What is Website Security

What is Website Security?

Website security is an often neglected area of website design and hosting. Protecting websites and checking their security, threats, and risks is a serious business. However, that doesn't mean you can't start from the basics. Nearly anyone who owns a website or has any presence on the internet should become familiar with common website scams.

Some of the vulnerabilities can lead to defacement or destruction of their website. Also blackmailing, or trafficking in personal data. I suppose you may have heard about website security, not from us but from others. Yet it never hurts to refresh your knowledge.

Website security is not something to neglect until you face the consequences. We should dedicate time and resources to securing our websites and information. Security patches, firewalls, and antivirus software are not “rocket science.” Anyone with a piece of basic knowledge will know what they are and their importance. Given how many people use free web services, the amount of contact between these websites is enormous.

This means that the number of virus applications is also significant. Hackers are cashing in on internet security vulnerabilities. They use spam and compromised websites to distribute viruses.

That's why I am sharing this with you today, to give you a better understanding of website security and how you can protect your website.

Website Security

Website security is the total of all active and passive measures taken to protect your website.

What is Website Security?

Website security is the total of all active and passive measures taken to protect your website. It includes things like firewalls, intrusion detection software, and regular audits. Taken together, these elements help prevent hackers from compromising your site. They also prevent them from stealing information or installing malicious code.

Website security is a shared responsibility. You have to have the right tools in place and make sure they're used properly. And you should have a plan in place in case your site does get hacked.

But that's not enough. Your customers also need to feel safe on your site. They need to know that you're doing everything possible to protect them from cybercriminals.

What is Website Security infographic

Types of Website Security

There are several ways in which you can protect your website from attacks. Here is a list of the most common types of website security:

1. Physical Protection

Physical protection of your data center is an important part of website security. You want to be sure that no one who isn't authorized can access your servers or data center. If someone gains physical access to your servers, they could install a backdoor. Alternatively, a Trojan virus or other malicious code would give them access to all your data. This can be prevented by implementing a combination of security software and physical security controls such as guards, alarms, and surveillance systems.

2. Firewalls

A firewall is an essential part of any effective website security system. A firewall provides the first layer of protection for your data by filtering incoming and outgoing traffic. It is done by setting rules to allow only certain types of traffic, and by blocking traffic that doesn’t meet certain conditions.

Website security solutions address a wide range of issues, including:

  • Notification: Alert you to malicious or unwanted activity on your website and allow you to block, report, or ignore it.
  • Firewall: Protect your website from intrusion attempts by hackers and other malicious parties.
  • Intrusion Detection: Notify you of intrusion attempts so that you can take appropriate actions to prevent damage.
  • Anti-virus: Identify viruses, Trojans, and other malicious code (malware) through a variety of means and take action.
  • Backup solutions: Back up and restore your entire website, database, or selected files in an emergency.
  • Password protection: Force visitors to enter a password before they can access certain parts of a website.

Why is Website Security so Important?

Many companies make the mistake of allowing their websites to remain unprotected. Unprotected websites are subject to cyber-crimes and hacks. This can bring down a business, cause loss of customers, and significant financial damage.

There are some ways in which cybercriminals can hack into your website:

  1. Search engine blacklist: Your site can be blacklisted because it contains malware that redirects visitors. It can be to sites hosting malicious software or for spreading misleading information.
  2. Phishing: Phishing sites are created by cybercriminals. The aim is to lure victims into revealing their personal information, credit card details, and other sensitive data.
  3. Backdoors: A backdoor is a method used to bypass system security measures and gain unauthorized access to a website, database, or network.
  4. Redirect hacks: A redirect hack works by altering the DNS settings on a computer, sending visitors to an unintended web address without their knowledge.
  5. Malware: A website may contain malware that downloads harmful software onto visitors’ computers while they are browsing websites. This can result in identity theft, loss of confidential data, and financial loss.

What are Websites Fighting Against?

Passive Attacks

Passive attacks are more common than active attacks. Passive attacks are related to the behavior of users, where they try to find a way to get into the website.

