pen testing. If you have a red team, they will get a lot of benefits from this. Due to them shutting down the service, it can be incredibly helpful to your red team to set this up for them. Below I have an article on fast setup
There are a lot of tools that will allow you to do this. If you want to see how quickly a token or secret is picked up when published on Github, look at this tool https://canarytokens.org/generate It will show how when you commit this to Github it will be immediately attempted.