What is a Website Security Audit? (Link Security).
Hidden vulnerabilities can lead to the hacking of websites if you’re in charge. Regular and structured audits of websites can help to eliminate most, if any, of your concerns. The focus is on link scanning for vulnerabilities and configuration.
What does it mean to audit a website and scan your links?
Website audits simply involve going through all components and policies on your website to ensure that they are in good order and there are no vulnerabilities. An audit may include scanning for viruses and checking your database configuration, policies, scripts, and basic vulnerability testing.
A website audit that is comprehensive or simple should include a report detailing the findings and recommendations for improvements. You should schedule a site security audit before you launch it online. Also, at regular intervals.
A comprehensive audit is recommended for security-sensitive websites, applications, and sites such as E-commerce or online banking portals. Simple websites, such as blogs or info-websites, can be audited once a month or whenever there is an update. This depends on your budget and requirements.
What does a Website Audit entail?
A comprehensive website audit can include many items. These are the most important:
1. URL/Internal Link Audit & Virus Scanning
URLs or links are addresses that allow you to link content on your website to other sites. These links can be dangerous for your website, especially if you don’t have URL rewrite rules or if external links are used in website comment sections or forums.
Hackers can sometimes take control of your links to redirect your visitors to malicious websites. Audits should verify that your links point to secure websites and pages. This audit might include scanning links for viruses or other validation activities. Url audits can be automated.
2. Backend Database Auditing
Nearly all websites that are not static will have some type of database. This database holds the information needed to load various elements. When it comes to hacking, databases are often the most targeted. The following questions can be used to help you with a backend database audit:
- What databases are being used to create your website?
- Is there any vulnerability in the database?
- Are all security updates and backend databases installed or are they up-to-date?
- Are strong passwords used to secure the database?
- Is the database encrypted? If not, why?
- What type of access is available for all users?
- Are logs enabled? If so, where and how do they get stored?
- Does input validation and control apply to all scripts and queries that have access to the database?
Website audits that are database-backed are the most crucial part of protecting your website. SQL injection attacks could expose your website to vulnerabilities such as insufficient input validation or access control. This can often lead to the loss of all your data to malicious entities.
3. Analyse Dynamic and Static Code
To identify weaknesses in code, you will need to go through every line of code on your website. This requires advanced analysis tools expertise. A report will be generated that documents clean code and vulnerabilities. The necessary fixes can then be recommended or applied.
To find malicious snippets of foreign code, we also had to look at any scripts on your site. A combination of manual and automated code analysis tools will be used by the professional audit team.
4. Configuration Audit
An audit of configurations covers all configurations on your website, with a particular focus on server configuration and website configuration. Websites with bad configurations can be a major vulnerability.
A comprehensive website audit could include many other activities, depending on the site’s setup and environment. To understand the scope of the audit and the expectations at the end, it is a good idea to do a needs assessment.