It is quite clear from the greatest data breaches and cyber-attacks of the last decade that marginal and careless errors and lapses in website security have proved to be dangerous. Even large players have suffered heavy losses, not only in terms of money but also in terms of customers, trust, brand image and goodwill as a result of the attack.
We compiled a list of 10 most dangerous website security errors to avoid.
The website is vulnerable to injection attacks such as cross – site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, command injection and other such security attacks because it does not validate which content and inputs are uploaded. Input uploads of both the server and the browser ends must be validated. Organizations often validate inputs only from the end of the browser because it is easy and does not validate server end inputs leading to malicious / malformed data / scripts running on the website and its databases.
Irregular or no security scans of websites
The importance of regular website security scanning cannot be emphasized sufficiently. It is only by regular scanning that we can identify and correct vulnerabilities and gaps. Organizations often make the cardinal mistake of not scanning their websites every day and following major changes in company policies, systems, etc.
Authentication and permissions
Admin or server ending root passwords such as admin, 1234 or other commonly used words. These can easily be broken using password cracking programs and the website is compromised if the password is broken.
Do not implement a strong password and multifactor authentication policy for website users. When the website allows its users to continue using default passwords allows weak passwords without expiry of passwords and relies uniformly on security passwords, the organization is vulnerable to infringements and attacks.
Giving permissions and privileges to end users and external entities to the administrator makes the website vulnerable. Changing folder and file permission structures based on poor Internet advice to fix permission errors, but opening the website to change its structure, modify codes and run malicious programs.
Unconsolidated security measures
It is often the case that web developers and organizations do not think holistically about website security and therefore adopt unconsolidated security measures. You can use a Web security scanner, for example, but not a Web Application Firewall (WAF). The vulnerabilities and gaps are effectively identified by the scanner, but the website is left in a vulnerable condition until the vulnerabilities are fixed (which even for critical vulnerabilities takes more than 100 days) or the developers focus on patching the website instead of fixing the vulnerabilities.
Homegrown security methods and algorithms
Based on the mistaken assumption that homegrown / self – developed algorithms and methods are better and safer, as attackers are unfamiliar with each other, developers use these’ authentic ‘ security measures. This only increases the likelihood of vulnerabilities and gaps that attackers and bots employ easily detect. It’s always better to use well tested algorithms and methods.
Outdated software, components with known vulnerabilities & unnecessary / unwanted components
Updates contain critical patches and by not updating the software regularly, we only send invitations to attackers (who constantly snoop for loopholes and lapses in security) to orchestrate breaches. Old and desired files, apps, databases, etc. Creating portals for attackers is not cleaned from the website. Developers that use components known to have vulnerabilities such as unpatched third – party software, outdated plug – ins, open source components, uninspected and copy-pasted codes, etc. Make the site insecure too, weak and vulnerable to attack.
Not tested regularly
While website scanning is necessary every day and is not sufficient after major changes. Every piece of code, software, updates and components on the website must be tested. There is also a need for quarterly penetration tests and safety audits by certified safety experts. This ensures that your website is safe and your users are secure. Unencrypted sensitive data One of the most dangerous errors committed by organizations is not the encryption of sensitive data such as personal data, credit card and baking information, passwords, etc. At all times (transit, rest and storage) we simply increase the risk of exposure by not encrypting all sensitive data and having a plain text format.
Missing level of access control
When sensitive request handlers do not have sufficient or non – existent authentication control, the resulting vulnerability is known as a missing level of access control. For example, an unauthorized entity can access a URL containing sensitive information or hidden features, etc. Because no authentication check is installed. The impact of this vulnerability varies from accessing insignificant information for attackers to take over the entire website.
Lax attitude to website security
This is the most dangerous security error on the website. Top management must be proactive towards the security of the website, invest wisely for the right purposes, develop a sound cyber security strategy and fit a culture of proactivity and readiness within the organization. Silos should be broken and critical information should be shared seamlessly across departments.