How To Protect Your Web Applications And Business Sites From Online Attacks

2019-08-06 by Kristel Staci

The security of your online business and sites are of the utmost importance. This is especially true if you are conducting any type of business online where data and importance customer information is being collected. It's not just about the potential downtime on your site or app, but also what could possibly happen to your business and brand after an attack takes place.

With all of this in mind, it's important to prepare for the worst before anything happens. This type of preparation should start from day one, but is also something that can be implemented at any time.

Today we are going to take a look at some of the most effective and powerful ways to protect your online business applications, WordPress powered sites and more from hacks, downtime, and potential disasters that can happen without any notice.

Web Application and Software Attacks

When you hear about website hacks and attacks, you might often think about a web site going down and not being able to access the content. However, more often than not, the attack is actually happening on the inside and either injecting harmful viruses and data of their own, while also pulling out any important data that might also be of value.

With this in mind, web applications and online software are often a target for attacks and vulnerabilities. This happens all the time, especially when new software updates and features are waiting to be downloaded by the end user.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to help protect your applications from these types of attacks and data leaks as well.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is with a web application firewall (WAF). The way this protection works, is through continuous analyzing and inspecting of incoming requests to applications, which allows for immediate stoppage of such attacks.

In addition to using a WAF, the following precautions should also be in place:

  • Implementation of HTTPS and redirecting all HTTP traffic to HTTPS URLs
  • Enable the use of public key pins to prevent man in the middle attacks
  • Require all users to use strong passwords with a wide range of characters

Obviously, the more precautions you have in place, the less likely you are to successful attacks against your web applications.

WordPress Security and Updates

With WordPress being the most popular site builder and content management system in the world today, it's currently powering hundreds of millions of websites and blogs.

This means a few things:

  • WordPress is free and extremely easy to use and install
  • WordPress often requires updates, along with themes and plugins
  • Older and updated WordPress sites are a dream come true for hackers

With so many of these sites out there, it's really only a matter of time before someone (or a bot) comes along and tries to gain access to your WordPress sites. For times like these, the following free and premium plugins are recommended.

  • WebARX
  • MalCare
  • Wordfence Security
  • Sucuri Security
  • All In One WP Security & Firewall
  • BulletProof Security
  • iThemes Security

Each of these plugins can protect your WP site in different ways. However, we also recommend going with a higher level of web hosting that offers premium support and has data protection and backup services of their own as well.

HTML Website and FTP Servers

Believe it or not, but there are still web sites out there in straight HTML, and some content creators that still log into FTP software to upload content to their site.

While this might be an old school and traditional method for them to upload content and create a site, it also comes with a whole set of security vulnerabilities like anything else. However, depending on the type of content you are creating and who you want to get access to it, there are different options out there for security and protecting your content.

Such protections consist of:

  • Using .htaccess and password protection to block access to different directories and content on your site
  • Making sure your FTP application is reliable, trusted, and updated at all times
  • Changing your FTP and site server admin passwords often

With most site owners having already moved site builder platforms and WordPress, there isn't as many resources out there for protecting basic HTML site and FTP access -- however, this is something that should be considered when choosing a web hosting solution. Even with premium web hosting costing as little as a few dollars per month, there are still hundreds of millions of free hosting accounts out there, which are mostly left vulnerable to large scale attacks.

As always, you will want to go with a reliable and trusted hosting provider that does weekly, if not daily, backups and always has a support team on hand should anything happen.

No matter where your website or applications are being hosted, and who they are serving, it's extremely important to make sure you have extra security in place at all times. The world of hacking isn't someone sitting at a desk in their basement and chugging away at the computer. It's much more sophisticated now, and powered through AI and simultaneous attacks across multiple sites.

Protect your business and most important data today. You've been warned!

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