How to protect your website from viruses and hackers?
The spread of botnets is one of the biggest scourges of the modern cyberspace. A number of “zombie computers” subordinated to the hackers, is getting bigger. For the regular replenishment of the botnets unfair programmers hack websites and place the malicious code there to “infect” more and more new users. Each infected computer becomes one of the botnets` “agents”. How to secure your website from viruses and hacking? Continue reading to get the answer.
What are “zombie computers” used for?
There is a stereotype that hackers only attack websites of huge financial and political organizations, so the owners of E-commerce websites, personal blogs or educational portals have nothing to worry about. Practice has shown, that in the risk zone can be any web resource.
Except of the large-scale DDoS attacks, the zombie computers can be used by hackers for spam or phishing, to create so-called “search engine spam”, to obtain sensitive information (the bank account information, the mailbox and FTP server access, password Manager, etc.) from the website owner`s computer.
For all these actions the attackers need a lot of new botnets, so the demand for “zombie” computers, ready to perform any command, is raising every year. The botnet building has become a real business for unscrupulous computer geeks, they “recruit” new computers by hacking individual websites and hosting the malicious code there.
Why may be hackers interested in your website?
For creating the botnets hackers need to hack a lot of websites that will infect the computers of users who visited them. Typically, hackers focuse on the well-known web resources with a high rate of attendance. However, there are hundreds of examples when “small” websites suffered from hackers, too.
The attackers have a lot of reasons for hacking the websites. They place the malicious code that is downloaded by users when visiting the website. Using the vulnerabilities in software and operating systems, the malicious code can turn users’ computers into “soldiers” of the botnet ready to find out passwords and other confidential information, “parasite” on websites` SEO performance, redirecting visitors to another web resource, or perform other illegal actions.
The most popular way of the website hacking is the search of some vulnerabilities in CMS, on which the web resource is created. The principle of open source is convenient for webmasters, but it allows the hackers to hack thousands of websites in one shot. Typically, the source CMS code is pure, but plug-ins, templates and applications available for free contain malicious elements as usual. Installing them on your website, you risk a lot.
The resources of the hacked website may be used not only for «infecting» visitors, but also for spamming and phishing. This actions will have a negative impact on the mail server: the address may get to the spamlists and mailing from it will be impossible, fishing may produce negative effect, too (the website will receive abuses and the web hoster will block it in soon).
How to secure my websites` work?
To minimize the danger put attention to your own actions and to the actions of your web hosting provider. Thinking about building a website, choose a reliable web hosting service that has established itself successfully on the market, because a company of this level focuses on the security of the web resources located on their servers.
When choosing a provider, follow these criteria:
- look for a company with the reliable equipment (as usual professionals work with Cisco);
- the servers located in European datacenters can be a real benchmark of quality;
- anti-DDoS protection;
- the ability to host your web site on a dedicated IP address;
- two-factor authentication to the Client Area;
- anti-virus check of your website with threats identification;
- specialized web hosting plans for CMS (for example, WordPress or Joomla web hosting), that guarantee the access to the latest
- versions of the CMS with fixed vulnerabilities;
- possibility to install an SSL certificate;
- 24/7 technical support (a guarantee to get help or consultation any time you need it).
The website owner needs to be vigilant, too. You should not share the access to the website to people you do not know well.
The basic security measures for the website owner are:
- set strong passwords for the website control panel (better use password generators, and store passwords in the special managers but do not use your browser for this purpose);
- do not store passwords in your FTP client or on the mail servers;
- do not use plug-ins and modules that are downloaded from unknown web resources, as well as the old versions of the CMS.
According to experts, the popularity of the DDoS attacks in the world will increase. It means you should seriously consider about the protection of your web resources. Famous American cryptographer Bruce Schneier was sure: “Security is a process, not a product”, so don’t stop, even if once you’ve already taken steps to improve the security of your website!
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