Web presence – challenges and solutions

Modern companies require a thoroughly planned approach to maintain their web presence.

Wether it is a corporate image representation, a marketing campaign, an E-Commerce resource, or an e-business on its own, it is important to have a proper planning of the Internet infrastructure for its stability, performance and cost efficiency.

If it comes to E-Commerce or an Internet-based business, it is difficult to overestimate the value of InfoSec (Information Security), to keep the data of your customers private and avoid expensive lawsuits.

Today the biggest players on the market inevitably utilise site protection firewalls from centralised suppliers, sign up for DDOS protection measures (like IP traffic filtering), use multi-layered defence measures.

Virtual private networks have become a must, be it a site to site or an SSL-based VPN, it is impossible to imagine any sensitive administrative access without one.

Just a few years back one would only protect web-pages, which include a login form, with HTTPS. Today presence of HTTPS has become a ranking factor in Google, it is recommended for the use on every page, and HTTP is discouraged. Now SSL encryption is available even to small low-cost web-sites, while even larger market players sometimes rely on LetsEncrypt free service.

An improvement to HTTP1/1 protocol (HTTP/2) does not even function in web-browsers, while on HTTP connection. With the increase of tracking tools across the web, every request, sent by a browser over an unencrypted connection is deemed to leak sensitive information about user behaviour.

Changing your password once in a while could be a good strategy back in the days. Presently it is not enough to assure having a long pass phrase, but also necessary to implement mechanisms at your enterprise, which would force a policy of password modification every 90 days as the latest.

Does your company hold regular security scans of its web site? If not, you need to hurry-up. Scans guarantee to find vulnerabilities in the code of your web-resource, and manual post-checks ensure nothing obvious was omitted.

A report provided will let your software engineers correct discovered inconsistencies to protect valuable data and general image.

How does your web-resource handle errors? In case something happens to the database or any critical part of the web-site? Remember, no information about internal paths, user/password credentials for the database should be leaked in this case.

Having someone deliberately provoking a failure of one of your site’s components could lead to an uncontrolled data leak. Always ensure, that your software engineers parse similar issues in a proper manner, showing a generic message.

Do you have a login form on your web-site? Then remember, you should never provide a hint, in case a username or a password are mis-entered. Neither a user should be aware, if the e-mail for password recovery exists in the database. Show only generic error messages and never hint about the data you handle, unless only the username and password are both entered correctly.

Should a weak password during the registration process be allowed for the convenience of visitors, do not forget a password strength meter. It is a good practice to consult users about their own risk they take, when providing a simple password.

In case you run a popular CMS, be it WordPress, Drupal or similar – think twice before leaving it unattended. Despite the stability, such CMSes owe their security exploits to their popularity. Very often new problems get discovered and you should be ready to update the system. If you plan for an unattended system, your best bet will be a custom framework.