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At the time of the rapid digital transformation of the global economy, companies communicate with their clients either through social media channels or using their websites. By opening the company’s website users can view all recent updates, buy products or services, contact the company’s representatives, get special offers, etc.
When the company’s website is down, it’s experiencing significant reputational and financial losses. And malicious actors, as well as unfair competitors, realize it. Hackers target corporate websites to get a ransom payment or at the request of competitors. That is why one of the most common questions put by companies to cybersecurity experts is “how to protect websites from hackers”.
In this material, Hacken would like to tell you about the risks associated with hacked websites and measures companies can take to secure their website from hackers.
Every company realizes that cyberattacks constitute a serious digital threat to their business activities. However, many companies do not know what adequate security measures they can take to protect their websites from hackers.
HTTPS is encrypted in order to increase the security of data transfer. This is particularly important when users transmit sensitive data.
In case a company fails to protect its website from hackers and viruses, there is a risk that clients’ sensitive data may appear on the darknet. In this case, a company is likely to lose the customers who have been affected by the breach forever.
Some companies may use their websites to store intellectual property such as vendor and customer portals, secret company documents, etc. The failure to secure its website from hackers may lead a company to business disaster and loss of reputation since customers and partners may file a number of lawsuits against the company.
Upon compromising the company’s website, hackers can use it as the host to conduct hacking campaigns against other organizations. For the last few years, hackers have actively used the bandwidth of compromised websites to mine cryptocurrencies. In this case, law enforcement agencies may detect your web server as the place from which cyberattacks are originating and, as a result, your company may face legal issues as well as additional expenditures both financial and time.
When a company fails to implement adequate security measures to prevent its website from hacking, malicious actors can use its resources to test their skills and new exploitation techniques in a real-world environment. In this case, hackers’ activities are unpredictable and the process of recovery from damage caused by these amateur hackers to corporate websites may be long-lasting.
When companies do not pay enough attention to protecting their websites from hackers, malicious actors can insert malicious content into corporate web resources to redirect traffic. In some cases, these activities are performed by competitors to cause reputational and financial damage to rivals.
As of 2021, there are more than 1.2 billion websites making up the World Wide Web. Simultaneous analysis of the security of all these websites is impossible, however, every day Google’s Safe Browsing issues more than 3 million warnings. According to the research conducted by the security company Sucuri, around 1-2% of websites scanned by the company have some indicator of compromise that may constitute a form of cyberattack. So, when imposing this percentage on the total number of websites existing in the world, then at least 12 million websites are likely hacked or infected right now. When speaking about companies, close to 64% of businesses worldwide admit to facing web attacks.
Most cyberattacks initiated by hackers to compromise websites fall into 3 categories including access control, exploitation of software vulnerabilities, and third-party integrations. Malicious actors are utilizing different techniques to gain access to insecure login points. One of the most widespread methods of gaining access is brute force attacks when a hacker tries to guess the combinations of usernames and passwords. Also, hackers apply the methods of social engineering. They create phishing websites to lure users to enter their real ID/usernames and passwords. The key goal of malicious actors is to get direct access to targeted resources via logins.
Often, corporate websites contain bugs that do not affect user experience but their exploitation by hackers may lead to disastrous consequences. The most common ways hackers exploit software vulnerabilities to hack a website include remote code execution, remote/local file inclusion, and SQL injection. Software vulnerabilities can be identified in many interconnected technologies on which a website relies (infrastructure or web server, for example). Also, third-party extensions such as plugins and themes may be also treated as potential points of intrusion. The key issue attributable to third-party integrations and services is that they are beyond the control of a website owner and their exploitation by malicious actors may cause dramatic security risks.
One of the most widespread techniques applied by malicious actors to bring targeted websites down is DDoS attacks. Attackers use botnets to overload servers with malicious traffic. Also, by freezing user forms through DDoS attacks hackers can steal user information.
XSS attacks are also known as cross-site scripting attacks. Malicious actors responsible for these attacks inject malicious code into a legit website. As a result, an attacker can access all data stored within a website. There are two types of XSS attacks including stored and reflected XSS attacks. When an infected script is permanently kept in the server, then these attacks are referred to as stored XSS attacks. When scripts are bounced off web servers that have the form of search results or warnings, these attacks are referred to as reflected XSS attacks.
DNS spoofing is the malicious website hacking technique under which corrupt domain system data is injected into a DNS resolver’s cache to change the destination of the traffic. As a result, traffic from legitimate websites is coming to malicious ones containing malware. Also, malicious actors apply DNS spoofing to gather information about the diverted traffic.
