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Published on April 22nd, 2021 | by Ali Dino

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Preventing Server Vulnerabilities

If your business relies on a local server to hold all your company’s data, the best time to address security is when the server is set up to prevent as many problems as possible. But as technology evolves and hackers grow more creative in their invasive tactics, protecting your valuable hardware is an ongoing game of wack-a-mole. Working with trained professionals at the time of setup or relocation is an important piece of the prevention strategy.

Common Threats

The most common security threats your server will face are:

  • SQL Injection & authentication flaws – SQL injections are commonly used to gain access to a database by spoofing a user’s identification and stealing passwords, sensitive personal information, and financial information.
  • XSS – cross-site scripting involves malicious code that can be transferred to customers, making them as vulnerable to data theft as your business.
  • Insecure direct object references – a type of access control vulnerability resulting from user-supplied input to access objects.
  • Security misconfiguration – this often occurs when defaults used for setting up the system are not changed, i.e., keys and passwords. It is also an easy problem to avoid, simply by including secure password setup into your setup plan.
  • Sensitive data exposure – sensitive data can be revealed many ways from leaving passwords on computers to using insecure internet connections while accessing sensitive information.
  • Failure of function-level authorization – improper validation of the user of an API and the function it intends to carry out.
  • CSRF – cross-site request forgery is often installed on local computers when a user clicks on a link or downloads a file. This technique is commonly used to make purchases on customers credit cards, damaging the company’s reputation.
  • Insecure components – when one or more individual parts of the server setup is not set up securely.
  • Unfiltered redirects – when a website gets hacked, the hacker often inserts malicious redirects so a user clicking a link is taken to a malicious website or accesses a malicious file that can install malicious code on a computer.

Having an IT expert monitor your server for issues and regularly install updates is one way to ensure server health; however, prevention through education can go a long way to avoid some of the most severe attacks. 

Educating your staff about security and how to avoid the most common traps can deter most of the problems. Some companies include a series of security education videos in their onboarding process to ensure each new employee practices good security prevention from the onset.

There will continually be new schemes to hack your information. It is important to keep your server up to date and monitor and address issues as quickly as possible before they lead to failure or loss of data. Server hacks that reveal financial information can be the most devasting and costly for businesses. Customers can sue your company for damages, resulting in business failure or loss. Protecting your business with insurance is equally important these days as the variety of hacks makes succumbing to some form of malicious code ever more likely.

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