Security Checklist For Website | 13 Things To Consider For Safety

Rohan Mathew

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The number of users who interact with your business online is increasing by the day. Companies now have an even bigger need to establish their presence and image online – and websites are the primary sources for achieving these goals.

Just as any traditional business, your corporate website has to handle lots of data related to your organization, customers, business operations, finances, contacts, events, sales funnels, etc. However, if your website fails to adhere to the best online security practices, your business becomes vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This can tarnish the image of your brand, make you liable for lawsuits and result in massive losses – a complete shutdown is also a possibility in extreme cases. These organizations have high demands for server capacity, so dedicated servers are the best to safeguard the security issues.

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Security Checklist For Website

If you don’t have enough resources to combat online security attacks, you are a sitting duck for the hackers to destroy you at will. Leaving yourself vulnerable for long is going to inspire a lot of internet miscreants to launch online attacks on your website, which may cause irreversible damage to the health of your business.

Now, you don’t want to be an easy online target for hackers. Use this website security checklist to strengthen your site against attacks from cybercriminals.

Security Checklist For Website

13 Things Which Comes In Security Checklist For Website Are Given Below

1. Keep your software updated

Keeps the software on your servers updated. Install the latest stable version whenever your software provider releases one. This ensures that any unpatched security holes on your website are fixed promptly, so your site can continue to serve your business and customers without any downtime.

2. Adopt strong password policies

Passwords used by your employees and customers on your website must adopt strong policies. Hard to guess passwords created using the best security practices, combined with the best authentication mechanisms, will make it almost impossible for miscreants to use cryptanalytic and brute-forcing tactics to break into your systems. Adopt multi-factor authentication and force a periodic change of passwords to enhance your website’s security.

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3. Install SSL certificate

Serve all pages on your website on HTTPS including not just user authentication but input forms also. This will keep the connection between the web server and the user’s browser encrypted so the data being transmitted cannot be stolen by hackers using MITM (Man in the middle) attacks. Not only will it keep your customers safe, but it will also increase their confidence leading to higher sales. And, you will get higher ranking in search engines for SEO if you Install an SSL Certificate.

4. Validate user input

Any data you accept on forms must go through strict validation to prevent XSS and SQL injection attacks. Use stored procedures instead of inline queries to interact with your database. Any files uploaded to your website must be checked to ensure they do not contain things like PHP shells that may access your directories. Not validating user input leaves you open to possibilities of the hackers tampering with and defacing your site that may lead to disruption or reduced performance.

5. Follow data and file management best practices

You should backup all your website files on online resources like secure cloud servers, protected servers inside your network or offline storage media. Get rid of junk files no longer in use. This keeps your web server light and reduces your exposure from data that may get stolen during a cyber-attack.

6. Distribute permissions carefully

Make sure that everyone accessing your website and related systems does not have any more privileges than they need to perform their job. At the same time, distribute the roles carefully, so the people do get access to the resources they need to work efficiently. This will help you achieve internal security – remember human error causes most attacks, so carefully distribute permissions.

7. Scan your site for vulnerabilities

Have your security team scan your website frequently to uncover any security vulnerabilities. All kinds of unusual activity or components must be reported by your employees and promptly examined by the security-in-charge. Place proper checks to disable insecure cipher suites, enforce correct use of encryption mechanisms ((such as SHA256), etc.This Is One Of The Important Things in Security Checklist For Website

8. Employ DDoS mitigation services

Install load balancing software and use APIs like an F5 load balancer or Cloud Fare to prevent DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. Any unusual traffic surges must be scrutinized, and the traffic patterns must be regularly monitored, including fake spikes and bot induced damages. Application and network security must be periodically validated.

9. Comply with PCI-DSS standards

If your website handles financial transactions, implement strict PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) best practices for AVS (Address Verification System) and CVV (Credit Card Verification Value). Any oversight in this area may lead to irreparable damage to reputation caused by unauthorized data breaches. This Is One Of The Important Things in Security Checklist For Website

10. Test your configurations regularly

Your software and hardware configurations must be tested regularly to detect any unusual activity and ensure adherence to the company’s security policies. This will help your IT team and data centers streamline their workflows, standardize their processes and fix any security loopholes.  It will also ensure compatibility with other devices, systems, and peripherals.  The behavior patterns of these external connections will help your security personnel analyze if these are healthy for your environment or not. Use automated testing solutions to test your configurations for compliance with standards such as HIPPA and PCI.

11. Obscure the information in headers

All the information carried in headers must be obscured to prevent anyone from stealing any identifiable information during the transmission. If the hackers get their hands on any sensitive information, it may compromise the security of your website. Given that obscuring the headers is not the default configuration in most setups be sure to enable it in your production environment, so your web server is not unknowingly communicating the header information in cleartext.

12. Secure the resources on your web server

This includes both processes and data.

Make sure that none of the processes running on your web server has root privileges. Change the defaults based on the Operating System running on the webserver. On Linux, the processes must have dedicated privileges limited to what they need. On Microsoft systems, make sure the permissions for local and administrator users are carefully tuned. This will reduce the chances of compromising your resources in case your web server process runs rogue.

With the amount of data generated by the internet, it becomes your responsibility to ensure that all sensitive and private data is stored and processed securely. Make sure the information is encrypted during transmission and storage, so even if you were attacked, the cybercriminals would not be able to put the stolen data to any malicious use.

13. Use secure cookies

Using HttpOnly cookies keeps the information related to your website secure and private on the local storage at the end of the user. This prevents any imposters from launching client-side attacks such as XSS. Not using safe cookies opens you up to the possibility of a mischievous 3rd party intercepting a cookie sent to the site visitor and masquerades the customer’s identity.

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Your website is the primary medium used by your business to reach out to its online customers globally. Hence, it becomes critical that you adopt the best security practices to keep your site safe from cyber-attacks. Besides the tips outlined here, you can also go for additional safeguards such as firewalls and CDNs (content delivery networks). Do not take the security of your website lightly. Make the best use of the resources at your disposal to secure your online properties to reduce the burden on your IT team and instill confidence in your customers while keeping them safe.

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