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Huntsville Web Design 2023 Update: How to Protect Your Website Against Online Attacks

Jan 11, 2023 | Website Security | 0 comments

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Website data breaches have increased significantly over the past few years. Hackers hack into websites to steal confidential information that can be used for a number of nefarious purposes .

A study found that one online attack occurs every 39 seconds. Nearly one in three Americans are the target of these attacks.

Our Huntsville web design experts shared common elements of a secure website design, so make sure you are up to date. In this blog post, we will present some advanced website design tips to protect your website from online attacks.

Install Security Plugins

Content management systems (CMS) come with a range of security plugins. You can enhance the security of your website by installing plugins that actively prevent online attacks.

Security plugins are available for all websites. Some of the plugins are also free. The best security plugins for WordPress websites include Wordfence, Sucuri, and Bulletproof Security.

The best plugins for the Magento website include WatchBlog Pro and Amasty. The best Joomla security extensions include joy defender and JHacker Watch.

The above security platforms will prevent vulnerabilities that are inherent in each of the CMS platforms. The plugins will prevent advanced hacking attacks by taking proactive measures. They will expose attacks before hackers have a chance to gain unauthorized access to your website.

The plugins can detect malware and monitor security vulnerabilities by actively monitoring online attacks. Most hosting programs also offer a suite of security plugins to secure your website.

Protect Against SQL Attacks

SQL injection attacks are one of the most common methods used to gain access to a website. The attack exploits SQL vulnerabilities in web forms. Hackers use this method to gain access to the website database containing confidential customer data.

The website that implements forms with the standards Transact SQL is vulnerable to SQL injection attacks. Hackers can insert codes in the web form query that can be used to gain access to data.

To prevent SQL attacks, the queries must be parametrized. An example of a parameterized SQL query includes the following.

Adding parameterized queries indicated with a dollar sign will prevent hackers from adding specific codes to the web form to execute illegal commands.

Validation is also important to prevent malicious SQL injection into the website form. Make sure that the validation is carried out both on the browser and server-side. The form should not allow entry of characters other than alphabets and numbers. The validation must be specific so that hackers don’t insert scripts to gain access to the website database.

Prevent Cross-site Scripting Attacks

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks are also a common method hackers employ to gain unauthorized website access. The attack involves injecting JavaScript into the web pages. The code can be used for malicious purposes such as:

  • Changing web page content
  • Steal confidential information
  • Infect target with a virus

Showing comments on a web page without validation makes it open to XSS attacks. To prevent this kind of attack, you should not let users inject JavaScript codes into web forms.

You can also customize Content Security Policy (CSP) to limit what JavaScript code is executed. You must disallow scripts that are not hosted on the platform. Also, disable eval() and inline JavaScript code of your website.

Avoid Detailed Error Messages

Hackers can use the information displayed when a website crashes to know about the vulnerabilities. Detailed error messages can reveal important information that hackers can exploit to gain unauthorized access to the system.

Website error messages should be simple and concise. Avoid revealing any information that can help hackers to access the website database. The error message should only inform steps online viewers can take when a website can’t be accessed.

Disallow File Uploading

File upload features in a website can be a big security risk. The feature to change avatars or upload images can be exploited by hackers to execute malicious scripts.

Opening the file or even reading the header can result in the execution of malicious codes. Hackers can also include a PHP code in the comment section of an image.

The website’s best practice is to prevent users from uploading files directly to the server. You can offer an external service such as Google Drive or OneDrive to upload files and images. Also, you can allow users to post links to the external site where the website is uploaded.

Install Reliable Plugins

Updating website plugins is critical to prevent an online attack. Plugins are pieces of code similar to any other software. They may contain bugs that can be exploited by hackers. So, you must only install reliable plugins for your website.

You should also update the plugins whenever released by the plugin creator. This will limit the chances that hackers can exploit vulnerabilities to gain access to your website database.

Update CMS Platform

Security experts of major website platforms including WordPress, Wix, Joomla, Magento, and others regularly release updates or patches. You must install the patches soon after release.

The patches fix security loopholes in the CMS platform. The vulnerabilities when become known can be exploited even with basic hacking knowledge. Installing the updates will greatly reduce the risk of online attacks.

Back-Up Your Website

Taking regular backups is one of the basic website security measures that is often ignored. You must make sure that the website database is backed up daily.

Backing up the website will prevent your website from becoming a victim of a ransomware attack. Moreover, it will allow you to quickly restore your website if it is hacked or the database is lost due to a hardware problem.

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