15 Best Practices to Protect Your Website from Malware and Cyber ​​Hacking

As hackers grow faster, more numerous, and more effective, many companies are struggling to protect their websites from cyber threats. The statistics don’t lie:

• More than 360,000 new malicious files are detected every day

• There were 1,188,728,338 known computer attacks in 2017

• Business damage from cybercrime is expected to reach $ 6 trillion in 2021

• Global spending on cybersecurity is likely to exceed $ 1 trillion between 2017 and 2021

These staggering figures clearly show why organizations should make website security a critical priority. There are various types of cyberattacks and malware. It is critical that all IT departments understand the following risks: viruses and worms, Trojan programs, suspicious packers, malware, adware, malware, ransomware, denial of service, fishing, inter-site scripting (SQL injection), brute force password, and session hijacking. When these cyber-breach attempts are successful (which is often the case), the following can occur:

• Website disfigurement: Unwanted content placed on your website

• Websites are offline (your site is down)

• Data is stolen from websites, databases, financial systems, etc.

• Data is encrypted and stored for rescue (ransomware attack)

• Incorrect server usage – transmits web spam to publish illegal files

• Server abuse: Part of a distributed denial of service attack

• Embedded servers for Bitcoin mining, etc.

While some attacks only pose minor threats, such as a slow website, many attacks have serious repercussions, such as a major theft of sensitive data or an indefinite failure of the website due to ransomware. With that in mind, here are 15 good practices that your IT department should take advantage of to protect your organization from malware and cyber piracy.

1. Keep the software up to date.

It is essential that you keep your operating system, general applications, anti-malware and website security software up to date with the latest patches and definitions. If your website is hosted by a third party, make sure your host has a good reputation and also keeps its software up to date.

2. Protect yourself from cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

Hackers can steal users’ credentials and login cookies when they sign up or register by introducing malicious JavaScript into your encryption. Install firewall and JavaScript injection protection on your pages.

3. Protect yourself from SQL attacks.

To protect yourself from hackers injecting malicious code into your site, you should always use parameterized queries and avoid standard Transact SQL.

4. Double data validation.

Protect your subscribers by requiring both browser and server validation. A double validation process will help block the insertion of malicious scripts using form fields that accept data.

5. Do not allow uploading files to your website.

Some companies require users to upload files or images to their server. This poses significant security risks, as hackers can upload malicious content that compromises your website. Remove executable permissions from files and find another way for users to share information and images.

6. Maintain a robust firewall.

Use a sturdy firewall and restrict external access to ports 80 and 443 only.

7. Maintain a separate database server.

Keep separate servers for your data and web servers to better protect your digital assets.

8. Implement a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol.

Always buy an SSL certificate that you maintain in a trusted environment. SSL certificates build a trust base by establishing a secure, encrypted connection for your website. This will protect your site from fraudulent servers.

9. Set a password policy.

Implement strict password policies and make sure they are complied with. Educate all users about the importance of strong passwords. In essence, it requires that all passwords meet these standards:

• Length is at least 8 characters

• At least one capital letter, number, and special character

• Do not use words that can be found in the dictionary

• The longer the password, the stronger the security of the website.

10. Use website security tools.

Website security tools are essential for Internet security. There are many options, both free and paid. In addition to software, there are also software as a service (SaaS) models that offer complete website security tools.

11. Create a hacking response plan.

Sometimes security systems are avoided despite the best attempts at protection. If this happens, you will need to implement a response plan that includes audit logs, server backups, and contact information for your IT support staff.

12. Set up a background activity logging system.

To track the entry point for a malware incident, be sure to track and record relevant data, such as login attempts, page updates, coding changes, and updates and installations of connectors.

13. Maintain an error-free backup plan.

Your data should be backed up regularly, depending on how often it is updated. Ideally, daily, weekly, and monthly backups are available. Create a disaster recovery plan that is right for your type and size of business. Make sure you save a backup of your backup locally and off-site (there are many cloud-based solutions available) that will allow you to quickly recover an unaltered version of your data.

14. Train your staff.

It is essential that everyone is trained in the policies and procedures that your company has developed to keep your website and your data safe and to prevent cyberattacks. An employee simply clicks on a malicious file to create a chance of a violation. Make sure everyone understands the answer plan and has a copy that is easily accessible.

15. Make sure your partners and sellers are safe.

Your business can share data and access with many partners and suppliers. This is another potential source of non-compliance. Make sure your partners and providers follow your best practices for web security to help protect your website and your data. This can be done through your own audit process or you can subscribe to software security companies that offer this service.

Even a high-end computer system can be quickly overthrown by malicious software. Do not delay the implementation of the above security strategies. Consider investing in cybersecurity to protect your organization in the event of a serious infringement. Protecting your website from hacking and cyberattacks is an important part of keeping your website secure and your business secure.