Negligence and inexperience on the part of programmers is the major cause of security lapses that occur online. As web developers hurriedly put up website security precautions are overlooked either due to time constraint or sheer ignorance. Minor discrepancies occurring in the process of web designing often build up into a security nightmare for the users.
PHP is one the most widely used programming language because of its simplicity and ease of use. Even developers who are newly venturing into web design find it the programming language of choice. With only elementary skills, inexperienced developers erroneously apply PHP to create software with little regard to safety precautions. On the other hand PHP has several inherent weaknesses that hackers easily exploit to gain unwarranted access to information.
Traditionally hackers used phishing where e-mails purporting to come from a popular site guides unsuspecting user to disclose vital information such as passwords. Alternatively a hacker could use pharming where traffic is cleverly redirected to another site by tampering with domain-name server system. Presently hackers have discovered flaws in web applications which they exploit to gain access to information from your website.
To stop hackers on their track customize your PHP configuration. If your PHP is in default setting disable some functions that hackers can manipulate to their advantage. EVAL, passthru, shell-exec are particularly vulnerable. Immobilize these functions which can be used singly or together with others to control your system and retrieve information from your website. It is important however to check if any of the functions is in use by any application in your website. Alternatively you can enable them on need basis.
Coding is another tool normally exploited by hackers to gain access to your website. Similarly disable options that are likely to be manipulated. Flexibility and ease of use make some applications more vulnerable to coding maneuvers. Sometimes it is a case of choice between functionality and security. Since security is paramount then due diligence from the programmers is expected to offer secure applications without compromising functionality.
As implied earlier, programmers’ sense of responsibility and expertise is the critical determinant between safe and unsafe applications. Programmers use simplicity and ease of use of their applications as the enticing bait to users. The same qualities are exploited by hackers to breach security in the websites. The choice of your programmer is therefore important to avoid security nightmares. A programmer who has positive reviews from previous clients is particularly ideal; it is an expensive affair to apply trial and error method to choose one.