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Website Security: What You Need To Know

By Nextrio on December 23rd, 2013 Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmailby feather

Website security grows increasingly more important every day. No one is exempt form the risk that an improperly secured website can bring.

Businesses, government agencies and even charity organizations have made headlines not because they’ve done something amazing, but because their website security has was breached and it resulted in heavy losses for everyone involved.

Below is a list of potential security breaches and how to avoid them.

Software Exploits

In March 2008, the information of 134 million credit cards was stolen from one of the biggest credit card payment processors, Heartland Payment Systems.

The reason this happened was due to a vulnerability in MySQL

Once hackers have access to a website using exploits, they can do whatever they want with it. That includes planting root kits, viruses and a host of malware programs that could have potentially compromise users of a website even further.

The unfortunate thing to note is that this could have completely been avoided. You can prevent similar software exploits by doing the following things:

Stay updated on the latest security exploits. Hire a trustworthy, independent firm to test your website for security flaws. Check your website for malware in the event that a past breach has gone unnoticed. Practice sanitization of user input, which is the method that most exploits use to breach security.

Social Engineering

No matter how strong of a castle you make, the weakest link will always be the guardsman at the gate. This holds true even for websites.

In May 2006, the Department of Veterans Affairs had its entire unencrypted database stolen as a result of burglary from a Veterans Affairs analyst’s home.

This resulted in the personal information of 26.5 million veterans, including active-duty personnel and their spouses, having their personal information exposed. That includes their names, Social Security Numbers, and dates of births.

The best way that you can protect from social engineering attacks is to make sure that you can limit the amount of damage that hackers and thieves can do. Never allow anyone access to your entire business unless you can absolutely depend on them.

Viruses

Viruses can take either of the aforementioned routes. They can be delivered via an exploit or by the clever use of social engineering. Smarter hackers will incorporate both, which will allow them to put a Trojan Horse inside even the best available firewall for a business.

Once a virus infects your business’s website, it can do a number of harmful things. That includes accessing your user’s information or infesting your website so that it can provide drive-by downloads to your visitors.

The best way to prevent this is to keep updated security protocols for your employees while updating your software when necessary. Patches for exploits to software like Apache web servers, PHP and Microsoft server operating software come out on a regular basis in an effort to prevent security breaches.

Want to know more? Take a look at our IT services by visiting our website or call us at (520) 545-7101 to find out how we can help your business stay protected.