Inactive attacks are when an attack is being done from external sources, like when someone tries to send a virus through an email.

Active Attacks:

Active attacks are also called "direct" or "inbound" attacks. An active attack is when an attacker tries to directly access your system and cause harm to it. When we talk about active attacks there are mainly two kinds of them – Unexpected and expected.

An active attack on a website is an attack that tries to destroy or alter the source code of the website and consequently, its content. This type of attack results in damage to the website and can be very harmful to its owner, especially if it is a business site.

There are several types of active attacks on a website:

Denial of Service (DOS) Attack:

This kind of attack tries to flood the server with useless traffic, thus making it impossible for any user to access it.

Buffer Overflow Attack:

This type of attack involves sending huge amounts of data to a server that causes its memory to overflow. It results in the loss of important data or even crashing the system.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Attack:

It is one of the most common types of attacks on websites. In this type of attack, malicious scripts are injected into legitimate, trusted websites when visited by users. These scripts execute themselves on the user's browser. They then perform undesired activities like stealing cookies, data, etc.

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) Attack

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attack is a type of malicious exploit of websites where unauthorized commands are transmitted to the target website via malicious web pages.

Such attacks are possible because of the immutability of the HTTP protocol and its handling of state information.

The attack occurs when an attacker crafts requests in such a way that a legitimate user is tricked into making changes on behalf of the attacker.

The user must be authenticated by the vulnerable website, so CSRF attacks are often more severe than other forms of malicious exploits.

Unexpected attack

An unexpected attack is when your machine gets attacked by someone without you knowing it. The main characteristic of this type of attack is that the attacker is not known to you and that you don't know anything about him/her.

You can't prevent this kind of attack and most of the time you're not even aware that your machine is attacked. If a virus infects one of your machines it's most probably because it was attacked in this way.

Trying to protect yourself against these kinds of attacks doesn't make much sense. You don't even know for sure that someone is trying to hack into your system.

Popular Methods of Securing your Website

1. SSL Certification

SSL certification is the most efficient way to protect your site in terms of security. The SSL certificate encrypts your site which means all data passing through the servers is hidden. This makes it impossible for hackers to steal data from your website.

It also ensures that any sensitive information is encrypted as soon as it is entered in the form fields on your website.

2. Web Application Firewall

A web application firewall is a security mechanism that sits between the web server and the internet. It defends against malicious requests.

A WAF sits in the web server's request processing pipeline at a point before the actual request is served to the user. This allows it to monitor and block any malicious activity.

The main purpose of WAF is to prevent automated attacks on websites.

It does this by (usually) bot-based malicious agents that constantly scan through all the websites they can find on the internet. They do this in search of vulnerabilities or loopholes they can use for DOS or DDoS attacks.

If your website is large enough or if it's been around for some time, you probably already have a DDoS protection service set up for it.

That's great because DDoS attacks are not only very annoying for your users.

Trying to stop these automated DOS/DDoS attacks with just another firewall doesn't make much sense. These bots constantly scan through many IP addresses at once. The only way to protect yourself from them is by monitoring their activities as closely as possible and blocking them.

3. Website Security Scanners

A malware scanner is a security software that examines your computer's hard drive for any form of malicious code. This includes viruses, worms, Trojan horses, adware, spyware, or any other malicious software.

Trying to find out if you are infected with malware is a very difficult task without the help of a good and efficient scanner.

You can download anti-virus programs from many different websites. But, one thing most of these programs have in common is that they are only capable of detecting malware that has already made its way onto your computer.

A good malware scanner will not only be able to scan your hard drive for possible threats and viruses. But it will also be able to monitor every file you download on your PC so that you don't accidentally download a malicious file.

4. Software updates

In the last year, WordPress has seen a huge increase in exploitation attempts from hackers. This is likely because WordPress is currently powering over 43% of all websites on the Internet.

With this much traffic and so many people using it, it's obvious why hackers are targeting this giant CMS platform.

