Some businesses don’t have a firm understanding of what is needed to ensure their website is fully secure. In fact, according to KPMG, 89% of Australian businesses said they had a breach that went undetected, whereas 65% of Australian businesses were interrupted due to a breach in 2019. With the current COVID-19 pandemic also sweeping across the country and businesses moving more to a purely online capacity, it is vital that all businesses have a firm understanding of the threats to their websites and how to best protect themselves.
Typical Cyber Attacks
There are many different types of cyber attacks businesses can fall prey to and it is important that businesses understand these different attacks, to be able to determine effective pre-emptive strategies to combat them. Here are some of the most common attacks businesses can fall prey to:
1. Drive-by attacks
These types of attacks are one of the most common for spreading malware (ex. viruses, spyware, trojan horses etc) and look to take advantage of websites that have not been readily updated and are therefore highly vulnerable. Hackers may look to plant code in the HTTP or PHP code of a website, a user will then visit this website and unintentionally download this malware onto their own device. This code can then be utilised to hijack a device, steal user data or even just destroy the device itself.
2. Structured Query Language (SQL) Injection Attack
An SQL injection attack focuses on a website’s database. In its basic form, this type of attack can cause hackers to gain access to private data held by a business such as user data, transaction data and even administrative data. This can in turn lead to serious issues for a business as this data can be manipulated, destroyed or stolen.
3. Cross-Scripting Attack
Cross-Scripting attacks or XSS attacks involves a hacker inputting malicious code into a legitimate website. This code is then activated when a user accesses the website allowing for the hacker to access user information, steal their cookies or even hijack their session. This in turn means the hacker can act as a legitimate user on a website and gain access to a host of other information that the user has access to.
4. Password Attack
As the name suggests this attack involves an attacker gaining access to administrative passwords. There are a variety of ways that this can be achieved including a brute force attack, where hackers will guess the password in the hopes of being correct or a dictionary attack which involves using a “dictionary” of common/likely passwords.
How to Improve Your Websites Security
1. Password Protection
This not only includes making sure that usernames and passwords are highly complex, but also making sure that strategies are in-place to deal with any brute force or dictionary-based attacks. This can include two factor authentication procedures, utilising strong password encryption and limiting login attempts for administrators.
2. Choosing a Reliable Website Hosting Service
There are a variety of different hosting options available and the choice businesses make can have a direct effect on the security of a website. For instance, shared hosting is quite cost effective, but it can be problematic in relation to security as many sites share the same infrastructure. This means a specific business can be affected by another website utilising the same server if the other website’s security is breached.
3. Effective Data storage
The main aim for many hackers is to collect data, this can be financial, personal or other data they can use to ransom a business or harm a website’s reputation. It is therefore crucial that effective data storage measures are in-place on a website, this includes investing in an effective CRM system, backing up data with reliable on-site and off-site options and making sure all employees have a firm understanding of responsible data handling.
4. Securing of Website Vulnerabilities
Websites can become particularly vulnerable when they are out-dated. For example, WordPress releases regular updates for users. These updates might include fixes to known security flaws or enhancement to the CRM. Outdated plugins can also cause issues for web pages and can allow hackers backdoor access to websites, so it is recommended that plugins are frequently checked and updated, or removed if no longer useful.
5. Using Website Security Software
There are plenty of options in the market related to security software and it is important to choose a trustworthy and effective software. An effective security software should consistently monitor for threats to your website and be able to provide quick responses to any issues you experience around a website performance.
For more insights into how you can keep your website safe, contact the team at Redline Digital today.