Security is a huge selling point HubSpot Solution Partners use when trying to push clients to HubSpot instead of WordPress or other open-source CMS’. It’s a proprietary system, professionally hosted and managed by HubSpot and its structure is a blackbox when compared to something like WordPress. It is better, of course, but not invincible. When weak coding and unsecure third-party integrations come into play, HubSpot’s security can’t do much.
So the answer is...Yes. Your HubSpot portal can be hacked and data in your portal can be stolen.
With Great Power Comes Great Visibility
I recently posted a blog on GoDaddy being hacked. GoDaddy’s got a huge chunk of users and was recently gaining more. That’s what attracted hackers. Hackers go after something valuable and popular so the ransom money can be asked in return.
HubSpot is a well-known platform and has a rapidly growing user-base. That user-base manages thousands of clients worldwide. A criminal mind sitting in any part of the world can try to get hands on that data. One bad day for you and one lucky day for the hackers and the security protecting your websites gets compromised.
Areas that are vulnerable and need more attention
Third-Party Integrations are a prominent source of a data breach. Data going in and out via an infected third-party tool or app makes your secure HubSpot platform also vulnerable to data breaches and threats. Double-check the security ratings of the third-party app you are integrating with your HubSpot platform. However, many HubSpot users opt for custom middleware applications between HubSpot and some other tool in their tack stack. In simple terms, these applications open a small hole in your HubSpot portal where data can be received and sent to another system and vice versa. While your portal might be on lock down, when the data flows into another application it’s out of HubSpot’s jurisdiction.
What plugins are for WordPress, third party integrations are for HubSpot. Both are developed by third parties and need to be updated regularly. And, if the third-party tool is abandoned by the owner, and there are no updates to protect from the latest threats, it is a playground for hackers.
HubSpot Cloud Infrastructure
HubSpot’s product infrastructure is hosted on AWS – Amazon Web Services. The local customer data is in Frankfurt Germany on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
As Stated by HubSpot “A number of HubSpot services are routed through the GCP EU data center before being securely transferred to the US and securely stored in AWS.”
Read more on HubSpot infrastructure and data transfer protocols.
Servers, regardless of who owns them or how they run, simply, can be hacked somehow. If a particular server serving your website is hacked, the possibility of your website being hacked increases.
Entering malicious codes instead of the right information in the contact forms and logins fields is another way a website can be hacked. Regardless of where the contact form is placed on the website, they open doors of opportunities for the hackers. Hackers use SQL injection commands in search forms and contact forms to bring up and usernames and passwords. Once they hack into the system using someone’s username and password, they can do whatever they want.
Spam contact submission forms are one of the well-known methods.
Even the slightest wrinkle in the template code hampers the security measures. Unsecured JSS, CSS codes in the templates are gifts waiting for the right hackers to open them. A website built on HubSpot, WordPress, Joomla, Shopify can be exposed to dangerous threats. The unsecured pages/templates weaken the security of the website regardless of the platform.
When companies try to get paid data from any source, they don’t double check every contact field. Say, for example, you have bought data of 100,000 entries. You will scroll through a few entries and upload it in the HubSpot CRM without knowing that the file contains a CSV injection or Formula injection.
The Formula injection, (the deadly formula of hacking) puts not only your HubSpot portal at risk but your PC as well. The hackers can do whatever they want from opening the notepad on your PC to take control of your whole PC. Stay away from unreliable data sources.
If you have gathered the data manually over the span of six months, and your team has put every single entry in the sheet, you know you can trust that data. Or use the CRM for every entry to be sure.
HubSpot Account Hack
Hacking a user account is an old method but it still serves a lot of juice to the hackers. HubSpot does give users the option to apply 2-factor authentication and other measures to secure a portal. Those certainly make HubSpot portals harder to hack, but not impossible.
For example, a malicious account can be created and fed into your HubSpot CRM through a CSV file or other CRM (Third-Party Integration and Data Importing at work here).
So, as you can see hackers come from the server-side, website code, contact forms, and even CSV files. You need to build a digital fortress to reduce the hacking attempts or at least control them on time because hackers are constantly trying to make easy money by getting hands on your precious data and they have do it right JUST ONE TIME.
How can I protect my website from getting hacked?
As you know by now that even the most secured system has tiny loopholes. The hackers just need that tiny loophole like a thread sized crack in a water pipe allows water to leak.
Multiple uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters are proof of a strong password. ‘^$*YHSif&**38e’ is safer than ‘ronny999 ’or ‘ronny123.’ That’s your first line of defense. Inherit it in your system, I mean the habitual system. Whenever you sign up on any website, make a habit of choosing a strong password, not just an ‘okay’ password. Good habits pay you well.
Apply Double Authentication
Have an OTP sent to your phone or email every time you log in. This doesn’t charge you anything. HubSpot offers doubling up your account protection by sending an OTP code or access your account with the real-time code from Google Authenticator.
Have a Web Application Firewall
When trusting the internet and cloud services to take care of your data, supply a set of protective gear yourself in the form of WAF – Web Application Firewall. The firewall regulates the traffic between the internet and a web application and protects the web applications from SQL injection attacks, cross-site scripting among others.
Don’t Expose All Pages
Every page on your website is crawled by search engines. You can choose which pages the search engines should not crawl. Robot_TXT file blocks the search engines to crawl a page. Pages carrying sensitive information, pages that are opened after the logins, or the pages that appear the landing pages all must be protected with robot_txt file. If search engines can’t crawl them, nobody will be able to see them except the people who have the right login information.
Keep Tech-Stack Updated
This doesn’t apply to your HubSpot portal directly since HubSpot handles all build uploads, but you need to keep your third-party integrations up to date. If any update on those platforms are pending, you must initiate it even it doesn’t include some major functionalities or features. If you are receiving an update notification about a third-party app, that’s a good sign because it means the developers are still active and improving their app to protect their users from the latest threats.
The platform itself is safe, but outside interferences, weak coding, and weak passwords lower its guard. And, once the hackers are inside the system, the high-end security goes for a toss even for a Platform like HubSpot.
Secure code, carefully chosen passwords, regular updates, and using secured third-party apps will keep your defense strong against the hackers.