If you own a web site, odds are malicious hackers will take notice. Whether their aim is to inject your site with malware to pass along to your visitors, flood your web pages with spam links, bring your site down via a denial of service attack, deface your web site or steal confidential information if it has a URL then it will draw the attention of the bad guys.
Unfortunately for many site owners, they take a reactive approach to securing their web site. Choosing to wait until an attack happens, they are then forced to deal with the clean up that not only costs them dollars due to downtime, but can do irreparable harm to their reputation resulting in more costs down the road.
However there are some proactive measures you can take to find out where any security vulnerabilities may be on your web site.
Use scanning tools.
There are multiple software tools available that will scan a web site for known vulnerabilities and produce a nice report on what can be done to plug them before they are able to be exploited.
Some of these tools are rather expensive and others will cost absolutely nothing to use. These tools are phenomenal resources when it comes to finding out how secure your site is, but only on two conditions:
And no matter which route you take, you still need to have the coding skills necessary to fix any vulnerabilities that the scanning tool finds.
Hire a consultant to complete a penetration test.
Web site security professionals who are indeed professional will not only run an automated scan against your web site to find vulnerabilities, but they will also check each potential weakness by hand and patch these vulnerabilities for you.
Of course there is a price involved and unfortunately, the cost of having a professional pen test done on a web site will often put this option out of reach for 90% of all web site owners.
Utilize third party tools.
There are many third party tools available that will scan your web site for vulnerabilities and report back to you the exact steps you need to take in order to protect your web site. Unlike scanning tools that run against from another computer, these tools are installed directly on the web server itself to offer continuous protection and real-time updates as to the
status of your web site’s security.
Not all third party tools are built equally. For the most protection, you need to find one that addresses malware threats along with other known vulnerabilities. You should also look for something that offers heuristic capabilities to recognize zero day exploits as well.
If you find this article interesting you also may want to check out this blog article “Startup Security Checklist: Things You Should Do Before Launching Your Site”