Network Security Vulnerabilities
What Is It?
Network servers have devices on them known as ports. Each port is set up to understand a certain type of language. For example, there are ports for database applications, website access, email, instant messaging/chat, etc. They are similar to channels on television or walkie-talkie. Each port is either open or closed to the outside world based on the server settings, meaning it will "listen" to requests for that type of service. If a port is open, it is an opportunity for a cybercriminal to attempt to access data or files on that server through that channel. Some ports need to be open. Port 80 is typically open to allow website access on your server. Other ports should not be open like the email or database ports on the same server. Opening unnecessary ports can expose sensitive data and systems to attackers.
What Is the Impact?
If attackers can access your server through open ports, the damage they can do is extensive. Depending on what parts of the server/network they reach, they could steal data, deface your website, or install malicious software that replicates on the server.
How Does SiteLock Protect Me?
SiteLock checks each port (thousands) on your servers to make sure that only the appropriate ones are open for the type of server you are using (email ports for email servers, web ports for web servers, etc.). SiteLock will notify you via email if anything looks out of the ordinary so you can immediately correct the issue. If you are using a shared hosting platform, you may need to contact your hosting provider to address the issue.
What Can I Do About It?
The first line of defense is ensuring only necessary ports are open to the public on your server, such as port 80 for web traffic. Other ports, such as database ports, can be secured by leaving them open but limited to certain applications or IP addresses. Being vigilant and proactive about website security is also important. Use a website scanning service that includes network scanning, such as SiteLock Essentials, Prevent, or Prevent Plus. If your site is hosted on a Virtual Dedicated or Dedicated server, our Expert Services team can also help you lock down your server to prevent attacks.
Note: It is important to mention that network security is critical to securing your servers but does not protect your website from cyberattacks and application vulnerabilities. As the site owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your website is secure. We recommend using an automated malware scanning and removal tool such as those offered by SiteLock to assist with this: