As an entrepreneur, you know that your website is one of your most valuable assets. It’s the face of your business, and it’s what customers use to interact with you online. This is why it is so important to make sure your website is as secure as possible. Here is when a website audit and a SEO Reporting Tool come into play holding hands. In this article, we’ll discuss how to conduct a website audit in 2022 so that you achieve the best security outcomes.
What Is a Website Security Audit?
A website security audit is a process of assessing vulnerabilities and taking measures to mitigate them. In most cases, a website security audit will involve a penetration test, which is an attempt to exploit flaws to gain access to the site or its data. Many website security audits also include a review of the site’s code, looking for vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.
Overall, experts echo the claim that a security audit is as important as using up-to-date SEO tools to find keywords of your competitors. Without this pillar, your website risks underperforming over time which can lead to more grave consequences for your business. But first things first.
Types of Website Security Audits
There are two main types of security audits for websites: automated and manual. Here is a brief overview of their key pros and cons.
Automated: strengths and weaknesses
There are both pros and cons to using an automated website security audit. On the plus side, automated vulnerability scanners, like Astra’s Health Check, can be very easy to use. You simply enter your website’s URL, and the scanner does the rest, providing you with instant results. This can be a huge time-saver, especially if you have a large website with many pages.
However, automated audits are not always thorough. They may miss some vulnerabilities, or they may flag some false positives. That’s why it’s always important to review the results of an automated audit carefully before taking any action. In some cases, it may be worth running a manual audit or outsourcing it to professionals to get a more complete picture of your website’s security.
Manual: pros and cons
When it comes to website security, a manual audit is often seen as the gold standard. That’s because it’s thorough and reliable — two essential qualities when it comes to keeping your site safe.
However, manual audits also have their limitations. For one thing, they require detailed knowledge of VAPT, which makes them a poor fit for novices. Without this expertise, it’s easy to miss potential vulnerabilities. Manual audits can also be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Ultimately, whether or not a manual audit is right for you will depend on your level of expertise and the time you’re willing to invest.
Benefits of Conducting Website Audits for Security
While many businesses understand the need for website security, they may not realize the importance of regular website audits. Here are the top 3 reasons to conduct website audits for security on a regular basis:
- Reason #1: By conducting a website audit, you can gain a first-mover advantage over any potential threats.
- Reason #2: You can also protect your brand image by ensuring that your site is free of any vulnerabilities.
- Reason #3: Auditing your site regularly can help you save costs by uncovering any potential issues before they cause major damage.
All in all, a website audit is well worth the effort as it helps keep your site secure.
How To Conduct Website Security Audits: Tips and Strategies
Conducting a security audit can seem like a daunting task, but by following a few simple steps, you can ensure your website is as secure as possible.
Strategy #1: Security Scan
A security scan is a great way to start your website security audit. It can help you identify malware errors and outdated software. Besides, it gives you a report of its findings and recommendations. Most security scans are relatively quick and easy to run, and they can be a valuable tool to keep your website secure. Once you’ve run a scan, take some time to review the report and implement any recommendations that seem applicable to your website.
Strategy #2: Site settings
It’s important to include a review of site settings as part of your website security audit. One of the first things you should check is whether any CMS-related vulnerabilities are visible on the website. You should also check the input validation settings to ensure that data entered by users is properly sanitized. Finally, take a look at the comment section to see if there are any spam comments or other signs of abuse.
Strategy #3: Users’ access privileges
Depending on the size and scope of your website, you may have hundreds or even thousands of users with varying access privileges. It’s important to periodically review these accounts and permissions to ensure everyone has the access they need to do their job, but no more. Doing so can help prevent data breaches and other security threats. When auditing user accounts, pay attention to access privileges and user roles. For example, does every user have the same access to sensitive data? Are there any users who no longer need access to the site?
Strategy #4: Regular updates
Hackers are always on the look for new ways to exploit vulnerabilities, and if your website runs on outdated software, it could be at risk. That’s why it’s important to regularly update all of your extensions, plugins, and themes to the latest version. New versions often include security fixes that can help close up any potential holes in your system.
Strategy #5: Website traffic
As part of your website security audit, it’s important to assess the location and volume of the traffic to your site. This information can help you identify irrelevant or suspicious traffic and determine whether there have been any significant drops in traffic. There are a number of tools available to track this information, including Google Analytics and Sitecore Log Analyzer.
Performing website security audits on a regular basis is one of the best ways to protect your business from financial damage, maintain your brand image, and ensure data security. By taking a proactive approach to website security, you can rest assured that your site is safe from potential attacks.