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Website Security Audit

Website security audit should always be a part of any companies risk management phase before releasing live online services. Site audit is very important to prevent hackers from gaining unauthorized access to your website. Website audit tools can provide daily scheduled website security audit services to make sure that your website is protected on an ongoing basis.

Most professional security audits to test the following areas: database administration, error pages, web application testing, cross-site scripting, page optimization, and scripts. These are the most critical areas and are frequently the target of intrusions or even a complete hacker attack. Hacking can cause damage to the database resulting in corrupted user accounts, loss of data, and even website shut down. A complete website security audit will often reveal these attacks and prevent them from happening.

There are two methods for website security audit testing: one-time method and recurring method. In one time method there is no repeatability of events. It mainly consists of running the same code on every system that is being audited. Recurring method on the other hand includes 300 randomly selected system calls.

Automated tools and applications include web application scanning, programming vulnerability detection, and application patching, all of which have high response rates. This also reduces manual Security Testing costs. Each of these tools and applications have its own benefits and limitations. While manually testing each of them would take a lot of time and resources, they can all be run along with one another using automated tools that greatly reduces the overall testing requirements.

One of the best available tools used in website security audit is XSitePro vulnerability scanner. This scanner detects and reports vulnerabilities within websites. It can be run directly from a web server or can be downloaded into an application that requires plug-in installation. Another tool that comes in very handy in performing website security audit is the Perl module Perlpod which is capable of automatically loading the vulnerable files during the scanning process. After detecting the vulnerabilities, a report containing the following information will be generated:

* Security Risk – This field indicates the most severe of the vulnerabilities. * Security Risk Level – This field indicates the highest level of the vulnerabilities. * Security Risk Assessment Result – This field contains the summary of the vulnerabilities found. If the vulnerability is of high importance, the information required by the client must be provided as well.

Web application security testing needs to identify the following components for effective website security audit. The vulnerabilities identified should be resolved according to the guidelines set out by the majority of qualified security professionals. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure that the resolved vulnerabilities are properly documented and the solutions implemented. In case of a web application security audit, it is common for the IT professional to install and utilize a patch Management tool. In addition, the tool should also be able to update the current patches to address new discovered vulnerabilities.

One of the main advantages of automated web security audit is that it allows the IT professionals to spend more time working on other important areas. However, while conducting a website security audit, a certain level of manual penetration testing is required to verify the existence and nature of the vulnerabilities. The results of manual penetration testing can provide valuable information regarding the potential threats to a business website. However, while conducting automated web security audit and manual penetration testing are two separate functions, it is very important to merge these two functions in a way that benefits the organization. Thus, for a successful website security audit, the best option would be to integrate both the tools.

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