Blog Security: The Threats, The Damage, The Solutions

Posted by Lasantha Bandara on December 19th, 2014 File Under : internet, security0 Comment

As someone who runs multiple blogs, I can tell you there is nothing as frightening than waking up in the morning, going to your website, and seeing that it’s been corrupted. All that hard work creating content, building a community, and earning your keep suddenly disappears in an instant.

The worst part?

It could have been prevented if you had taken the precautions to:

·  Understand the threats

·  Use the right solutions

·  Mitigate the damage

Hopefully, when you’re reading this none of this has happened but don’t use it as an excuse to skip over this next bit of content because you never know when disaster may strike.

The Threats

The best defense is a good offense, especially when that offense is you taking the time to understand the major threats there are to websites, databases, and all other vulnerable points of Internet structure.

The main threats to look out for include:

·  Database/SQL Corruption

·  Exploitation of unpatched plug-ins

·  Lack of encryption and strong password protection

·  Social engineering and inadvertently releasing sensitive data

·  Denial of service attacks

·  Virus, malware, and spyware

However, just because these are the major ones doesn’t mean the minor inconveniences can’t be as fatal to your blog. Something as simple as user error (such as accidentally removing a line of code) could bring the website crashing down.

The Solutions

The solutions to these threats is like the battle of good and evil in which it will forever rage on. For every positive advancement in threat security you can expect a new threat to emerge. The solution is to use a variety of tools and developing a routine in which you are on top of updating the programs, learning about the threats, and following security policies to help avoid the problem all-together.

The best solutions for combating malicious attacks against your blog include:

·  Developing a professional routine to continually understand the threats and best practices when using the web, accessing your blog, and with the collection of private information. Due diligence and caution, essentially, is what will stop a majority of the issues because user mistakes are often the thing to blame.

·  Physical protection of the hardware in the event of a natural disaster, theft, arson, or other disastrous event that could expose sensitive information or outright destroy it.

·  A robust virus protection program or suite by a network security company like TrendMicro, which offers options for all-encompassing coverage from website to email, to staff training and web activity monitoring.

Protecting your website is the same as protecting your personal computer, with the difference being the physical interaction. Antivirus programs exist solely to combat web threats, issues, and attacks the same as you would expect if it were directed at your computer. Put the policies, physical protection, and reputable programs in place to provide a solution to the problem.

The Mitigation

As an aside, I want to finish this post focused on the mitigation, which usually isn't brought up in these types of articles but I feel just as important as the former two sections. The reason is that damage is inevitable the higher you rise in authority and popularity (since it’s easy to become a target).

Mitigation is about accepting and dealing with the consequences in a logical manner to avoid blowing the event out of proportion or making it worse.

Mitigation tactics include:

·  Releasing a statement to your list that an attack has occurred while detailing what information the malicious individual (or program) may have accessed.

·  Using regular backups to quickly turn off and restart the website without the infected files to prevent any further issues from compounding.

·  Creating new policies to prevent these risks from happening again by investing in security testing, monitoring, regular patching, and best practices when it comes to user information.

Once the damage has been done there isn’t much you can do to sway the public view of your brand but you can reduce the overall backlash as long as you are being up-front and transparent about the event.

In time you may find forgiveness in those members of the community that were affected. Mitigation is a practice that expedites that process to keep people in the fold so you can pick up where you left off, learn from your mistakes, and come out stronger than before.

Have you been a victim of a malicious blog attack? What did you do to combat the issues?

File Under : internet, security

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