Many website owners are concerned about the rise in cyberattacks. Online risks include malware, DDo, ransomware, and cross-site scripting, to name just a few.
These attacks typically target website flaws to steal confidential data or jeopardise the files and design of a website. You must conduct website security audits as part of website maintenance and create an online security infrastructure if you want to lessen the potential of cyber assaults.
This post will go through how to do website security audits and why they should be done frequently. Additionally, we’ll explore three top-notch website audit services and suggest seven fantastic tools for scanning your website.
Seven Steps to a Successful Website Security Audit:
The components of the website that need to be checked must be identified before beginning a security audit. The following should be included on your audit checklist:
- Extensions for website core files
- Auxiliary elements
- User settings and behavior Server and site settings
- Renewals of the Plan and SSL
1. Website Visitors:
We’ll go over the seven actions you should take to thoroughly assess the security of these parts in this section.
Start with a security scan.
A security scan checks for viruses, faults, and out-of-date software as well as verifies whether a website is banned. Sucuri Site Check is a tool we suggest utilizing; just enter your domain name into the search field and select Scan Website.
Sucuri will provide a report and score for the website, indicating the level of security risk. The programmed also suggests areas for improvement and points out potential weaknesses.
There are many additional tools available to perform a security scan on your website. Whichever option you choose, it will serve as the framework for the remainder of your site security audit.
2. Examine the Site Settings:
Your site settings should be the next thing you check. Open the dashboard of your website if you use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress. Check the configuration settings of the website next for any potential vulnerabilities.
The following are some things to watch out for and actions WordPress users should take to increase their security:
• Configuring comments. By removing spam comments, moderate your comment area. You can flag comments as spam or remove them outright using the Comments section on the WordPress dashboard.
• Accessible data. Cover up any information about your website’s backend. It can be used by hackers to explore the website more deeply and discover hacking attack methods. Show only the stuff that you want your users to see.
• Input checking. For all areas of your website that allow user input, implement validation. This entails taking action to prevent the admission of specific characters. Use the most recent WordPress, plugin, and theme versions at all times.
3. Verify User Accounts and Permission:
When a user tries to make modifications to a website, a web server will check their access rights.
If you use WordPress, setting up user roles and permissions is crucial for controlling who may access your website. Assign user roles, then classify each user’s level of permissions.
WordPress has six roles: super admin, administrator, editor, author, contributor, and subscriber. Each has been given a set of permissions, including those for writing, maintaining, and configuring.
4. Make Frequent Updates:
Vulnerabilities in outdated components frequently result in websites getting hacked. It’s critical to update your CMS, extensions, plugins, themes, and software frequently.
When a new version of a website component or software is published, take the time to update critical files because doing so will reduce the danger of cyber assaults.
Verify That Your Domain and IP Address Are Secure
When a domain or IP address is directly involved in harmful activities, such as sending spam emails, disseminating malware, and hosting phishing websites and botnets, it may be blacklisted.
Spam Haus and SpamCop are two helpful resources to employ when evaluating the reputation of a domain or IP address. Both manage directories created by expert research teams that have assessed the listed online sources.
Next, ask to be removed if your domain or IP address is listed on a blocklist. However, if you utilize a shared server, let your hosting company know about the problem. Instead, get in touch with the corporation if your internet service provider (ISP) issued the blocklisted IP address.
See if any Plan or SSL Renewals are due.
Know when specific website-related services need to be renewed. Check the expiration dates of your domain name, hosting package, and SSL certificate to ensure that you can take the appropriate action before your website becomes insecure or inaccessible.
A domain can be registered for up to 10 years, depending on your registrar. While the subscription time may be extended, any SSL issued after September 1, 2020, is valid for up to 397 days (13 months). The majority of hosting companies also let customers buy plans for up to four years.
Here’s how to check the expiration dates of your domain, hosting package, and SSL and renew them on Hostinger:
1. Obtain hPanel. Under each service, you can see the expiration dates for your name and hosting package.
2. Domain and hosting expiration dates are displayed in hPanel for each service.
3. Go to the SSL tab to see when your SSL certificate expires.
4. Go to the Services option under the Billing menu to renew a service.
5. Billing page for hPanel displaying how to renew a service
6. Select a service, then select Renew now.
7. The billing services tab of hPanel’s renew now button
8. Select Choose payment method after selecting a billing period. On the new page, continue with the payment.
9. A renewal invoice will be created by the system.
To check if the system has already created new invoices, you may also go to Billing -> Unpaid Invoices.
Website Traffic Analysis:
The number of users who visit your website is known as website traffic. There are three main sources for it:
• Direct supply. The URL is entered into the browser.
• Source of referrals. Traffic that arrives from websites that other websites connect to, including social networking sites.
• A natural source. Visitors that found your website through a search engine.
Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and MonsterInsights are some helpful tools for examining website traffic.
Here are Four Recommendations for Tracking Website traffic:
• Remove unnecessary traffic. Be wary of visitors who arrive from unreliable websites.
• Location of traffic. If there is a sudden increase in traffic in a particular area, either your material is really well-liked there, or computers there have been taken over and are overloading your website with traffic.
• Large spikes. Unexpected spikes in traffic to your website without a discernible cause could be a sign of botnet assaults.
• Great drops. Check to discover whether your website is performing slowly if traffic to it suddenly reduces. A different choice is to see if Google has reported it as harmful. Visitors might not be able to access it if they can’t find it in the search results any longer.
