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Top 5 Website Vulnerabilities and Threats to Look Out for During the Pandemic

Feb 3, 2021 12:14:08 PM

2020 saw a huge increase in cyber-attacks according to Proofpoint, a cybersecurity company monitoring cybercrime. Many organizations shifted to a work-from-home model which caused them to rely more on internet-based programs to support remote working. This increased reliance on web applications forced organizations to quickly shift their internal systems. This left room for error; i.e., openings for hackers. Additionally, governments are pushing out important COVID-19 information to the public at rocketed rates, and unsavvy recipients can confuse official information for scams made to benefit bad actors.

These attacks use malware programs on the internet such as computer viruses, ransomware, spyware, phishing, and many others to infiltrate computer networks and systems. The results of these attacks can include financial loss, unauthorized access to sensitive information, loss of important data, and more.

iStock-158695294Picture credit: iStock

In the world of web development, there are more security vulnerabilities than most developers would like to admit. For example, a misconfiguration during a routine website or web application code update could give an attacker an opening to seize some level of control and potentially take over the hosting server. This is a serious issue that could cause irreparable damage to an organization. Moreover, the reality is that most vulnerabilities are exploited through automated means, such as vulnerability scanners or botnets. This means bad actors are constantly looking for ways to infiltrate web applications and websites. 

It is critical for businesses to be apprised of the most prevalent website threats to maintain security. The following list will detail the top website vulnerabilities and threats:

  1. SQL Injection Attacks: This is one of the most common threats. According to PortSwigger, a web security company, “many high-profile data breaches in recent years have been the result of SQL injection attacks, leading to reputational damage and regulatory fines.” An SQL injection attack can alter the database query and cause it to return the search data back to the attacker rather than the intended website. This attack can lead to the manipulation of confidential data and allow the hacker to cause a variety of issues such as adding malicious information, gaining unauthorized access to the systems, and breaching the entire server. These can all lead to serious security threats.
  2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): This attack injects malicious scripts into trusted sites such as injecting client-side scripts into an internet site, then uses the website as a propagation tool. The danger behind XSS is that it allows an attacker to inject content into an internet site and modify how it is displayed. This forces the victim’s browser to unknowingly execute the code provided by the attacker.
  3. Credential Brute Force Attacks: This attack gains access to a website’s admin area, instrument panel, or SFTP server. It is amongst the foremost tactics to compromise websites. This technique utilizes the usernames and passwords from a company’s own data to hack the system for their nefarious gain.
  4. DoS/DDoS Attacks: A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack may be a non-intrusive internet attack. It's made to take down or slow the targeted website by flooding the network, server, or application with fake traffic. 
  5. Unvalidated Redirects and Forwards: If there's no proper validation while redirecting to other pages, attackers can leverage this vulnerability to redirect victims to phishing or malware sites or forward them to unauthorized pages.

Safeguarding Servers and Web Spaces is Crucial

With the recent uptick in threats and automated attacks, it is not enough to guard web applications with one technique or at one layer of the tech stack. There must be a robust security strategy in place. Vulnerabilities within the platform or in the protocols, such as TCP or HTTP, can be devastating to the safety and availability of applications. Additionally, web security is collaborative work across the network, security, operations, and development teams as it requires each and every person in the team to play a vital role in protecting applications and their critical data. Cross-department collaboration is crucial in safeguarding the business.

How Nisum Can Help

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists and businesses adjust to the new normal, companies need to prioritize protecting and securing data from threats. Nisum is an expert in handling the latest security threats. We are adept at keeping systems safe and can work on creating a defensive web infrastructure by deploying the right security protocols to help your business keep its most important systems and information safe from cybercrime.

Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your business and technology goals.

Chaitanya Bommaraju

Written by Chaitanya Bommaraju

Chaitanya Bommaraju has diversified experience in web and mobile technologies. He has worked as an internet security programmer for multiple clients. He is knowledgeable on the different types of security and data leaks in software development and the best practices on how to safeguard software.