Masters degree

Website Defacement Definition

If you have ever been asked “What is website destruction?” your answer may have been “It’s basically graffiti but it’s on your site.” Although this is a valid comment, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

What is website defacement?

The technical definition of website defacement is “a third party making unwelcome and unwelcome changes in your website’s appearance”. This is closer to the mark and emphasizes a key point regarding website defacement. It is an illegal activity. This means that someone accessed your website without your consent. This alone should be enough to make website defacement a serious matter.

The best-case scenario for web defacement is that it exposes vulnerabilities you can easily fix. Worst-case scenario? It’s a distraction from a more serious attack. It’s likely to cause disruptions and embarrassment in public that you don’t want and cost you more than you’d prefer.

Website defacement can be stopped, as with most hacking attacks. Even better is the fact that this security can be implemented at a cost that even small businesses can afford. These are some suggestions.

Invest in a trusted website vulnerability scanner

Although website defacement may be distracting from a more serious attack it can also be an effective way to keep your site safe. However, a lot of it is just what it seems, simple mischief-making by untrained hackers. This type of attack is a classic “spray and pray” technique that may be bot-enabled. It should be possible to prevent it with basic security protections such as an antimalware scanner or a firewall. Any decent website vulnerability scanner should include these.

Security software should be installed on your servers and other local devices.

If you plan to open the back door of your website, it’s not worth closing the front. In other words, take protecting your servers and local devices as seriously as you take protecting your website itself. Mobile devices are also included in the definition of “local devices”. These devices are basically minicomputers that are vulnerable to hackers.

A virtual private network is a great investment if you have mobile and remote workers. You can have a lot more control over their connection while they are away from your business premises. Mobile workers may be forced to use any connection that they can find, even though those who run home networks aren’t always aware of how to protect them.

Software management is something you should take seriously

Much website-creation software is open-source. Open-source software is available for most of the major content management systems, as well as many third-party extensions. Open-source software has the advantage of being infinitely adaptable. This is however a double-edged sword in practice.

Open-source software can be infinitely customized because its code is freely available to anyone. Anyone includes hackers. Companies that treat open-source software as a “commercial” solution will be easy targets for hackers.

It is important to understand how to make the most of your CRM, both from a security and functionality perspective. You must know how to modify the default settings, such as the URL to the admin panel, and how to give permissions.

Third-party extensions should be kept to a minimum. Before you put them into production, make sure that they are thoroughly researched and tested. You should periodically review all third-party extensions that you use. If they no longer serve a purpose, you can remove them immediately.

Your CRM as well as any third-party extensions that you use must be kept up to date. Hackers can easily find vulnerabilities in out-of-date open-source software.

Manage your users

Access to external and internal users should be granted on the basis that they have the least privilege. This means they should only be allowed to do what is necessary. These accesses should be granted individually and only kept active for the necessary time. You can also enforce strong password policies and two-factor authentication with internal users.