Hacking is a word that is used far too often in the modern digital world that we live in today. People that you’ve never met, never interacted with, or probably don’t even know exists, are snooping around from any modern digital device, and stealing your personal banking credentials to either make illegal purchases, launder money from you, abuse your Social Security Safeguard Your Website from Hackers, number, and more.
While not confirmed, one possible example of where hacking used as a money-laundering tool might be applicable in the case of US-born, Russian businesswoman, Marsha Lazareva, who was found guilty for money embezzlement and was sentenced to 10 years in a Kuwaiti prison. Despite recently getting bail for over $12 million, Marsha found herself imprisoned once again, this time for over 15 years of hard labor. However, this is a story for another time.
If you operate a top-of-the-line business website and care about the safety of your customers and employees alike, then this post will show you all you need to know about how you can protect your website online bots, hackers, or digital vandals.
Here are some of the best anti-hacking strategies that you can employ your website out of harm’s way;
1. Always Update Your Software
This one may seem obvious, but making sure that all of your office software is up-to-date is one of the best ways to secure your site. This applies both to the software and server operating system that runs your website, like a forum or a CMS. Without updating your software, you are leaving behind obvious security holes that hackers can pick up on and abuse for their own enjoyment.
2. Train Your Employees in Cybersecurity
Many people associate cybercrime with malicious attackers, and for good reason too. Out of 53,000 real-world cybercrimes that were investigated for Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, 73% of them were done by outsiders. A quarter of those attacks were done by insiders, either maliciously or just by human error.
So to fix this problem, new employees (especially third-party users and contractors) need to be educated and trained about corporate security policies as part of the reduction process, whereas refresher training courses should be given to existing staff members to quickly have them acquainted on cybersecurity issues.
3. Maintain Stronger Passwords
Keeping strong passwords for your online accounts doesn’t really necessarily mean that they have to be complex. It’s always a great idea to have strong passwords to your website admin area and server, as well as encourage good password practices for your users so that they too can protect their accounts.
Even if your users don’t like it, you have to enforce strong password requirements like ensuring that their passwords have at least eight characters to them, including an upper and lowercase letter and numbers to keep their information safe for a long time.
4. Use HTTPS
If you see a green lock icon in your browser’s address bar upon visiting a website and that the web address for that site starts with an HTTPS, it means that the website is well guarded against any possible hacker, online theft, or bot attack. It also indicates that it’s safe to input your financial information anywhere on that webpage/website.
An SSL certificate is also crucial as it secures the transfer of personal data, contact information and credit cards between your website and the server. Although the certificate has always been important for e-commerce websites, it has now become an essential factor for almost any website out there.
5. Look out for SQL Injection
In case you don’t know, SQL injection attacks are when an attacker uses a URL parameter or web form field to either manipulate or gain access to your database. When using standard Transact SQL, easy to insert rogue code in your query by mistake that can be used to get information, change tables, and delete data. Fortunately, you can prevent this by using parameterized queries. Many web languages have this feature and it is quite easy to implement.
For instance, look at this query:
“SELECT * FROM table WHERE column = ‘” + parameter + “‘;”
If the attacker changes the URL parameter to include ‘ or ‘1’=’1, it will make the query look like this:
“SELECT * FROM table WHERE column = ” OR ‘1’=’1′;”
And since ‘1’ is equal to ‘1’ the attack will be able to add an extra query at the end of the SQL statement which will be executed.
Fortunately, you can fix this query by parameterizing it explicitly. For instance, if you’re going to use MySQLi in PHP, it should look like this:
$stmt = $pdo->prepare(‘SELECT * FROM table WHERE column = :value’);
$stmt->execute(array(‘value’ => $parameter));