Did you know your website is not immune to cyber threats? Learn how to avoid them.
Cyber criminals often attack websites. Whether they are motivated by wanting to spread malware, damage your reputation, steal valuable data, or for any other reason, you must take the necessary steps to ensure your safety.
Today we're going to walk you through the basics of how to do it and familiarize you with the most notable cyber threats to your website:
The interaction between hackers and developers is similar to a fight between cats and mice. In general, one group is always two steps ahead of the other as a never-ending auditing process is used to exploit security vulnerabilities. Although developers will try to release a security patch as soon as possible once they know of a potential exploit, it can take time. In some cases, hackers can do a fair share of the damage in the meantime.
Hence, webmasters need to take a proactive approach to securing their websites. For starters, one of the most important things is to keep your CMS up to date. Then it is good to secure the so-called front door, the main login form of your website, with a secure and fail-safe password. Otherwise, your website is a duck for targeted brute force attacks, in which a hacker tries to get through automatically. If your storage needs help, an industry standard password manager like NordPass can be a real lifesaver.
Finally, make sure to take regular backups so that your website can be reverted to an earlier working state if necessary. If you suspect that malware is present, don't hesitate to run a virus scan.
Suppose hackers cannot break through the front door with brute force. If so, they may resort to cunning and manipulative tactics, the end result of which will convince you or otherwise induce you to divulge your password.
This tactic falls under the social engineering category. For example, a fraudster could create a fake Facebook profile and impersonate one of your employees, supervisors, or other system administrators. In a false sense of urgency, you may be pressured to give them your password or give their account administrative privileges.
The solution is to verify who you are dealing with by contacting the same person through a different communication channel like email, phone, or in person. It is important that you instruct anyone who may modify your website in any way to do the same when you face a similar situation.
Even though you have created a strong password, your efforts will be useless if the device you are accessing the website from is infected with a keylogger. This is a dangerous form of malware that records your keystrokes and sends them back to the attacker. Even in its crudest form, the analysis can show the exact order of all the buttons you pressed in a given amount of time.
Do not take this matter lightly and make sure that an antivirus scanner is installed on every device, whether it is a tablet, smartphone or PC. While none of them can offer 100% protection, this way you are reasonably safe from all types of malware, including Trojans, which can give the attacker complete control over your operating system.
How secure is the network you use to connect to your website from administrative or editorial tasks? This plays an important role in making sure that whatever you upload achieves its intended destination, rather than being intercepted by potential snoops. If you are not exercising due caution when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, now is a good time to start.
A great way to have peace of mind is to use a VPN. Essentially, this creates an encrypted tunnel that is a secure way to exchange information with the destination server without anyone being able to read it on the way there. For security reasons, if you work from home, make sure you have changed your router's default password and that the firmware is up to date.
Vandalism and data destruction
Different groups of hackers can have different motives to break your website's defenses. Some may be looking for personal information that you store on the server, while others may try to deface or destroy it, either to tarnish your public image, to spread political or religious propaganda, or to accomplish other malicious purposes.
To fix the damage, make sure you have an up-to-date backup to get your website back to its original state in as little time as possible. Ideally, however, it is best to prevent any intrusion from occurring in the first place. Do you remember what we said about using a password manager in conjunction with a strong password? Put it into practice. At some point, you'll be glad you did.
Your website is exposed to a wide variety of cyber threats every day. By the time you read this post, you should have a clear idea of how to go about it and how to protect it from them.