Help Your Customers Avoid These Five Common Website Security Issues

The most common targets for hackers are web applications and websites. According to SiteLock data, websites are attacked 94 times per day on average and IT Chronicles estimates that 4,000 cybercrimes are being committed each day in the United States alone. As a trusted security partner, it’s important to help educate your customers on today’s ever evolving threat landscape and provide guidance on proactive protection and threat prevention. With that in mind, this article will cover five common web security issues your customers should know about, along with best practices on how to avoid them.

PCI Noncompliance

If a business accepts credit cards to pay for goods and services, it needs to be PCI compliant. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is what determines if a business is compliant or not. The goal is to protect cardholder data by encrypting it so that in the event a bad actor was to somehow intercept data, all they would get is indecipherable data.

Web security issues that can occur when a business is not PCI compliant include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Identity theft
  • Fraudulent charges
  • Sale of credit card numbers
  • Medical fraud and more

To combat this, it is critical a business stay up to date on PCI DSS regulations. The PCI Security Standards Council has created a quick reference guide that can help to determine compliance or noncompliance

Unfortunately, becoming PCI compliant can be a time consuming and complicated process, especially if you don’t know where to start. It's helpful to look for partners that offer solutions to help your customers become PCI compliant easily and efficiently. Look for vendors who can help streamline the assessment and application process, as well as provide the solutions needed to protect against any potential security threats or weaknesses.

Installation Of Malicious Web Applications

Web security issues that can be incurred by unknowingly installing malware, ransomware, viruses, and many others. Simply visiting a website that you don’t know is malicious could result in unknowingly downloading extensions and programs that can wreak havoc on your website and computer systems. For example, clicking a link you think is legitimate, either via email or on a website, could lead you to a duplicate page created by a bad actor with the intent of obtaining login credentials and other private data you don’t want bad actors to get their hands on.

Additional examples of how malware and other bad programs can get installed include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Spam emails
  • Clicking malicious links within comments on a web forum or blog
  • Inserting a thumb drive laced with malicious programs
  • Engaging with hacked/compromised websites

To combat this, website owners should consider installing a web application firewall (WAF), using malware scanning and removal tools, and a website scanner. It’s also important to turn off automatic downloads and use caution with all installations. Always ensure you trust the sites you are downloading from.

Opening Up Your Website To Every Visitor

Not every visitor to a website is safe. In fact, not every visitor is even human. Infosecurity Magazine explained that 64% of traffic online is robots or bots for short. An alarming 39% of traffic is bad bots. Bad bots are built to infiltrate, steal, and sometimes destroy a website. To thwart web security issues like bad bots, a WAF is key. It’s also a good idea to use Captcha technology to prevent bots from accessing key pages on a website and require signing up for an account to access certain pages as well.

Failure To Monitor Your Website Daily

When people visit your website, they expect a positive user experience. This means they want to feel safe, know that their data is protected, and experience efficient page speed and navigation. In other words, they don’t want to deal with web security issues.

Bad website experiences can damage your reputation, impacting customer satisfaction and sales. That said, it’s important to keep a close eye on the following:

  • New login credentials you didn’t create
  • Malicious code on your website
  • New colors, images, uploads you or your web designer didn’t load
  • Load time of your pages - if your uptime increases dramatically, something could be amiss
  • Your search engine ranking and/or traffic - a sudden increase or dramatic decrease could indicate something is wrong

The trouble is a business owner is usually too busy running their business to constantly monitor the status of their website. That’s where website security solutions come to the rescue. For example, solutions that can automatically identify and remediate malware can help website owners avoid many of the t web security issues noted above. Leveraging website security solutions like this will keep an eye on things and let you know if anything is amiss. And, the addition of a malware removal tool can further aid in eradicating malicious programs that might be trying to infiltrate and corrupt a website as well.

Using Weak Passwords

Some of the biggest web security issues are the result of weak passwords. This includes bots and bad actors who can guess your weak password and infiltrate the backend of your website. Once they are in, any number of negative scenarios can play out including:

  • Loss of control to your website
  • Your site going offline
  • Cybercriminals gaining access to sensitive data and more

To make matters worse, if someone can guess your website credentials, they might be able to guess your banking and email credentials as well. This can lead to a loss of funds, damage to reputation, and who knows what else. To avoid weak passwords that can lead to web security issues, ensure your passwords are complex, lengthy, include multi-factor authentication, and aren’t used more than once. As a best practice, it’s helpful to use a password manager that makes it easy to have a different password for every website like LastPass or an equivalent. You can create complex passwords that are encrypted and don’t require that you remember all your logins because the software does it for you.

Bottom Line: Online Assets Need Protection

Many web security issues like the examples above can be avoided. It’s never been more important to offer your customers web security solutions to protect themselves and their visitors. Need help educating your customers on the value of web security issues and solutions? Consider joining SiteLock’s Channel Partners program. We’ll give you the tools to help your clients defend their online assets.

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