A website security audit checks your entire website and all its supporting servers for possible or existing vulnerabilities that attackers can easily exploit. It also covers your website’s server configuration, from its foundation code to themes, extensions, server settings, SSL server certificates, etc. It is usually performed by specialized security auditing companies. They employ a dedicated team of experts who specialize in checking the security of websites. The results of the website security audit are released to the company or to the general public, depending on the agreement between the parties involved. The audit is done to ensure that the website is secure and safe from hackers and other unauthorized access.
There are various ways through which hackers can break into a website. One of them is through SQL injection vulnerability, which allows hackers to gain access to database files and manipulate or delete them. This is one of the most common and serious vulnerabilities. Another vulnerability that can be exploited is through cross-site scripting vulnerability, which let hackers send anonymous requests to another user’s web server, and access important information.
Another important way through which you can keep hackers at bay is through HTTP requests. Through these requests, hackers can collect any type of sensitive data like credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, and other confidential, personal information. An example of a vulnerable website security audit is a website that offers a free e-book or provides access to its database. During the audit, an expert third-party company will monitor the traffic going in and out of this site. After performing the website security audit, they will identify the vulnerable areas and make necessary changes.
Another way through which you can keep hackers at bay is through the first step of the website security audit, which is the automated scan of the web application. In performing this first step, an expert third-party company will identify all potential vulnerabilities and threats and make necessary adjustments. The first step is also applicable if you are using CMS (Content Management System) for your website. When you want to perform the automated scan on your web application, there are some things that you have to consider to ensure that your application is scanned properly and that the scanned result is accurate and complete. These things include the following.
o Identify the vulnerabilities: The problems that can be detected during a website audit must be those that have been identified as potential security breaches. To do this, you need to identify the website vulnerabilities that have the highest impact on the functionality and the availability of the site. To do this, you should conduct a thorough website review based on the scanning results. You can do this by requesting the assistance of a professional vulnerability assessment consultant. During the website audit process, these consultants can easily spot the areas where website security breaches are most likely to occur.
o Analyze the security issues: Once you already have identified the website vulnerabilities, you should determine whether or not they are allowed by the CMS. If you can, you should request that your security issues be included in the website security audit or the CMS itself. This way, you will be able to address and resolve these security issues before they even have the chance to increase in severity. The use of a website vulnerability scanner is also beneficial in this case.
o Choose a reliable website vulnerability scanner: The scanning tool used in CMS and other website security testing services are designed to detect the holes in the security plan that may allow hackers to gain access to a website’s files. Because they do not have the capacity to detect every possible hole, these tools will perform a basic search on all the websites that are registered with the provider. After finding the holes, these tools will indicate the areas that require repair. If you think that you cannot fix the security flaw yourself, you can simply hire a reliable third-party company to perform the website security audit for you. The scanning process will help you identify the loopholes that you need to close.
o Create test scripts for web testing: Once the website security audit results have been analyzed and the identified issues have been resolved, you can start performing the actual test procedures. You can either perform the actual attack or compare the response time against the expected one. Another option would be to run a simple web probe to check the response time against the target website. Through the data gathered from the probes, you can conduct your own website penetration testing and identify the weak spots of the particular system.