What Kinds of Security Do Web Developers and Designers Need to Take Into Account?
Sometimes the internet can feel like a bit of a Wild West environment. Web developers and designers have to contend with all sorts of threats from hackers, extortionists, and content thieves. Here are four areas of security that developers and designers need to take into account when building a new site. Web security is a constantly upending field – as security experts develop new tactics, adversaries quickly move to do the same.
One way in which hackers infiltrate a website is by directly altering the base code of the site. This is code injection and has some serious consequences. Malicious actors have proven to be capable of completely hijacking websites by injecting their own code. However, securing website code is complex work. Luckily, there are plenty of third-party security companies like Spectralops.io out there that can automatically scan your code for vulnerabilities or injected lines of code.
One of the simplest ways that a website can be infiltrated is by coming in through the front door. Therefore, traditional authentication systems can be incredibly easy to crack. Hackers can use brute force attacks. Often using software that tries endless combinations of letters and numbers – even if they have no clue what a password might be.
As such, web designers have turned to multi-phase authentication processes in order to secure their sites. Multi-phase authentication is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of being able to administer or alter a website after putting in a password, the website requires another level of authentication. Recently, biometric authentication is gaining popularity as a second phase ‘biological password’. Facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, and voice recognition are all useful (and hard to fool) authentication mediums.
Thieves do not just want to steal or extort money from a website. Often, the intellectual property of the website’s architecture or content is the true target. However, this can be very hard to secure against. Encryption is one of the best ways of ensuring that a website’s owner retains their IP. This stops people from using assets without the permission of the copyright holder.
Malware is a catch-all term to describe malicious software. It can come in many forms, from key loggers to ransomware. Now, all malware is bad news. Malware infection on any computer with webmaster access is liable to cause all sorts of issues. However, the best defense against malware is training. All staff with administrative access should have the training to spot the telltale signs of unauthorized installation or phishing email.
According to the AV Test Institute, over 350,000 new malware programs are created every day. Most of these programs will only affect a small number of computers and websites, but some can be terrifyingly widespread.
For example, WannaCry ransomware, infected millions of computers and held thousands of webmasters’ data hostage. WannaCry was built and released by a shadowy group of hackers linked to the North Korean government.