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How to Protect Your Website from Cyber Attacks?

In today's world of technology everything can be done online and millions of websites are on the internet. But along with it comes the darker sides like hacking, online fraud, phishing, spamming and other cyber-attacks. The trending topic in Information technology field today is Web security. As the web applications increase in number, so does the hackers and the instances of cyber-attacks.

Attackers always try to find the weak points in the website and exploit those flaws to perform any illegitimate or malicious activity. These flaws or weaknesses in the websites are known as vulnerabilities. Anything that can harm the security of the applications and the servers is vulnerability. The basis of web security is based on CIA triangle - Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. Confidentiality lays stress on protection of data and sensitive information. Integrity involves the accuracy, reliability and consistency of data while availability deals with maintenance of hardware and software so that data is accessible uninterrupted all the time. These three components guide the information security policies. 
So to protect your website from cyber-attacks, you need to find out the vulnerabilities and then fix them. This process comprises of following steps:

1.     Information gathering and Reconnaissance
2.     Vulnerability Identification
3.     Risk and Impact assessment
4.     Remediation

Vulnerability Assessment can be done both manually and automatically with the help of tools. The easiest way is to use online tools which scan your complete website thoroughly and deeply in less amount of time. They find out all the vulnerabilities, segregate them according to their risks or severity. Some vulnerability is critical like Injections (SQL, Command, LDAP), Cross Site Scripting (XSS), Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF), Broken Authentication, etc. If an attacker successfully exploits any of these vulnerabilities, then the complete web application can be compromised leading to online fraud causing severe business impacts. These vulnerabilities need to be fixed immediately. There are other high, medium and low severity vulnerabilities like Information disclosure, malicious file upload, weak encryption algorithms, click-jacking, improper access controls, security misconfigurations, improper session management and others which are all reported by these online vulnerability scanners. The hackers or any malicious user can use these vulnerabilities to perform attacks like Denial of Service (DoS), introduction of viruses, updating customer information, phishing, performing illegitimate activities like online transactions to fulfill their motives.

Following is the list of good tools which efficiently find vulnerabilities in a website online:

1.   Acunetix
2.     SiteGuarding
     Scan my server
     Qualys FreeScan
     Netsparker Cloud
 Tinfoil Security

There are other tools also available online which can be used manually for testing and finding the vulnerabilities like BurpSuite, Nessus from Teenable Network Security, SQL map, Wireshark, Fiddler and many more. But you need to have enough knowledge to perform testing manually.

On the other hand online tools not only identify the vulnerabilities, but also output the results very nicely which is easy to understand and read. You can download the report in pdf, csv or html format. It also shows graphically the count of vulnerabilities along with their risks, which helps you identify which of these need to be fixed immediately. The report is quite extensive and covers almost everything. It also provides remediation steps for fixing the vulnerabilities found. Hence you can use online tools easily to protect your website from any sort of attacks.


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