Website security is the last thing that many companies will think while they're on their website building process. Even if a website security expert is hired in their team, they'll always focus how and when to put their websites live – leaving major vulnerabilities unattended.

You have to understand that an effective approach to website security must be proactive and defensive. This is a gentle reminder to you that website security must be taken seriously. It's good to be worried about the bad effects of it to your business and reputation.

List of the 5 website security issues and notable website creation mistakes that you should know:

  • Security Issues with Websites #1: Injection Mistakes
  • Security Issues with Websites #2: Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
  • Security Issues with Websites #3: Not Updating Security Settings
  • Security Issues with Websites #4: Exposing Sensitive Data
  • Security Issues with Websites #5: A Lost Function Level Access Control

Security Issues with Websites #1: Injection Mistakes

If you want a smooth filter of untrusted input, injections flaws must be avoided at all cost. An injection flaw can let you pass unfiltered data to the SQL server, to the browser, to the LDAP server (LDAP injection), or anywhere else. These website layers can be used by a hacker to inject commands. This can result in loss of data and hacking your own website. In fact, it can also infect other websites as well.

Security Issues with Websites #2: Cross Site Scripting (XSS)

This is another form injection vulnerability that can input sanitization failure. A hacker sets up your web application JavaScript tags on input. When this input is returned to the user unsanitized, the user’s browser will carry it out. It can be as simple as crafting a link and persuading a user to click it, or it can be something much more sinister. On page load the script runs and, for example, can be used to post your cookies to the hacker.


website security issues

Security Issues with Websites #3: Not Updating Security Settings

Any responsible website security personnel will always make sure to personalize your security settings such as passwords and authentications. Perhaps, some people are still human to miss important things in their jobs. Some concrete scenarios are:

  • They let the application run with debug enabled in production.
  • They didn't change default keys and passwords.
  • They left the directory listing enabled on the server, which leaks valuable information.
  • They allow unnecessary services running on the machine.
  • They operated an outdated software (think WordPress plugins, old PhpMyAdmin).
  • They didn't fix some pop-up messages on error information.

Security Issues with Websites #4: Exposing Sensitive Data

It's a huge failure for a website security personnel – to not encrypt and not protect your sensitive data. Information (such as credit card details) and user passwords should never travel or be stored unencrypted, and passwords should always be hashed. And while it goes without saying that session IDs and sensitive data should not be traveling in the URLs. Moreover, sensitive cookies should have the secure flag on, this is very important and cannot be over-emphasized.

Security Issues with Websites #5: A Lost Function Level Access Control

An authorization failure can also disrupt your website. It means that when a function is called on the server, proper authorization was not performed. A lot of times, website developers rely on the fact that the server side generated the UI. They think that the functionality that is not supplied by the server cannot be accessed by the client. It is not as easy as they thought, as a hacker can always fake requests to the “hidden” functionality and will not be prevented by the fact that the UI doesn’t make this functionality easily accessible. Nothing can stop an attacker from discovering this functionality and abusing it if authorization is missing.

It is important to always keep in mind that the 5 security issue with websites mentioned above are just a few to mention. There are a lot more website security issues that website security personnel deals with as technology develops and changes.

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Cwatch on Strengthening Website Security

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