The Internet is full of potential threats. Taking preventive measures against possible unauthorized access, use, alteration, interruption or destruction of your website is strictly necessary.
Guaranteeing data privacy, the optimal functioning of computing resources and the continuity of services under the total control of the website owner or administrator is a perfectly achievable challenge.
But in order to apply the strategies and use the appropriate tools, it is advisable to first know the importance of implementing data security protocols and what are the most common threats that usually occur in the digital world.
Why is it important to protect your website?
Today, information is translated into “power” in the form of gigabytes, so protecting your website means safeguarding one of the most valuable assets that organizations have. Business strategies, intellectual property, customer information, supplier and employee data, among others, can be violated.
In other words, all the information that revolves around the administrative and operational processes of the company would be exposed to cyber criminals, if appropriate security mechanisms are not implemented.
On the other hand, to give us an idea of the amount of threats present in Latin America, let’s look at some numbers. According to a report by Kaspersky Lab, the region saw 45 virus attacks per second during the last year. Likewise, the ESET Security report for Latin America in 2019 indicates that 61% of 2,500 companies investigated suffered infections from malicious code.
Most common threats faced by websites
Usually, attacks against websites are aimed at stealing users and passwords with the intention of accessing the server or even destroying data. In other cases, the intention is to extract credit card numbers or related information that allows fraudulent banking transactions.
Additionally, they can be victims of hackers capable of disabling the site to affect its prestige, as well as cause economic losses.
Some of the most common actions used by cybercriminals are:
- Redirecting to malicious sites using clickjacking methods.
- Identity theft through Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF).
- Attacks on databases using SQL injection techniques.
- Collapse of the website due to actions related to Denial of Service (DoS).
Protective measures against potential threats
The security of a website is a modular aspect that must be considered from the very beginning. Everything from choosing the hosting providers and the CMS (Content Management System), to the use of some design and programming elements, protecting systems from internal and external attacks is a constant job. In addition to this, there are tools and techniques that can be used on a day-to-day basis, among these are:
Management of access codes. Promoting the use of strong passwords and changing them regularly is essential. Additionally, it is advisable to implement two-factor authentication by asking the user to enter another code such as those sent via text message to a mobile phone, for example.
SSL Certificate Installation. Basically, this certificate allows the exchange of data in an encrypted way between the server and the user. In our post what is an SSL certificate and why do you need it you can learn more details about this important security protocol that should not be missing from your website.
Creation of data storage strategies. Save and display only essential data. As in the case of handling credit card numbers or bank accounts, leave visible only the digits needed for the user to identify their financial product, but not so much that it can be copied by an attacker and used on an external website.
Other considerations to keep in mind are:
- Choose a web provider with DoS protection.
- Make updates to the CMS and its plugins.
- Use vulnerability scanning tools.
- Have a robust Web Application Firewall (WAF).
- Back up the site in the cloud and keep backups on local storage in case of emergency or migration.
As a final tip, stay updated on the new ways to commit cybercrimes, which unfortunately continue to evolve with technology.