Five Security Tips to Avoid a Hacker Attack

“There are more hackers breeding every day, and more brilliant minds are turning into hackers. Security has advanced, but so have hackers.”
-Michael Demon Calce

With the expansion of cyberspace, the risk associated with security breaches has grown too. The following article was posted on Linkedin, and we thought we would re-publish as the content is so important.

We hear cyber-fraud incidents now and then. Crimes like syphoning of funds, identity theft, phishing, password stealing, and more are making top stories of newspapers every other day.

The sad part is that not only commoners but leading IT firms and banking institutions have also suffered losses due to the data breach. Last year, HSBC reported hacking of some bank accounts of its U.S. customers in which personal information like full name, date of birth, phone number, account number, and payee account information, was stolen. After the hacking incident, the bank fortified their log-on and authentication process to prevent such events in the future.

Generally, people behind malicious cybercrime activities are usually notorious hackers. They break into computer systems/networks and steal, modify, or destroy vital information, often resulting in financial loss and/or defamation.

Increased incidents of online frauds & identity thefts have forced people to adopt some precautionary measures in the last few years. If you are keen to protect your online assets and sensitive data, we present you the top five tips to avert a hacker attack. Read on to stay safe in the online space –

Use Strong Passwords

Using strong passwords is the well-known technique that will prevent security breaches to your account, but sadly, it is also the most ignored one! Using birth dates, family member’s name, etc. in the passwords is like sending an invitation to hackers to attack your accounts.

Make sure you set strong passwords. Stick with the requirements of minimum length and use uppercase letters, special characters, and numbers to make your password hard to guess.
Using a hashing algorithm in storing passwords is also a great technique that can help you prevent unauthorized entry. It will allow only users with corresponding encrypted values the access, and keep the data safe.

Get a Security Socket Installer Installed

Adding a security socket layer (SSL) is an excellent way by which you can secure your communication links.
SSL protocols such as HTTPS allows you to send a secure communication and ensure that intruders are unable to gain access to your information.
It is quite useful in pages which require users to enter sensitive information such as login details and credit card information. HTTPS will ward off attackers as they won’t be able to imitate the users anymore.

SSL layers not only enhance your security controls but also act as a great marketing tool by boosting your SEO rankings.

Shield Your Website From SQL Injection

When an attacker uses a URL parameter and manipulates your database to gain access to your website, it is termed as a SQL Injection attack.
In case you are utilizing Standard Transact SQL, you are at a higher risk of becoming a victim of SQL Injection attack. It makes it very easy for the attacker to enter a bogus code into the query and gain access to information.

One way to prevent the SQL attack is to use a parameterized query as it can stop the attacker from entering the query at the end of the statement.
What’s more? – Most web development languages are equipped with it and make it quite easy to implement.

Avoid File Uploads

When users upload the files to your website, there runs a high risk that it contains a malicious script that exposes your website to unauthorized access and modification.
Also, it is not feasible to rely on mime type and file extension and allow users to upload files as these can easily be faked. You will have to treat every file with suspicion if the form that allows these file uploads is unavailable.

Moreover, restricting direct access is a great option to prevent a security breach. Here, files uploaded will be stored in an external folder that can be accessed later on just by creating a script to find them.

Further, a no-tolerance policy works best in keeping malicious files out of your website. Stick with that and ensure owning a hack-proof site.

Investing In Vulnerability Scanners

Vulnerability scanners identify technical weaknesses in your website, including the ones vulnerable to SQL Injection and XSS attacks.

However, you must select the right one with all the essential features. Make sure that high-risk vulnerabilities such as Cross-Site Scripting are covered apart from the common ones. It should be updated regularly and shall always be backed up by a team of qualified staff to keep cybercriminals at bay. We hope these tips help you safeguard your website and prevent the data breach in cyberspace! Keep visiting our space for more such posts!

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