A Comprehensive Guide to Protecting Your Website from Cyber Threats in 2022

January 20, 2022

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According to Reed Smith, the international law firm, online crime increased by 400% in 2020 due to the pandemic. To cope with the rising number of cyberattacks, Gartner Insights projects that companies will spend over $170 billion by 2022. 


Poor security measures can have a number of adverse financial effects on a company. RiskIQ Research found that big companies lose $25 every minute as a result of cybercrime. 


If you are the tech head of a company, one of your top priorities will be to protect your website from all online attacks. And in this article, you will learn the following insights:


  • The most common weaknesses that organizations fail to deal with;
  • How to protect your website from cyber threats;
  • The best practices which can help reduce the risk of being breached by hackers.


Most common website weaknesses that companies fail to deal with


The first step to protect your website from online threats is to be aware of these threats. With that in mind, here are some of the most common website weaknesses that organizations struggle to deal with.

SQL injection 


SQL injections are one of the most frequent and threatening weaknesses that companies are vulnerable to. In this kind of attack, the hacker can alter backend statements from the SQL database by altering the user-supplied data. The back end of the database can also be easily exposed by an injection. 


An attacker gains the ability to insert malicious content into the vulnerable fields of the SQL table. And after breaking in, all the sensitive data such as usernames and passwords can be read through the database. Any URLs interacting with the database are also under threat and can be affected if the hacker has completed the injection.

Cross-site scripting (XSS) 


XSS attacks allow the hacker to execute malicious scripts on the user’s browser. The XSS vulnerabilities embedded in a page are mainly exploited by the attacker. These problems come to the forefront when the application takes untrusted data and sends it to the web browser without proper validation.  


Through an XSS attack, the hacker is able to run malware on the victim’s machines, and can easily steal session cookies. They are also able to redirect the user to unwanted or malicious websites as well.

Security misconfiguration


Failure to regularly update the security configuration can open up the system to a host of cyberattacks. The security configuration must be properly carried out for the application, framework, database, and web & database servers. These problems can often result in the compromise of the entire system if they are not managed. The attacker gains information about the application and is able to execute more attacks, which can restrict your own access to the important files.

Failure to restrict URL access


Before rendering links, websites check the URL access rights. Every time pages are accessed, applications need to perform a similar control check. By accessing the privilege pages, an attacker can easily gain access to the website, invoke the related functions, and retrieve confidential information related to the website as well. This usually happens due to a lack of access controls in the case of URLs.

Attacks via obsolete CMS, plugins, and scripts


Content Management Systems (CMS) allows you to create and upload material on their sites. Although these systems take precautions against online threats, their services aren’t enough. The plugins that you use to enhance your website may also be the way in for attackers if they are not updated with the latest security measures.


There may be flaws in the CMS code that hackers can exploit, and gain access to the website. To protect website from hackers, it is important that you download and install the latest security patch for the CMS. This will ensure that you have the highest level of security to protect yourself against cyber threats.

Top 5 ways to protect your website from cyber attacks


After learning about the most common weaknesses that companies deal with on a daily basis, let’s learn about the 5 best ways to protect yourself from these attacks. When you implement these steps, you can be sure that you are ahead of the majority in terms of website security.

Use strong passwords and educate your employees


Having passwords that are difficult to guess is the first step to protect website. Your passwords should:


  • Have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters. 
  • Have at least one or more numbers. 
  • Consist of at least one or more special characters. 
  • Not be very basic, such as ‘password’, or your date of birth. 


This is especially important for the backend, such as the CMS administrators. You should try to make the password as difficult to guess as possible. Moreover, train your employees about cyber security as soon as possible. 


Start by telling them that they should set passwords by following the restrictions given above. When everyone in the team is aware of the online security threats, they can take the right steps to keep themselves and the company safe as well.

Utilize Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)


Multi-factor authentication allows the system to ensure that there is no identity theft involved. Only the authorized people will have the credentials to log in to the website and access the important data. Multi-factor authentication is achieved by sending OTPs to a phone number or email, through authentication codes or through biometrics such as fingerprints. So, think of MFA as website penetration testing which prevents unwanted people from breaking in.

Automate your data backups


Data backups are key to protecting your valuable information from ransomware. Even if a hacker steals your data and asks for a fee in exchange, you can rest easy knowing that you have regular backups with you. To make the process easier, consider automating the process on a regular basis so that there is little to no hassle involved on your end.

Get an SSL certificate for your website


Data backups are key to protecting your valuable information from ransomware. Even if a hacker steals your data and asks for a fee in exchange, you can rest easy knowing that you have regular backups with you. To make the process easier, consider automating the process on a regular basis so that there is little to no hassle involved on your end.

Find the right professionals to watch over your website’s security


Online security can be quite difficult to maintain due to the presence of so many threats. You’ll want to hire security engineers for your website if you want an expert to take a look at it. When you hire a professional to take care of the security of your website, the first course of action is to scan website for vulnerabilities. 


Of course, they will follow the general practices to ensure that the basics of securing the website are covered. Based on their findings, they will then implement measures that may be unique to your situation.

Conclusion


The number of devices connected to the Internet has never been higher. So, the number of potential targets for attackers is at an all-time high as well. The effects of cyber attacks can take years to recover from if the company does not take the right steps. 


As a result, the need to implement the right security measures to protect your website has never been so critical. We have discussed the most common flaws that are exploited in big companies’ systems. And, we have also laid down the best practices for you to ensure that you are a step ahead of everybody else. 


We'd also like to mention that with Softr all the above-mentioned issues are addressed out of the box, and there's no need to take any particular measures or hire additional specialists.


Thus, with these important details about online security, your journey to a safer online experience starts today.



by Iryna Bilyk, youteam.io


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