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5 Top Website Security Threats and How to Protect Your Site from Attacks

by Ramit kaur
5 Top Website Security Threats and How to Protect Your Site from Attacks

With over 30,000 websites getting hacked daily and 43% of cyberattacks aimed at small businesses, site owners must stay vigilant. Therefore, having sufficient web security is crucial. 

Small businesses are the most vulnerable because they have limited resources to devote to website security compared to larger and more established companies. 

Aside from having secure web hosting, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your website.

This article will explain some of the most common threats and provide you with easy yet effective security solutions to help repel those attacks. 

Let’s get started. 

1. Ransomware

Ransomeware occurs when hackers gain access to a user’s computer and encrypts their data so that it is inaccessible to the victim. 

These attackers will then demand a certain amount of money before releasing the decryption key. Failure to comply within a set amount of time may result in the victim losing all their data or having it leaked. 

2. Man-in-the-Middle Attack

This type of cyberattack is commonly encountered by websites that lack encryption protocols for the data exchanged between visitors’ web browsers and the server. 

The man-in-the-middle attack targets sensitive information and intercepts them while in transmission between two parties. Without encryption, hackers can quickly access users’ login credentials and even payment information. 

3. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)

This type of cyberattack happens when hackers enter a network and persistently maintain their presence. It means that most attempts you make, like rebooting the computer or updating software, won’t remove them out of the network. 

There are usually long-term attacks that aim to disrupt, spy, or steal information. It’s considered long-term because hackers can enter the network undetected and conduct the attack in multiple stages.

4. Phishing

Phishing is one of the most common forms of cyberattacks. This occurs when hackers send fake emails that resemble real ones to get victims to reply with confidential information or click on a harmful link, resulting in malware being downloaded to their device. 

The main aim is to access sensitive information such as usernames and passwords for exploitation. Often, attackers will use this information to pose as the victim or conduct identity theft. 

5. DDoS Attack

A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is when a hacker takes over multiple devices in an attempt to disrupt your website by flooding it with massive amounts of traffic and requests. 

The large amount of requests and activity will cause the website to use more resources. This will result in the server eventually becoming overwhelmed, crashing, and shutting down. 

How to Protect Your Site

To protect your website from various cyber threats and attacks, you need to follow some security best practices. 

1. Use Strong Passwords

Most data breaches occur because of weak or stolen passwords. A lot of smaller businesses are most at risk here since many still don’t implement strong password policies. 

Enforcing strong password practices is vital, especially in this new normal era where most employees can access company networks remotely from their personal devices. 

Here are some tips for creating strong passwords:

  • Don’t reuse old passwords.
  • The password should be longer than ten characters.
  • Use a combination of numbers, symbols, uppercase, and lowercase letters. 

Simply creating strong passwords is not enough. You’ll also need to regularly change passwords to prevent hackers from being able to decrypt them. 

Although this can be a hassle, you can use a password generator and manager to safely create and store passwords. Dashlane, 1Password, and LastPass are popular examples of password generators and vault tools. 

2. Keep Your Software Up-to-Date

One of the most vital ways to prevent hacking is to keep your software and applications updated. This ensures that any issues are addressed so hackers cannot find vulnerabilities. 

By keeping your operating system and software up-to-date, you effectively create a layer of protection for your website. Depending on the hosting solution, users will either need to conduct updates manually, or it will be done by the web host.

3. Implement SSL and Firewall Protocols

Implementing secure sockets layer (SSL) and firewalls to your website is an essential part of security best practices. 

This is often overlooked because it’s expected that most hosting providers should include these features in their hosting plans. Even so, double-check that your SSL certificates are always up-to-date.

The SSL protocol is necessary because it encrypts and helps secure sensitive information like customer credentials and payment details. This protocol also effectively counters man-in-the-middle attacks. 

SSL has also become a must-have security feature on your website because most web browsers will mark sites without it as potentially harmful or unsafe to enter. 

On the other hand, a firewall works by filtering potentially harmful traffic and unauthorized users, thus securing your website from basic cyberattacks.

4. Install Antivirus

Antivirus is specifically designed to detect, prevent, and counter malicious software on your computer. It works constantly and quietly in the background by checking ongoing activities and comparing them to known malware. 

By using antivirus software, you’ll be able to conduct a thorough analysis and scan to make sure that there is no malware hiding in your system. The software can also prevent unwanted code from entering your website, thus protecting it from cyberattacks. 

Conclusion

Hackers are always looking for loopholes and vulnerabilities on your website or server. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the appropriate measures are set up to prevent them from entering your website. 

Your site should be protected from the most common security threats like ransomware, man-in-the-middle, DDoS, APTs, and phishing attacks. To do that, let’s recap some easy yet effective ways to counter them:

  1. Use strong passwords
  2. Keep your software up-to-date
  3. Implement SSL and firewall protocols
  4. Install antivirus

We hope this article helps you secure your website against common security threats. Good luck!

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