Insecure server – Vulnerable to attack!
The security of a web server which is hosting a website is equally important as securing a website (SSL certificate) itself. A web server is made up of multiple layers, hence severely prone to attack. More the number of layers or blocks, more the chances a server could be attacked by malware or Trojans. No need to say, insecure websites are the real threat for online transactions.
Layers of a web server
Cookies: “Cookies” & “Session cookies” are the two different types but much similar in their functionality. They are small files created by the web browser which stores data. The only difference between these two is: “While cookies are stored on the user’s computer, session cookies allow web applications to store data in the memory”. Hackers can easily modify a cookie to fool a website.
Authentication: Few areas in every website are only for some privileged customers or registered users. Before your visitors gain access to these areas, you need to find a secure way for visitors to identify themselves. If not done properly, for sure you are going to lose your customers in few days due to malware and virus attack.
Components, Libraries & add-ons: This is human nature- “we always want to save our time, money & effort”. This lenient behavior could cost our startup. Usage of pre-built & customizable systems are obvious; they save our time & money. Many of the popular products found to be exploitable, even though installed correctly.
Log Files: Log files are very important to secure from the security point of view for your website. A modern virus can fetch the cached FTP (File Transfer Protocol) of user’s machine, hence allows hackers to gather the data of credentials. Which in turn, provides these hackers access to the websites.
For Cookies: Never trust user input, whether it comes directly from visitors, or indirectly through cookies. Be sure to limit the amount of data stored in cookies. Special attention is required for the data which is sensitive, critical, confidential & one which should not be made available to the public. Suspect every data stored on an end-user machine.
For Authentication: Nowadays, various ways are available to authenticate customers: basic authentication, digest authentication & SSL certificates (HTTPs encryption). Out of these, HTTPs encryption is more popular. Generally, HTTPs encrypts all the data transferred between the browser & the server. HTTPs secure online transactions for websites that require end-users to provide critical information (credit card passwords, medical history, login IDs, Account statement etc.)
For Components, Libraries & add-ons: It is very important to keep track on any add-ons that are in use & update them regularly. The popularity of few packages can create a sense of trust but many of the popular products found exploitable.
For Log Files: Configure the servers to save logs, enabled it all times. Also, try to implement FTPs logs as well, so that you can review all FTP access.
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