If you have not taken any measures to make your website secure against attack merely because you think your site has nothing worth being hacked for, you could be in trouble. Websites are not hacked into just for stealing data. They can be compromised for many other reasons as well. Hackers may try to use your server as an email for sending spam or to serve files that are not legal or ethical. That’s why it is important to choose a website hosting service that focuses sharply on keeping your site secure and out of bounds for hackers.

Before you finalize on your web server hosting provider‚ make sure they provide you high quality security that your business needs to help you keep your site safe online. These are the security features you should be looking for:

Software Updates

A simple and basic step towards securing your website is to keep all software systems up to date. The server operating system and other software such as CMS or forum present on your website must also be updated to prevent hackers from misusing any gaps that might be present. It is your provider’s responsibility to keep systems updated. If there is an agreement that you will have to take care of software updates‚ and you don’t have to time to do it‚ then simply opt for a managed hosting solution. This should take care of all present and future software updates.

Server Side/Form Validation

Your server host must make sure that validation is done both on the browser and server side. The browser is capable of detecting simple failures like mandatory fields that are left empty. However‚ hackers know how to bypass them. Make sure you check for these validations as failure to do so could lead to insertion of malicious code or scripting code into the database. This can cause problems in website functioning and management.

XSS

Cross site scripting is another form of attack you should be wary of. This happens when an attacker attempts to pass in JavaScript or other scripting code into a web form. This can help visitors run malicious code on your website. Encoding and stripping out any HTML is the solution to prevent cross site scripting. Also make sure you check the data being uploaded when creating a form.

Parameterised Queries:

SQL injection attacks are becoming a common threat factor to online businesses. In this type of attack‚ the hacker uses a web form field or URL parameter to manipulate your database. Standard Transact SQL makes it easy for attackers to insert rogue code into your query discreetly. It can be used to change tables, access information and even for deleting data. Using parameterised queries is the best way to prevent this.  Most web languages offer this feature and it is easy to implement too.

SSL

SSL is a protocol that can be used to achieve critical security over the Internet. Using a security certificate is highly recommended whenever you are sharing personal information on the website with a web server or database. This is the process that hackers can look to steal information. If the communication medium is not secure‚ this can be achieved easily. They can use this information to gain access to user accounts and personal data. Using SSL can keep your data protected from unauthorized access.

Website Security Tools

Before you start communicating through your website‚ you must test your website security. The most effective way of doing this is to use advanced website security tools. It is called pen test or penetration testing. You can either ask your web server hosting service to provide website security tools with your hosting plan or buy it on your own. There are free as well as paid products available for securing your website. These tools work the same way as the scripts that hackers will use. The test will cover all the processes that hackers will exploits and attempt to compromise your site.

Some of the most commonly used website security tools include Netsparker which is recommended for testing SQL injection and XSS. Both free community edition and trial version is available. OpenVAS is also extremely popular. It is one of the most advanced open source security scanners. OpenVAS is good for testing common website vulnerabilities. However‚ it can be slightly difficult to setup and operate.

It is important to choose the service of a reliable and proven server hosting service that offers the best security measures to ensure that your data and information remains fully secure and remains out of bound for hackers and other similar elements.