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Website Vulnerabilities Small Businesses Might Not Know

All businesses should have a website to maximize success. Nowadays, it is easier than ever to do so. With a website, you can provide your customers with easy to access information which they may not receive otherwise. However, for every website, there are bots trying to access your website and its information.

As such, small businesses need to know the threats and understand the vulnerabilities that their site may have. With this knowledge, steps can be taken to ensure that your site stays running and all your information is safe.

Thankfully, it won’t break the bank to protect your site from the website security vulnerabilities that have it under threat. But you will need to be proactive to properly address the issues and put security measures in place.

 

Malware

Malware is a broad term for malicious software designed to infect a site or computer using methods including  viruses, adware and spyware. A site with these vulnerabilities can end in sensitive data being exposed.

For businesses that do not know about malware and how to handle it, this can be overwhelming.

Malware scanning, removal and prevention. This tool is ideal for small business owners without the time or tech chops to adequately protect their websites against security vulnerabilities.

 

SQL Injection

Website vulnerabilities occur when a sites code does not prevent attackers from gaining a level of control. This commonly is commonly found with older software, such as outdated WordPress plugins.

SQL injection is one of the most widespread vulnerabilities. It occurs when an attacker submits malicious SQL codes into user input fields. This allows access to the website database and allows the attacker to gain information or corrupt database content.

This can result in the attacker stealing sensitive customer information, changing or deleting data, or taking full control of the site.

You can protect against such attacks with a web application firewall.

 

Cross-site Scripting (XSS)

This is another common type of security vulnerability which manipulates client-side scripts. Cross-site scripting happens when hackers inject malicious Javascript codes into a webpage, targeting the websites users.

These scripts hijack user sessions through a website’s search bar or comments (via the website’s backend). This can deface the website and redirect users to other malicious websites that might manifest as seemingly normal-looking pages that can potentially steal their information.

Using content security policies, you can protect against these attacks.

 

Interception

A hacker can intercept data that users submit to a website. Doing so allows them to use this for their own gain. This data can be anything from contact information to credit card details. The hacker then sells this information or uses it themselves.

To protect against this, you will need to install an SSL certificate to protect your sensitive data. SSL’s build an encrypted connection between a browser and web server, protecting users from cyber attacks including interception.

 

Password Attacks

Password attacks gain access to a users personal information. Attackers use several methods to gain the password.

Some attackers use dictionary attacks. The programme creates infinite combinations of characters until it enters the correct password.

Key logging records every keystroke made by a computer. The hacker then receives this information through the software.

There are a few ways in which your website can protect against such attacks..

One of which is requiring a strong password. A more complex password with a mixture of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols makes it much harder for dictionary attack to find the password. Attackers are far less likely to target sites with strong passwords, as it can take years for a single password to be found by these programmes if it’s long and complex enough.

Another way to help protect against password attacks is to ask your users to update their passwords regularly.

Using two-step authentication is a great way to confirm that the user is in fact the owner of the account, too.

 

DDoS Attack

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack happens when a server is overwhelmed with too many requests or too much traffic.

Attackers create this traffic using botnets. Botnets are a number of devices that connect to the internet and control one or more bots.

With a strong enough attack, the overload of traffic/requests overwhelm the web server. The website fails to load correctly, and can cause the server to crash, putting the website offline.

Once again, a web application firewall can prevent this kind of attack.

 

Website Security Vulnerabilities Takeaway

Spending some time researching website vulnerabilities gives you the knowledge that is necessary to prepare you for these risks. But ultimately, you will need to spend the time and have the patience to properly secure your site and protect your customers data.

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