What Exactly are HTTP Security Headers?
With many businesses now looking to expand their online presence, cyber security really is an essential consideration. You may have heard of ‘HTTP security headers’, which are a hot topic right now, but what exactly are they? And, perhaps even more importantly, why should your business care about them?
HTTP Security Headers Explained
Although what we see when we look at a website may be clear and simple, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye. HTTP security headers are one of these back-of-house aspects.
Security headers are a part of HTTP response headers; quite simply, the response a server provides to a browser when that browser requests access to a specific website. There’s lots of information included within HTTP response headers, but the security aspect deals explicitly with cybersecurity. Security headers tell the browser how it should behave with your website’s content and tells it if it can be trusted.
Why Should you Care?
HTTP security headers are hugely important when it comes to preventing potential attacks that hackers and others with malicious intent could make. In preventing attacks, not only are you protecting your website and your business, but you’re also protecting any confidential data you hold from your clients.
Cross-site scripting, or XSS attacks, are one form of common attack that security headers can actively prevent. These attacks force a request to an outside site when a user clicks a link, transferring cookies to that outside source along with any user data. Clickjacking is another. In a clickjacking attack, an invisible layer is added on top of visible links on your website. This means that users may click on a link that looks like one thing but is actually being used to mask another harmful link to a malicious, dangerous source.
HTTP security headers establish the origins of your website content. The headers enable a user’s browser to be sure that the content has indeed originated from your website, and not from any alternative sources.
Securing Your Website
Security is often an afterthought in website design, but it shouldn’t be. That’s why businesses are urged to avoid the DIY route, and instead work with experts who can implement security features from the start, building a website that’s strong, secure, reliable, and well protected from potential cyber risks.
One of the best things you can do is look to see if security is a priority for your chosen web design company. At CMS Live, we’ve taken the necessary precautions to secure our own website. If it’s a priority for us, then we make sure that it’s a priority when we’re designing websites for our clients, too.
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