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Symantec Security Insights Blog

The Chemistry of Website Security

An interactive educational tool to increase your understanding of website security
Created: 16 Jun 2014 • Updated: 17 Jun 2014
Solange Deschatres's picture
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Staying safe online is an ever more complex task, with new terms, acronyms and oddly named threats hitting the headlines all the time. And while internet users can go a long way to protecting themselves online, a large part of the responsibility rests with website publishers. The onus is on those who run, manage or work for online destinations to keep their websites, and by extension their visitors, safe and secure.

However, even the most diligent publishers find it a challenge to keep up-to-date with the latest security acronyms. If you work online day in, day out, it’s likely you’ll be familiar with DDoS attacks and HTTP protocols, but do you know your SAN from your Wildcard?

For decades Symantec has been protecting users across the globe against these threats, and its understanding of web security is constantly evolving to meet the latest attack methods head-on. But security software must be paired with education. Knowing about the way attacks operate and how the technologies that stop them have evolved will greatly improve your chances of keeping your website secure.

For instance, did you know that the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption protocol is now 20 years old? Developed in 1994, SSL has become a standard security technology used in web browsers, instant messaging programs and email clients.

But encryption has come a long way in the past 20 years, with increasing numbers of websites using public key cryptography such as ECC (Elliptic Curve Cryptography) to secure visitors’ data.

To help you keep on top of these acronyms, Symantec has produced The Chemistry of Website Security, an interactive guide based on the elements of the periodic table. Nothing in web security operates in a vacuum, so it makes perfect sense to produce a tool that can provide an instant visual link between associated threats, terms and solutions.

From spam to SSL, data breaches to digital signatures, hackers to HeartBleed, The Chemistry of Website Security gives full explanations of 57 key web security elements, and shows you at a glance how they link together. Hover over a ‘solution’ element in the table, and any related ‘term’ and ‘threat’ elements will light up, giving you a simple way to learn what kind of defences are designed to protect against the various attacks.

As an example, hover over the Symantec Global Intelligence Network solution element and you’ll see that it protects against Targeted Attacks, Vulnerabilities and Botnets; hover over the SSL term element and get an instant explanation of Verisign and the different elements that make up SSL as a whole; find out what a Watering Hole Attack is and how to stop it.

Security can be seen as a dry, complex topic that only needs attention when something goes wrong, but when presented in the right way it’s actually a lot easier to grasp than many people assume. The Chemistry of Website Security - available in multiple languages including English, German, French, Italian and Portuguese - can be embedded on any website to help others better understand how to stay safe online.

Periodic table from Symantec

From Symantec Website Security Solutions