A lot of people are of the view that their websites are safe. In Spite of the recent spate of ransomware attacks across the world, no one is prepared for this. They are of the view that if they didn’t face the attack then they don’t need to be ready.
Another problem is that hosting service providers have been alerting their clientele numerous times but they haven’t heeded their warnings due to a reactive approach. Now with half the western world reeling from ransomware attacks, a lot of firms have hence decided to start protecting their websites before something really goes wrong.
Yes, it is true; the reactive approach deployed by most businesses in the west is responsible for the surge of ransomware and DDoS attacks. This is why it is necessary that companies adopt a proactive approach and prevent these attacks from happening.
Preventing websites from being hacked – why is it needed today?
A lot of people are of the belief that their websites are safe and they won’t face any cyber attacks. Why? Because they assume that only large businesses and corporations can get hacked and small businesses have nothing to worry about. Now the time has come to put such thinking away to make sure businesses are on the right track on protecting themselves.
Cyber attackers do not target specific websites all the time. Most of these attacks are brought about by bots, and they are often never concerned with who the person is or what their business does through their website.
Finding out whether a website is infected by scanning it is the first step in protecting it against malware, like trojans, worms, viruses and bots, to mention a few out of the list of many.
Protecting servers from bots – here’s how
Experts from a DDoS protection service firm based in London, Ontario reveal that half of all visitors to any website are bots. Among them, 29% have malicious intent in attacking websites. Moreover, the less traffic a website has, the more likelihood it has of facing a cyber attack.
Proving that bad bots will attack any website regardless of its purpose is not as hard as explaining that bots are not concerned whether or not the website has a truckload of visitors. Everyone must realize that bots are not humans, they are automated attacks having no website biasedness. Their primary objective is to breach websites and raise their amount of controlled sites.
How are bot hack attacks done?
Cyber attacks like bot attacks are usually carried out using Secure Shell (SSH). Researchers in Switzerland studied these attacks and in a trial and error based experiment, used a honeypot for gathering data. Over here, the honeypot refers to a server designed to look like a real website.
The same research team made the project workable by opening the internet’s Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), SSH and Telecommunications Network Protocol (Telnet) for studying the attacks.
A lot of HTTP attacks were often carried out on PHPMyadmin, which is a renown MariaDB and MySQL remote management system. A vast number of web content management systems are dependent upon these databases.
Vulnerable WordPress plugins are also prone to these attacks. What needs to be understood is that these attacks are conducted on a system that did not emit a single packet of internet signals outside of its range, even when using a honeypot.
A handful of gadgets running on Internet of Things (IoT) use Telnet for the purpose of configuration and management. This indicates that these IoT devices can be hence hacked.
In terms of SSH, a rising number of attacks were often brute-force attacks running through lists of passwords and usernames
Key steps needed to stop websites from being attacked by bots
It is hence essential for businesses to secure their website using basic web security rules, which are listed as under:
- Firewalls should be used to block all ports to the website (except for the ones being used).
- Disable any and all services facing the internet unless and until they are in use.
- Keeping the software patched and up to date.
- Scanning websites for malware attacks.
- Updating the website as early as possible, or as soon as a new version or plugin of the content management system (CMS) in use is available.