Conducting a website security audit can have great implications for your website. It’s well known that a hack or attack can lead to lost revenue for your business.
You think that your website is safe, but think again.
Did you know that about 86% of websites have at least one security flaw? That means that there’s a good chance that your website is vulnerable, too.
You’ve worked hard to design your website and build up content. Why let a hacker destroy what you worked to build? A website security audit is a way for you to know if and how your website is vulnerable.
Keep reading for easy steps you can take to perform a website audit that will save you time, frustration and money.
Most Common Types of Attacks
When you’re conducting a website security audit, it helps to know what you’re protecting your website from. Let’s take a look at the most common types of website attacks.
DDoS: A Distributed Denial of Service attack hits your website or server with so much automated traffic, that your systems are overwhelmed. Your systems can’t function, which means that legitimate traffic can’t access your site.
Malware: This is the most common website security risk. Malware is any software with the intent to do hard to your website, such as steal your customer’s information, erase all your data, or hold your data for ransom. Malware encompasses Trojan horses, spyware, worms, and viruses.
Password Hack: These are applications that try to break into your website by using every password code possible. Once they figure out the password, hackers are free to do whatever they like with your website.
Zero Day: This refers to a term in the computing world called Day Zero. Day Zero is the day a manufacturer or software maker learns of a security risk. The time between learning of the flaw and issuing a patch to mitigate the threat, hackers can take advantage of the threat and exploit it.
That’s why it’s critical to stay on top of updates and ensure your website, plugins and systems are updated regularly.
Injection: These attacks have hackers injecting malicious code into your website’s database. The code overrides existing commands and lets hackers have access to sensitive information, like customer information.
Cross Site Scripting: An XSS attack also injects malicious code into your website, through a website application. In this case, it doesn’t attack the application in the same way an injection attack does. Rather, the users of the website’s application are at risk.
With all of these website security risks, how can you protect your website and your business? You don’t need to be an IT genius to protect your website. Just follow these simple steps.
Website Security Audit Step by Step
A full website security audit can get highly technical. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to keep things as simple as possible.
These steps apply to all websites, and some are specific to WordPress sites, which account for about 25% of websites worldwide.
Step 1: Check Your User Accounts
On your WordPress site, you’ll want to remove any user that shouldn’t have access to your website. For example, former employees or contractors who once had access to your website. They no longer work for you, so they should be removed.
Step 2: Check Your Domain
Your IP address and domain could be blacklisted. It’s possible if you’re on a shared server and another account has been sending a high volume of spam. Since you’re sharing resources with that spam account, your website and domain can be impacted, too.
Run your domain and IP address through MX Toolbox to make sure you’re not blacklisted.
Step 3: Update Your Website
This step requires a little technical knowledge, but it’s relatively easy on WordPress sites. In this step, you’ll need to update WordPress and any apps or plugins. Websites not using WordPress will need to have data scripts updated.
Step 4: Run a Security Scan
If your scan shows signs of an attack or malware, you’re going to want to call in a team of security pros for help, especially if you’re not a technical person.
How Do You Protect Yourself?
Now that you know if your website is at risk, how can you prevent vulnerabilities in the future?
The first step is to remove any account on your website that is Admin. That’s a generic account that hackers automatically use to try to break into your site.
The second step is to ensure that you have strong passwords for your accounts. Don’t create an easy one just because you can remember it. You can rely on a password manager to help you remember it.
The third step is to run updates regularly. Every week, take the time to update all of your plugins, themes, and WordPress. Hackers love websites with out of date versions of software and exploit any security flaws in previous versions.
To take your website protection a step further, you can install a plugin such as Sucuri or Wordfence.
Finally, back up your website regularly. This can occur every week along with your updates. Having a back up of your website will save you time and resources should an attack happen.
Leave the Website Security Audit to Experts
There’s a lot to learn and understand about protecting your website. A website security audit is the first step to
If you don’t want to do this on your own, you can always lean on a team of experts who can handle this for you.
Our fully managed website programs offer your business top-class speed and security, giving you extra time, freedom and peace of mind.
Get started with your Monster Site today.