Know Your Enemy: 5 Common Website Security Weaknesses

Cybercrime is a huge issue today and Juniper Research predicts it’ll get even bigger and cost businesses up to $2 trillion by 2020 with the average data breach cost reaching $150 million. With this in mind, running extra checks to find website security weaknesses should be one of the company’s priorities. You also need to have your website constantly monitored to fix any weakening defenses and prevent potentially disastrous breaches.

5 Most Common Website Security Weaknesses Today

  1. SQL injections.
    type of attack that happens when a hacker adds pieces of code to corrupt database content.
  2. Cross-site scripting (XSS).
    This attack injects a client-side script in order to ‘overtake’ control of a web application.
  3. Insecure direct object references.
    This security weakness opens a way for hackers to reach users’ personal data through a loophole left by an insecure object reference.
  4. Poor website security configuration.
    This weakness appears either due to poor original security design or bad system maintenance.
  5. Broken authentication.
    This security problem makes user’s identity vulnerable and opens a huge breach in the overall website security system.

website security

4 Tips for Boosting Website Security Fast

1. Change your website hosting

If you are a small business using a shared server, the first thing to do is moving to a secure hosting. When looking for this service provider focus not on the terms offered but on the actual security stats. You can get some helpful and reliable information from independent sources, like this InMotion review.

Be sure to inquire the provider about the security measures used by their own teams and find out the ‘quality’ of your server neighbors. Remember that sharing your hosting space with a poorly secured website increases your own weaknesses. Avoid providers that work with unreliable clients.

2. Run a thorough website check using a specialized tool

Today you don’t have to poke your website for testing every single weakness. Instead, you can use a tool that will assess it for vulnerabilities and provide you with a detailed report that includes security suggestions.

Solutions like SiteGuarding, ScanMyServer, SUCURI, and Detectify will help you find vulnerabilities with deadly accuracy. Be sure to run these checks regularly as new weaknesses might pop up without your noticing.

3. Use CSP to fight XSS

CSP (Content Security Policy) is one of the most efficient tools for preventing XSS attacks. Mozilla has a detailed guide on how to activate CSP on your website. To do this you’ll need to add a CSP header (HTTP) to your web page and give it certain values. Those must command a strict control of resources that user agents are able to load for a specific page.

The core of protecting from and preventing XSS attacks is restricting the allowed actions and points of contact to reduce the risk of malicious script injection. Note that you’ll need to design Content Security Policy that will be most effective in your particular case. This task should always be handled by a professional.

4. Double-layered form validation

To reduce website security weaknesses you should have data validation run on both the web-browser and server. Adding a validation on the server will reduce the risks of SQL injections. You can check this guide to form validation from Mozilla or contact your host provider’s customer service and get some help from them.

Never forget to run frequent and thorough security checks and keep all your software and plugins updated.

Disha Verma is a Mass Media student from International School of Business & Media (ISBM). She lives in Maharastra, India and loves to write articles about Internet & Social Media. When she is not writing, you can find her hanging out with friends in the coffee shop downstreet or reading novels in the society park.