Just how secure is your website? A recent study conducted by Google found there has been a 32% rise in the number of hacked websites, and they believe that this number will only increase in the years ahead – as hackers methods become more sophisticated.
Here are six of the most common hacking methods and the best ways your website can be pro-active and counteract these attacks.
Strong and Unique Passwords
Hackers can use a variety of methods to determine a user’s password. These can range from basic guessing techniques, to using common variations of popular passwords. Whichever is used there is no doubt compromised account passwords are a major issue.
It is important for you to create a strong password (a combination of capital letters, numbers etc.) whilst making it unique to the site, don’t use the same password across multiple sites. You can also use additional security tools like two-factor authentication for added strength.
Missing Security & Software Updates
If your website is running with old/out of date software that requires a patch or updated could leave you vulnerable to an attack. It is vital that you that all the web server software, CMS, plugins, and other essential software that is used by website is set to update automatically – if this isn’t possible then make manual checks regularly.
Insecure Plugins & Themes Running On Your Site
We have already touched on making sure that all software including plugins and themes are fully updated – but it is also important to remove themes or plugins that are no longer maintained by their developers.
It is also important to be wary of any free plugins or themes which may be downloaded through unfamiliar websites, as it has become a more common tactic for hackers to add malicious code to free versions of paid plugins or themes.
Social Engineering Attacks
Very similar to phishing attacks, social engineering attacks rely on the user thinking they are providing vital information to a webmaster or account manager. Before handing out any personal or website information always check email addresses match-up with previous correspondence – never give details to anybody you are unfamiliar with.
Security Policy Weaknesses
Having bad security policies on your website can have a major impact, these can include not enabling HTTPS on your site, allowing users to create weak passwords and handing admin access out too freely.
It is always best practice to ensure the highest security controls configured correctly, that user access and privileges are properly managed, that logs are checked, and that encryption is used.
Any data that isn’t correctly uploaded or is not managed properly can easily become part of a leak. One of the most common methods to obtain this information is called “dorking” which uses search engines to locate compromised data. Always remember that employees only have access to the data they need to use and that any URLs you do not wish to be part of the search engines are removed in the correct way.
Website security is now more important than ever – don’t let your website be attacked by neglecting these easy to follow steps.