Owner security

Are all websites hackable? Why not)?

Frankly, no security is 100% secure. As infections continue to rise across the web and attackers think of more innovative ways to stay undetected, many site owners wonder if they will be the next victim. In this article, we’ll discuss what to look for and consider when running a website, why these hacks can happen, and how to lock down vulnerabilities.

What types of sites are the most vulnerable?

No site is completely 100% secure because sites are run by people and people are fallible. However, some sites are more vulnerable than others, and the goal is not to take these unnecessary risks. How a site is hosted, a shared or fully dedicated environment, makes a difference in its vulnerability.

Additionally, the more control and access a site owner has over their hosting, the more privileges and responsibilities they must be responsible for. It can also lead to errors and increased vulnerability.

Sites built on Godaddy’s website builder, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and Managed WordPress manage core parties on behalf of their clients.

With any website building service, you basically don’t have to worry about fixing or updating anything. Despite having limited access to the content of the server itself, there can still be a problem with weak passwords.

If you use the same predictable password on many websites and those sites experience a data breach, your the password could be sold on the black market and used to access your website builder account.

It’s important to regularly check databases for data breachesuse passwords generated through a password manager and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all possible websites.

Overall, you need to figure out what level of access you need as a site owner and whether all the extra features are really necessary. The answer may be different for the start-up compared to the large company.

Having more access/capacities means you have to spend more time to manage everything properly and have more responsibilities. This is the big trade-off when comparing with website building scenarios where you almost only have to worry about the content itself.

Why websites are hacked

Site owners always wonder why an infection happened in the first place, or if they were specifically targeted. However, attacks are usually automated when vulnerabilities are detected.

It is very rare for the site owner to be personally targeted, unless a large payout is at stake for the attacker. Typically, hacks happen through access control, software vulnerabilities, or third-party integrations. In my previous message, How Malware Enters Your SiteI go over specific details of how an infection can end up on a website.

It is also good practice to familiarize yourself with Top OWASP Security Risks and Vulnerabilities.

Although Sucuri does not provide forensic services to directly answer this question, there are web-based tools and services available to you which we will discuss below.

How to check if a website is hackable

Often companies try to hack their own site or hire white hat pirates to hack into it so they can determine exactly where the vulnerabilities are. As sites become more complex, there are more entry points for attackers to take advantage of.

Website vulnerability scanning tools such as WPScan or Out-of-Band Application Security Test (OAST) are useful additions to any security arsenal.

Hackers usually try to determine the type of web server, software and operating system (operating system) used. It’s important to make sure to update all default server configurations, as well as verify unrestricted access to server folders and all open ports.

It is also important to consider the privilege level of each user. You want to set up the privilege of least privilege. Limiting what each user can access to only what they need will minimize the risk of a breach through an account, where an attacker can potentially take advantage of higher privileges.

If you think you have discovered an infection, you can consult our guide to cleaning up a hacked siteor ask our remediation team handle the cleaning for you.

In conclusion

Ultimately, hackers don’t think like us. They will destroy a database or crash a site without batting an eyelid. Along with regular testing for site vulnerabilities, site owners should always take extra precautions to ensure their site is as secure as possible.

Although managing a site can seem overwhelming, there are plenty of options and tools you can use to lighten some of the load. Have a to scan in place will regularly check the site for modifications or malicious scripts. Setting up a Web Application Firewall will ensure that any malicious request does not reach the site or any content on it that should not be publicly available.

Be on the lookout for unusual traffic, multiple failed login attempts, and unknown admin accounts because despite their best efforts to keep your site as secure as possible, hackers work just as hard to find new ways to ‘to access.