Make Your Website More Secure
January 6, 2011
•IADT Online, Web Design and Development
• 0 Comments
Website security is more important today than it has ever been because Internet hackers have more technology at their disposal than ever before. Did you know, for example, that there are hackers who run software that instantly scans new domain names for security vulnerabilities? If the software finds vulnerabilities, the hacker can then enter the site, load it with malware, collect users' personal data or steal financial information. The following are a few things you can do to make your site more secure from attacks both internally and externally:
- Develop a relevant security policy
Early in the Web development process, it is important to assess the security needs for each section of your website and develop a specific security plan for each page. While your entire site needs to be secure, it is wise to devote extra time and effort toward protecting pages where sensitive information will be exchanged.
- Use secure coding
Avoid the temptation to cut corners when coding your site, and allow plenty of time for debugging. Some coding errors may not affect the functionality of your site, even though they profoundly affect security. Validate all coding to build a solid foundation for your site.
- Run penetration tests
If you're not a hacker yourself, you may have no idea whether or not your site is secure. That's why penetration tests are so valuable. Penetration tests find security weaknesses in a system either automatically through vulnerability scanner tools, or manually through Internet security agencies. While security agencies generally run more thorough penetration tests, it is vital to make sure the one you hire doesn't employ any actual hackers who could turn around and exploit your vulnerabilities.
- Buy a trusted SSL certificate
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) are used to encrypt user data when it is transferred from the user's computer to the website. This protection shows up as a closed padlock in the user's browser. Don't allow users to enter information onto your site, especially sensitive personally information, without first purchasing secure SSL protection.
- Don't trust anyone
Because you never know who's accessing your site, it is important to closely monitor users' activity. Are people trying to upload unusual files? Are they overloading your site with requests? All unusual activity should be treated seriously. Also, don't give any of your employees or developers too much unsupervised internal access your site. Many security threats come internally rather than externally. As an added protective measure, store sensitive data in a place that cannot be accessed through the Web.
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