Long gone are the days when websites were made up of static content with little value to malicious hackers. Today, most web sites are robust applications, leveraging databases with sensitive information that, if it fell into the wrong hands, could cost millions in lost business and legal fees. Keeping your website safe from hackers should be a top priority for any business or individual, but figuring out where to start can be daunting. Fortunately, there is a solution. At Oprette, we have a solid grasp on attack vectors, security solutions and software development best practices, and we have a solid understanding of what it will take for us to keep your websites and data secure on the web.

How Hackers Compromise Website Security

Hackers use a wide variety of techniques in order to gain access to your sensitive data or take advantage of your website’s reputation. To cover each possible attack vector would be impossible, but OWASP, an international web security community based out of the United States, maintains plenty of articles and forum threads on the subject. Among the most informative is the OWASP Top 10, which details the most common attack methods hackers use to compromise web site security and hijack your data.

Even if you aren’t the most technically savvy person, we believe having a basic understanding of the major threats to website security will help you make better decisions and keep your website safer. The most common type of attack is injection, where the hacker will take advantage of a bug in the application to gain access to the website’s database. Cross-site scripting (XSS) allows a skilled hacker to take advantage of a comments section or other user input method to force a website to run malicious code they’ve written. Cross-site request forgery (CSRF), on the other hand, allows a malicious user to gain access to administrative or members-only areas via a number of different security protocols, including, but not limited to, HTTP requests and image tags. Finally, human error in website administration, including inappropriate system privileges and security configurations, can create vulnerabilities for hackers. To learn more about these and other methods of attack, you can check out this guide to the OWASP Top 10.

How to Keep Safe in an Unsafe Digital World

With so many potential risks, we understand that a lot of individuals and businesses looking to establish their online presence can feel overwhelmed. Here at Oprette, however, we are dedicated to building you a product that is safe, reliable, and hardened against attack from malicious cybercriminals. Through our embrace of security best practices, we can build software that is resilient against hack attempts and minimizes your chances of a serious data breach or cross-site attack. While perfect security is impossible, by making use of these best practices you can rest assured that your website will be far from easy prey to black hat hackers.

SQL injection, though potentially devastating, is completely preventable with a key attention to detail. Essentially, SQL injection takes advantage of a failure to properly sanitize user input. We have made sure that we only use APIs and programming techniques that allow your website to escape input that could potentially compromise your database’s security. By ensuring that every user input is sanitized, you can eliminate the possibility of breaching your database via injection completely, thus securing your website against this common hack.

Since so many websites are now generated dynamically from JavaScript, XSS attacks have been on the rise. However, there are a number of easy ways to defeat them. Just like in securing against SQL injection, you can ensure that all user inputs are sanitized, so malicious code cannot be added to the page by a user with bad intentions. Furthermore, you can use a strong content security policy (CSP), which allows us to tell the browser what kind of JavaScript should run on your website. A solid CSP allows you to only run JavaScript hosted on your server, greatly reducing the possibility of a successful XSS attack.

Other methods can also help keep your website more secure. Most web programming frameworks, like Ruby on Rails or Python’s Django, now provide robust support for functions that protect your site against cross-site request forgery attacks. Using the HTTPS protocol to secure transmissions between your server and your users can prevent man-in-the-middle attacks from intercepting sensitive information like social security or credit card numbers, and this protocol is becoming the standard across the web. When validating forms, using both server-side and browser validation greatly increases the chance of detecting a malicious submission. By making use of these techniques, along with others, you can rest assured your site will be among the safest on the web.

Penetration Testing

A great way to keep your website secure is to hire hackers to test its security. These ethical, or white hat, hackers will attempt to gain access to your sensitive information using the same techniques that cybercriminals leverage, essentially giving your site a trial by fire. They will document any security gaps that they find, and work with you to make sure that they’re filled in quickly. You can find many penetration testing firms online that have stellar reputations, and specialize in a variety of different attack vectors.

While perfect security online is still impossible, your website can be made much safer by utilizing the techniques we’ve discussed. We understand the security landscape very well at Oprette, and keeping your website safe is baked into our organizational DNA. Whether it’s defending you from XSS attacks or keeping you safe from SQL injection, you can rest assured that your safety is in good hands.