In some cases, hackers do not target a particular website but rather target a vulnerability attributable to a content management system, plugin, or template, for example, hackers may be targeting vulnerabilities in a particular version of WordPress or Joomla.
By protecting their websites from hackers and viruses companies can prevent additional financial expenditures required to recover the functioning of their websites after breaches. For small and medium-sized businesses, the damage caused by cyberattacks targeting their websites may be too big to allow them to return to the pre-attack normal performance. Also, the websites that have experienced serious data breaches may be blacklisted by search engines and, as a result, the number of new clients companies get may decline dramatically.
On the contrary, when companies secure their websites they create the conditions under which their SEO results will move up. For example, the implementation of DDoS protection measures allows companies to prevent malicious bots from blocking good traffic coming to their websites.
By protecting their websites from hacking companies, first of all, protect their users’ information such as customers’ names, email addresses, credit card information, dates of birth, phone numbers, etc. In many cases, hackers target corporate websites to inject malware that’ll be later downloaded to customers’ devices. When customers realize that a company has failed to securely store their data, they are likely to stop applying for its services or buying its products due to lost confidence.
Companies that have failed to protect their websites from hackers are likely to face negative coverage in the media. Industry magazines and newspapers pay strong attention to the cases of data breaches. Such negative coverage in the media will constitute a signal to other market players and investors that the company that has not secured its website from hackers is not a reliable business partner. As a result, the company’s growth will slow down or the entity may be even forced to exit the market.
Companies that effectively secure their websites gain additional competitive advantages over other market players. A highly secured website is your opportunity to continue demonstrating high performance at a time when competitors face operational issues due to a series of cyberattacks targeting the industry.
By securing their websites from hacking companies also allow core employees to focus their attention on facilitating business growth and improving user experience rather than fixing security issues. Time is the most valuable corporate asset and securing websites is one of the most effective ways for businesses to ensure reasonable allocation of time by their employees.
Hackers always expand the portfolio of tools they use to hack websites. That is why the scope of potential damage caused by modern cyberattacks on corporate websites is often unpredictable. Thus, preventing a website from hacking is one of the most important measures companies can take to avoid uncertainty.
Generally, every solid company that puts its reputation in the first place should know how to protect its website from hackers.
Hacken Certification is the process of a thorough security audit of a client’s website performed by Hacken security specialists. There are 3 forms of security testing performed by Hacken including penetration testing, bug bounty program, and a smart contract audit. When a client successfully passes at least one of these 3 security testing options, he is eligible to integrate into his website the Proofed by Hacken label as an indicator of its security for existing and future clients, business partners, and investors.
Upon noticing the Proofed by Hacken label on your website, users will realize that they are interacting with a reputable brand. Generally, the presence of the Proofed by Hacken label on a website means that this company has followed all recommendations provided above. Also, since the label is valid only for 1 year, users may be fully sure that the information regarding the security of the website they visit is up-to-date.
The name Hacken is widely recognized in the cybersecurity world. And this name is also recognized by hackers for whom Hacken is one of the main enemies. Upon noticing the Proofed by Hacken label on your website, hackers, likely, will not even try to attack it realizing that you have applied effectively security measures to secure your website from hackers.
Today, website owners often fail to ensure that the functionality and security of their website correspond to international standards, namely, are compliant with EU and US regulations (the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Lastly, companies that apply for becoming Certified by Hacken will enjoy support from Hacken security specialists for the time the label is valid. Hacken security engineers will provide valuable advice to clients on how to eliminate new threats. Thus, Hacken Certification is a reasonable investment for every company that strives to protect its website from hackers.
Overall, website hacking constitutes one of the main cybersecurity risks affecting companies from various industries. The failure of a company to protect its website from hackers and viruses may have negative financial, reputational, and technical consequences for this business player and, generally, affect its long-term competitiveness. Hackers apply a wide list of methods and technologies to hack websites and companies that prioritize protecting their websites from hacking should realize that unless they consult professional security vendors, they may fail to correctly estimate the security of their web resources.
There are universal recommendations by following which companies can significantly mitigate the risk that their websites may be hacked as well as personalized solutions such as Hacken Certification designed to provide individual security solutions to every client since the risks websites face vary depending on a company. Generally, companies that strive to secure their websites from hackers should realize that building security is one of the most reasonable decisions that will have a positive impact on their reputation, competitiveness, and profitability.