Cybersecurity, Simplified: Website Scanner 

August 18th, 2020

Your website is your company’s public face, and your first impression to many potential customers. The last thing you want is for one of those prospective customers, or a partner, to get re-directed to a fake website, click on embedded malicious files or content, or in a worst case scenario, opens up unauthorized access to company systems or information. The best way to protect against any combination of these nightmare-inducing scenarios is by using a website scanner.

Who is a website scanner for?

Website scanners are typically easily deployed with a few quick clicks and business with a website should be using one. The report a website scanner produces might require a technical set of eyes. We recommend having your website administrator on-hand to review it and talk you through the results.

What exactly is a website scanner?

A website scanner is a tool that can be deployed to scan your website domain(s) for a variety of potential security gaps including:

  • Compromised hosting and IP information
  • Spam and injected malware
  • Outdated software such as an outdated content management system or vulnerable plugins and extensions
  • Internal server errors
  • Blacklist status on Google, PhishTank, etc.
  • Certificate issues

A website scanner is not the same as a network vulnerability scanner. A website scanner is a good fit for most general-use marketing websites, whereas a vulnerability scanner is better suited to things like web applications.

When does a website scanner matter?

Cybercriminals are known to build bots designed to automatically search the internet for websites with weak or outdated security measures. That is why it is important for you to do the same by running a website scan at least monthly, or as soon as you detect suspicious activity.

How does a website scan work?

A website scanner is a remote scanner that will mimic a website visitor, or search engine bot, to verify if any pages have malicious code. Typically, a website scanner runs your website’s pages/links against a large malware database and compares results between different user agents to see if there is anything hidden. Then the resources are checked against multiple blacklists to see if anything has been flagged by Google, McAfee, or Norton.

Why is a website scanner important?

A website scanner is an important component to a strong cybersecurity posture. Your website is your public presence on the world wide web. Any performance issues, defacement, or configuration issues can lead to a variety of problems including public distrust, brand degradation, and potential loss of revenue.

In the same way you want to know if you have broccoli stuck in your teeth before joining a big, important meeting, you want to know if you’ve got issues with your website before sharing it with the public. A website scanner will be that true friend to point out the malicious broccoli in your website before the rest of the partners and customers see it, and possibly become compromised.

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