Website security is one of the most important aspects of the web. With the growing number of people having access to computers in recent years, anyone can spend time learning how to compromise or breach the website security. It’s often the job of the web hosting company and developer to use different techniques to stop this from happening.
Why would you want to breach the security of a website? It’s a question I ask myself all the time but the simple answer is that some people find it fun. Obviously, not so fun for the owner of the website, who is in fear of having their content erased, replaced, or valuable information stolen. These people are widely known as ‘hackers’.
There are many techniques used by hackers to gain access to websites important information. One is SQL injection, which is where the hacker will place code in some sort of website form to trick the server into sending back data. Another is cross-site scripting, where the hacker inserts data to affect the website in a different way to trick the site into a false process. These are just 2 examples of very basic and “popular” techniques, which fortunately are also very easy to protect against.
Web developers (such as myself) have an important job in ensuring all data submitted by users is sanitized and encoded, as well as ensuring web applications check the validity of the data for false process hacking. It doesn’t just stop with developers though, hosting companies must also ensure their servers are safe from a different security perspective, such as making the server access passwords strong, and the networking security is robust.
In more recent times, new web security risks have been surfacing, such as mobile security. It’s common practice now for someone to visit an office for a meeting and log on to the company WIFI, which is also more than likely on the same network as crucial data on company servers. It’s more important than ever to protect networks and devices against these sorts of attacks. If you’re concerned about mobile security, download a free protection app such as AVG mobile or Avast mobile.
Another recent development which I believe will be a big part of website security in general is multi-factor authentication. This is where a system will not only ask you for a password, but also ask a security question, or ask you to enter the digits shown in one of those strange looking small images. Basically, asking for more than one authentication method to stop people who have gained access to the password.