Types of Website Security Threats and Tactics
Website security is vital for your business
Your website is in danger. That’s not what anyone wants to hear, but unfortunately, the Internet is rife with hackers who seek to break into different websites. They might do this to steal valuable information, gain notoriety, or have fun being destructive.
Whatever the reason, your site is at risk of a breach. Don’t worry, though — there are ways to fight back against those attempts. If you learn about the potential threats against your site and take steps to stop them, you can keep your website safe and secure.
But what are those web security threats, and what types of website security methods can you use to fight them? Watch the video below, then keep reading to learn the answers to those questions.
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Common types of website security threats
Before we talk about how to protect your site from hackers, it’s useful to know the most common types of website security threats. Here are the three main web security threats your site faces!
1. Malware and viruses
Perhaps the most common type of web security threat is malware or viruses. There are various ways hackers can get malware onto your site. It might start with them tricking you into clicking a link, or it might involve them figuring out your password and entering your site.
However they get in, hackers unleash dangerous viruses onto your website. Those viruses spread quickly, and though they can take different forms, they’re harmful.
Some viruses will shut down your site within a matter of minutes, while others will take a more subtle approach and hide beneath the surface to collect sensitive data over a long period of time.
2. Spam links
Sometimes, hackers won’t care about the content on your website — they’re more interested in the users who visit it. They’ll often use spam links to go after those users.
One of the most common spots for spam links to appear is in the comments beneath your blog posts. Hackers don’t need to gain control of your website to post those links. But if a hacker does gain access to your site, they may also hide those spam links in your content.
When your site visitors follow those links, any number of things could happen. Sometimes the links lead to spam ads, but other times they cause users to inadvertently download viruses onto their computers.
3. DDoS attacks
The third major kind of web security threat is distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. This type of attack has grown in popularity over the past decade or so.
A DDoS attack is where hackers fabricate massive amounts of traffic to your website, swarming it with fake IP addresses all at once. The enormous flood of traffic overwhelms your site and completely shuts down.
This attack is harmful because it prevents anyone from being able to visit your website, preventing any of your online marketing from accomplishing anything.
Types of web security methods to try
Now that we’ve covered the web security threats your site faces, it’s time to see what you can do about it. Fortunately, there are many different types of website security methods you can try, and we’ll cover some of the best ones below. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Implement HTTPS
One of the simplest ways to help secure your website is to use HTTPS. HTTPS is a site protocol that uses encryption to keep your website safe.
Many websites run on the basic HTTP protocol, but doing so leaves them vulnerable to attacks. Even if your site never gets attacked, users won’t want to visit a website where they feel their information is unsafe. And to top it all off, Google ranks HTTPS sites over HTTP sites, so using HTTP will hurt your search rankings.
For all those reasons, it’s best to use HTTPS on your website. There really isn’t a good reason not to, since many web hosts offer HTTPS for no additional charge!
2. Back up your site
Another important web security step is to back up your website. No matter how many defenses you build for your site, there’s still a chance it will get hacked. If your site gets infiltrated by hackers and ruined, the last thing you want is to have to start from scratch.
By backing up your site, you can avoid worrying about that possibility. If your site ever gets destroyed, you can pull up the most recent backup and restore it in moments.
Make sure you back up your site regularly, not just once or twice, so you have the most recent version of your website available. You should also back it up again each time you make a major update to your site. Otherwise, you’ll risk having to upload an out-of-date backup if your current version is ever lost.
3. Use passwords and 2FA
It probably goes without saying that all controlling access to your website should be password-protected. You want to use passwords that are up-to-date and hard to guess.
That’s because hackers will often gain access to sites simply by guessing the correct password, often with the help of programs that run different possibilities for them. If your password is easily guessed, or if you’ve gone long stretches of time without changing it, it’s not very secure.
In addition to using strong passwords and updating them from time to time, you should use two-factor authentication (2FA). With 2FA, having the right password won’t be enough on its own — when you submit it, your site will call your phone or send you an email to get verification it’s really you.
That means that even if hackers accurately guess your password, they won’tget in without having direct access to your phone or email.
4. Install computer antivirus software
It’s not always your website that’s in danger of malware — hackers will find their way through your site and into your computer. When that happens, they can install viruses there that will corrupt your entire network.
The consequences of that kind of attack are massive. It won’t just be your website that’s in danger — it’ll be your backups, records, and anything else you store on your business computer network. In short, the hackers will have control over almost your entire company.
To avoid that, be sure to install antivirus software onto all the computers used to access control of your site. There are numerous programs you can choose from, so take the time to read reviews and see which one fits best for you.
5. Run penetration tests
If a hacker enters your site, it’s because they’ve located a weak spot they can slip through. It’s like a bandit finding a hole in the wall of a castle and sneaking inside. To avoid letting that happen, you should keep an eye out for any possible vulnerabilities on your site.
The easiest way to do that is to use penetration testing. A penetration test is where someone — either a professional team or a program — simulates a hacker trying to get into your site. They look everywhere for a way in, and if they successfully enter your site, they’ll alert you to the weak spot they found.
You can then patch up that weakness to prevent real hackers from getting in that way.
6. Monitor for malware
You won’t find every vulnerability on your site, nor will you always catch hackers at the gate. Malware may sometimes get through. When that happens, you’ll want to make sure you find it fast.
Install at least one website security solution that will constantly scan your site for malware. Anytime the program finds a virus, it will alert you and help you to purge it from your website.
You can then take the necessary steps to resolve any damage the malware did and patch up whatever vulnerability it entered through.
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Get help fighting off web security threats with WebFX
Need help implementing the above web security tactics on your site? Just partner with WebFX! We have over 25 years of experience building, managing, and securing websites for our clients, so we know how to help keep yours safe.
With our web security analysis services, you’ll get help analyzing your site for vulnerabilities and patching it up in the aftermath of a breach. We’ll be extremely transparent about everything we do throughout the process, and we’ll handle it all for you, so you don’t have to do any of the work.