Spikes in harmful traffic can be avoided in certain situations. To keep your website available after you enable it, Cloud flare will reject bogus requests.
Top 7 Website Security Audit Tools:
You may do website security audits using a variety of internet tools, both free and paid. We’ll go through the top seven online audit tools in this part, so read on.
1. Nord Pass:
The security of your website is only as robust as its password. A tool called Nord Pass creates one-of-a-kind passwords and keeps them in a personal vault that can be accessed from any computer or web browser. There are three options available: Free, Premium, and Family.
You can store any passwords in the Nord Pass vault with the password manager service included in the Free plan. Additional website security features including prevention of data leaks and discovery of password vulnerabilities are included in the Premium and Family subscriptions, which start at $2.49/month and $4.99/month, respectively.
A website and application vulnerability scanner that may be used online is called Intruder. It provides continuous penetration testing as well as external and internal vulnerability scanners. Intruder finds problems in every website security layer and offers thorough security assessment reports that are in compliance with ISO 27001 and SOC 2.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a free version of Intruder. Instead, three alternative plans with various characteristics are offered. For one website, the Essential and Pro subscriptions start at $101 and $129 per month, respectively. The third option, called Vanguard, has a price that is determined by request and includes assistance from a committed group of security experts.
Mozilla’s Observatory is a free online tool for testing the security of websites. Simply type your domain name into the search window and click the Scan Me button to utilize it. Four tabs — HTTP Observatory, TLS Observatory, SSH Observatory, and Third-party Tests — will be displayed after the programme has processed the request and shown the findings. Each one focuses on a different facet of website security and offers suggestions after an assessment.
An essential component of website security is the use of SSL certificates. Checking your SSL configuration is crucial, especially after making any changes. The SSL Server Test tool from Qualys offers a thorough audit of a site’s SSL configuration and certificate. To begin the scan, merely type your domain name into the search window and press Submit.
When everything is done, Qualys will show a summary of the SSL audit and give your website a grade ranging from A to D. The programmed also has a ranking board with the best and worst test results, along with all newly scanned websites. Think about ticking If you don’t want your website to be listed on the results on the boards option, do not select it.
A tool with a focus on malware scans is called Quttera. By typing the domain name into the search bar and selecting Scan for Malware, you can scan your website for malware for free. Following completion, Quttera will inform you of any concerns it found and offer a review of the site, including a blocklist status and file analysis.
6. Website scanner Snyk
A website vulnerability scanner offered by Snyk will examine your website for out-of-date server software and unsafe HTTP headers. Enter your domain name in the search box and select “Scan for Free” to utilize it. When the results are available, you can examine the score your website received along with full justifications.
The fact that you can use Snyk’s tools to resolve the problems as soon as the free audit is over is a plus. However, the free version has many restrictions. You must get a premium Snyk plan if you want a complete scan with cutting-edge remedies and instruments. If you’re a sole webmaster, the Team, Business, and Enterprise plans might be a better choice for you.
A scanning tool from Pentest-Tools evaluates the security of various website components. Click Scan your website and select Light scan to utilize it. Press Scan target to finish. The outcomes, along with details on the risk assessment and significant discoveries, will be presented in a report that is available for download.
Unfortunately, Pentest-Tools’ free version has few features and only permits one website search per 24 hours. Consider purchasing one of the premium plans, which start at $93/month, if you’re seeking for a sophisticated tool with extra capability. Basic, Advanced, Teams, and Enterprise are the four options.
While some optimize their websites for optimal efficiency, other webmasters concentrate on making their websites as attractive as possible while others fail to find security flaws and vulnerabilities. A website should have adequate security measures in place since one without them may be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Therefore, to safeguard your website and manage its risks, do frequent online security audits.
The seven steps to carry out a security audit have been covered. This include performing routine software and security scans, reviewing site settings, and making sure your subscriptions are renewed.
What is a Website Security Audit?
A Website Security Audit is a process that assesses your web system; including core, extensions, themes, and other infrastructure for vulnerabilities & loopholes. A thorough web security audit, typically involves static & dynamic code analysis, business logic error testing, configuration tests, etc
What are the 5 Audit Procedures?
Audit procedures to obtain audit evidence can include inspection, observation, confirmation, recalculation, reperformance and analytical procedures, often in some combination, in addition to inquiry.
What is Security Audit Checklist?
An information security audit checklist helps to identify potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities in your system that malicious actors could exploit. It also provides guidance on how best to secure your network against these threats.
What is Website Audit Checklist?
Website Audit Checklist Steps
Step 1: Get some baseline data with Google Analytics. Step 2: Make sure Google is only indexing one version of your website. Step 3: Check that your website is mobile friendly. Step 4: Improve your website’s speed. Step 5: Remove low-quality and unnecessary pages from Google’s index.
What are the 2 types of Security Audit?
Security audits come in two forms, internal and external audits, that involve the following procedures: Internal audits. In these audits, a business uses its own resources and internal audit department. Internal audits are used when an organization wants to validate business systems for policy and procedure compliance.
What is the Golden rule of Auditing?
1st Golden Rule : Keep your ears open and be sharp to hear an information that will be useful during the course of assignment. There maybe some information we may conclude that it is misleading or confusing but it Is better to test everything during an assignment instead of not testing it and later regret for it.