Understanding The Fundamentals of CMS Web Security - Digital Solutions, IT Services & Consulting - Payoda

Understanding The Fundamentals of CMS Web Security

In the emerging world, millions of websites running on content management systems. Content Management systems are popular for business needs and as well as personal. Since it is highly efficient and easy to build the website quickly. CMS is available as open-source software and commercial source software. There are many CMS frameworks available such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla for which there are many templates, extensions, and plugins available online which allow you to build your website according to requirements.

The most common question coming from website owners this:
How do we secure the website?

Web application security is a technique securing or protecting the website, web applications, and web service from hackers.

Simple guidelines for securing the website:

Web application security is not only about finding security vulnerabilities and removing them, but it’s also about preventing the site.

It is necessary to follow the basic steps before going with security tools.

Web-borne Threats to CMS Endpoint Security

CMS security can also be compromised through malicious front-side login (Client-side login) rather than backend login. Thus the end-users explore the CMS endpoint security breaches through SQL injection, Cross-site scripting, and other exploits.

The client-side extensions or plugins for usual web traffic include some active scripting to invoke backend APIs for data updates on the server. SQL commands, scripts, payload, and unexpected formats of code are some of the examples of this.

Better to use a static exported version of the web content as your public site. It has to be hosted separately. This can avoid the attack of the public version of your web content so the internal systems have not to be compromised.

Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

Authentication plugin will send OTP to the registered mobile number or email, once users verified with OTP they would log in. It will tighten the security of the site.

Number Of Login Attempt Restriction

Restricting the number of logins will eliminate the brute force attack as well as reduce the possibility of hackers or bots to gain access to the system.

HTTPS Configuration

HTTPS transmitted the data securely from and to your website.

SSL certificates will encrypt the connection and help protect your user’s sensitive data from being misused by attackers. Without SSL, The data cannot be transmitted securely between the user’s browsers to the website. There is a chance to theft the data

Firewall Restriction

A web application firewall provides extra security to the environment in order to block unwanted IP’s, do not allow fake users to access the website and it also useful to track suspicious activities.

Change Password on a Regular Basis

Changing the password frequently and increase strength by allowing users to create special character sequences and other unique sequences. Changing passwords frequently helps to even if the hackers try to log your account they can’t scoop for long period.

CMS security updates and framework.

The website should be updated with the latest code is important. It helps to secure the website. CMS has released the updates frequently. The website should be updated with the latest upgrades as soon as when it is released. The following are upgrades common in CMS:

  • Security patch
  • New features
  • Support for SEO
  • Support for new plug-ins

The website would function if we did not upgrade. But the website would not be as secure.

Secure Hosting

We should get to know about the server configuration files.’

Apache web servers — htaccess file

Nginx servers — nginx.conf,

Microsoft IIS servers — web.config.

Safe and Secure hosting is a vital role in keeping the data secure. For the secure host, it should keep on updated with the server stack and correct the setup and configuration of the server. It helps to keep the server safe and it turns to secure the website.

Secure site design and development

Web application function related to incorrect authentication, session management allows hackers to compromise password or session tokens. So Session management and authentication management should be configured properly in CMS.

Most of the CMS depends on the database backend typically SQL database.SQL Injection by definition this kind of attack is used to inject something unwanted into the database layer. This type of vulnerability happening due to a lack of parameter sanitization. It enables the hackers can manipulate the database directly. For any input value processing to the sanitization practices should be taken.

A typical recent type of vulnerability, cross-site scripting (XSS), which combines weaknesses in the client-side execution environment creatively with Server Side flaws of eg. lack of verification of parameters and content. This allows hackers to inject unwanted code and arbitrary code into the web application.

To avoid,

  1. We should filter the input on arrival.
  2. Use appropriate response headers
  3. Reduce the severity of xss use content security policy

Developers, testers and should aware of prospective web security issues and should develop the site accordingly to avoid security issues.

Access Permission

Access restriction to a certain module of the application will increase security. Authorized user should access the sensitive data. Any Data modification, Edition, or deletion should handle by the permitted individuals. This provides feasibility to maintain the integrity of the website.

Verified code and plugins

One of the reasons for hacking is using the unverified plugin, modules, and themes. If the vulnerabilities not fixed, the user gains access to hack the site through the unverified plugins

There is also a possibility that libraries and packages are vulnerable. It could happen with any language. So unit testing and debugging is important for the codebase.

1. Deactivate or remove the unused plugins and modules

2. We should keep track of the website updates and source code changes.

3. Do not use unverified plugins.

Headless CMS :

It is any type of CMS where the content is separated from the presentation layer. Here presentation layer is the head and the content repository is the body. The presentation layer (head) is cutting off from the body (content repository ) is called headless cms.

The traditional CMS offers the API that allows us to send content to the presentation layer. Since the headless cms are separated from the presentation layer, definitely it can be protected from anonymous attacks.

Features of Headless CMS :

1. Platform Independence

2. Code simplicity

3. Free technology choice

4. Localization

5.Cross platform support

Please keep the above few tips on your mind if you want to use the CMS without compromising your web security. The above few tips and tactics can help protect your website from uninvited guests to your business.

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