5 Website Security Myths to Avoid

September 14, 2018 Published in: Security Author: Vedran Bozicevic

The evolution of Internet has changed the way we live. Everything has become digitized – from our work, banking, personal communication, grocery shopping, and even our homes.

This omnipresent digitization offers a myriad of opportunities for malicious actors to steal data for personal profit, or inflict damage in other ways by subverting the technology to their ends.

Since it’s impossible to be completely protected from cyber-attacks on your own (well, unless you voluntary give up modern technology), companies turn to cyber security experts – either by hiring an in-house team of cyber security professionals, or by outsourcing their security to specialized companies.

Regardless of the industry, company size, product or service, cybersecurity is essential in today’s business world. An average website is attacked 44 times a day, according to Sitelock.

The statistic alone should be enough to convince business owners how important it is to protect your website.

website security myths

However, the cyber security landscape is huge, and it changes daily, so it’s really hard to stay on top of things. Hackers come up with new techniques and attack vectors all the time. As new technology adoption rates goes up, so does the number of cyber-crimes.

Every organizations agree that their websites need to be secure. What they don’t agree on is how to approach cybersecurity. Cybersecurity requires investment of both time and money, and many organizations tend to focus on other business aspects first, before considering cybersecurity.

These decisions are in part influenced by persistent cybersecurity myths to which many organizations still cling to.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the five most common website security myths to avoid – to make sure you don’t lose revenue and ruin your reputation by getting hacked.

1. My business is too small to be targeted

Small business owners usually think that their websites, and consequently, their businesses are safe from cyber-attacks simply due to the fact that they’re small, and not interesting to hackers.

However, often due to budget constraints, smaller businesses tend to have fewer security safeguards in place than larger enterprises because they lack the necessary resources, security expertise and technologies to stay protected.

One study cited that 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyberattack are out of business within six months.

Many initial hack attempts are done by bots, not human hackers trying to gain access to your site or business. Hacker bots continuously scan the internet for potential vulnerabilities. Once a vulnerability is discovered, it will likely be exploited.

2. My password is strong enough

Strong passwords are one of the basic elements of cybersecurity. This may seem obvious and elementary, but most people don’t give much thought about their passwords, and so increase the risk of a hack.

If you have admin access and somebody hacks your passwords, you’re in big trouble. Recovering your website won’t be easy, and the reputation and possible financial loss are huge.

Add the fact that most people use same password for various assets (business mail, Facebook account etc.), and the risk is even greater.
To make sure you avoid this scenario, use strong passwords that are difficult to guess. Not just by humans, but also by brute force attacker.A strong password consists of at least 8 characters, combining letters, numbers an symbols (it’s best to avoid using meaningful words altogether).

Also, always use two-factor authentication. Even 2FA is not impervious to hacks (especially SMS-based authentication), but it’s still a lot more secure option than using only passwords.

3. I don’t store my customers’ credit card info, so I don’t need to bother with SSL/TLS

Incorrect. Sure, there were times when only online stores used SSL/TLS certificates, to protect their customers during online shopping.

But things have changed. First of all, an SSL/TLS certificate doesn’t offer a lot of protection in cybersecurity terms. It does, however, encrypt data travelling from your website to the origin server, and in that way protects it from manipulation by malicious users.

An SSL certificate is essentially a piece of software that you install on a web server to protect communication. Once installed and configured properly, the certificate enforces secure HTTPS connections that prevent the data being transmitted within from being stolen or manipulated.

With the release of Chrome version 62, any site that requires a text input (credit card information, contact forms, passwords, search bars, etc.) is marked as unsecure if they do not possess an SSL/TLS certificate.

This means that if you don’t have an SSL certificate, your website will be marked as insecure to users. This will probably lead to lack of trust among visitors and decrease in revenue. So, even if you don’t have an online shop, it’s crucial that you use SSL/TLS.

cloud security

4. We use the cloud, so we’ll use various cloud security tools and we will be protected

Cloud computing brings benefits like lower fixed costs, flexibility, automatic software updates, increased collaboration, and the freedom to work from any geographical location.

While many organizations see these benefits and are moving their assets to the cloud, cloud architecture also brings new security challenges. With the advent of cloud-based platforms, the attack surface area has increased.

There have been several cases in the recent past where a misconfiguration of the services in the cloud has led to data breaches. While many well-known cloud providers provide tools and services for security, the correct configuration of the tools and the responsibility of the security of the application still remain with the organization utilizing such tools.

An increasing number of organizations turn to professionals like GlobalDots to help them optimize and deploy their cybersecurity technology stack, since it’s expensive and hard to keep on top of things while simultaneously running a business.

5. Automated vulnerability scanning is sufficient

Unfortunately, it’s not.

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory confirmed that neither humans nor Artificial Intelligence has proven successful at maintaining cybersecurity on their own, and proposed a combination of human and machine to achieve the highest results.

This is why the leading cybersecurity companies that used to rely on automation, now partner with companies that develop hybrid vulnerability detection technologies. Yes, you should automate as much as you can, but you cannot automate everything.

Conclusion

There are many myths concerning cybersecurity as a whole, including those related to website security. It’s important to avoid making the mistakes mentioned in the article, since they can cost you and your business a lot of money and loss of reputation.

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing, and to stay on top of things. If you want to make sure your website or application is completely protected against all possible cyber threats, contact us today to help you out with your performance and security needs.

Vedran Bozicevic

I am a digital marketer with several years of experience with various types of online marketing technologies and channels. Before joining GlobalDots, my experience included working as a content marketing manager for a software development company, and several others marketing positions where I worked on digital marketing strategies and channels.

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