To make matters worse, there are thousands of plugins available for WordPress. Many of these plugins allow you to add extra content or customize your website in one way or another. Unfortunately, these plugins often have security holes that can leave your site vulnerable to attacks.

To prevent getting hacked, you must always ensure you're using up-to-date versions of WordPress and any plugins you're using.

The great thing about WordPress is that it comes with its own built-in updater. It checks your active installations and updates them when an update is available. You do, however, have to set it up for automatic installations under plugins.

5. Website Backup

If your organization has a website, you’re aware of just how vulnerable it can be. Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerable websites, and this means attacks are getting more sophisticated.

Any organization that has a web presence should ensure they have a backup plan in place and keep it updated regularly.

Most of the time, website backups are the responsibility of IT professionals via a third party. But, you can help keep your organization protected by making sure that the organization’s IT policy accounts for frequent backups. The important thing is to have one in place and to make sure that it is active.

Setting up automated backups can be tricky: there are many different factors involved. You are accounting for server software, platform, storage provider, and more.

To get started on setting up an automated backup system, ask your hosting provider what they recommend. This will ensure you’re getting the best service possible.

In addition to keeping a copy of your website on-site, you should also maintain offsite backups. This is so that if anything were to happen with your data center (e.g., a flood), you wouldn’t lose everything. There are many different options for off-site storage; if you have multiple facilities, consider using them to store

6. File and Data Management

The website files must have a backup either over an online resource such as a cloud server or an offline medium such as hard disk drives or offline servers.

The website administrator must also get rid of the files that are no longer in use and are junk. This way, the server on which the website is running becomes light and a cybercriminal cannot DDoS the website by sending PHP requests.

Many people do not know how to manage their websites well and this results in downtime of their websites. To prevent downtime, one must ensure that all of the website files are backed up either over an online resource such as a cloud server or an offline medium such as hard disk drives or offline servers.

A good practice is to back up your entire website once in a while to keep the files safe from any form of loss. It is very important to keep all of your data secure because you never know when a disaster will strike.

File management can be done in two ways – manually and automatically. If you have too many files, then you can use automatic file management services like WHMCS File Manager.

It helps you create categories for your files according to their types and will organize them for you. It allows you to perform tasks like uploading, downloading, deleting, and creating new directories, etc.

7. Domain, Hosting & IP address

This method will ensure that your website name and hosting are not used by someone else for malicious activities. The best way to do this is by registering a domain name for your business.

Once you have a domain name, it’s time to register for a hosting service.

This method makes it difficult for hackers and spammers to use your services for their own personal gain or illegal activities.

8. Security Software

This can be both antivirus software or firewall software, whichever you feel more comfortable using on your system. You must keep everything updated at

Although website security isn’t usually a topic that gets discussed very often, it is something everyone with a website or any kind of digital presence should be aware of.

Today’s social engineering methods and website hacking techniques constantly evolve. As such, it pays to stay informed about the latest trends and how you can safeguard your information and resources.

In Summary: What is Website Security?

So, where does that leave us with website security? I think we should continue moving toward greater awareness. Webmasters need to keep their websites up-to-date and make security a top priority.

Users need to be careful when using the web, avoid shady sites, and take the information they find on the internet with a grain of salt. Companies should continue educating users about the value of the data they collect, the risks involved, and what they do.

Ultimately, the best defense against hackers is to make sure there’s always a strong backup of your latest files. If a hacker takes down your website, you don’t want your whole business to go down with it.

So, having backups is essential for everything from choosing hosting or domain names to setting up email accounts. You also want to make sure that you’re using top-notch software and browser tools that can help protect you.

And when all else fails, you should know who you can call in the case of an emergency. Whether that’s your host’s tech support team or a professional company specializing in website security.

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Nonofo Joel
Nonofo Joel

Nonofo Joel, Head of Growth at Fine Media, is an inbound marketing expert committed to business innovation and success. As Part of his work, he helps companies choose the best hosting options ideal for their business. He passionately advances human capital development across Africa as a dedicated volunteer on the Lehikeng Board.

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