Given that data breaches cost USD 4.24 million on average, website security threats cannot be taken lightly. Besides the obvious financial losses from customer attrition, downtime, and work disruptions, website security attacks cause loss of trust among customers, being blocked on search engines, gaining a negative image that the organization is lax about security, etc. The number, volume, size, sophistication, and impact of website security threats are fast increasing, making their prevention imperative.
This article delves into 5 of the most common threats today and ways to prevent them.
The 5 Common Website Security Threats
The ransomware attack is among the top security threats to websites and web applications. Ransomware is malware that leverages encryption to take control of systems/ applications/ devices and hold the victim’s information/ files/ data at ransom. The attacker demands a ransom to decrypt the files and enable access to the systems/ apps/ devices.
Ransomware is spread using several ways – phishing techniques, domain spoofing, malicious websites, email attachments, malvertisements, etc. Ransomware could also be dropped onto vulnerable systems using exploit kits.
There have been major ransomware incidents ever since the pandemic, with cybercriminals targeting financial institutions, healthcare organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, and so on. This website security threat rose by 92.7% in 2021 compared to the 2020 figures. North America (53%) and Europe (30%) were the most targeted regions in 2021.
2. Supply Chain Attacks
In recent years another common web application security threat is supply chain attacks that occur when an attacker infiltrates your application through an external partner such as a SaaS company, vendor, etc. These attacks target the weakest links in the chain of trust of the organization. By breaching the organization’s application/ system, the attacker can compromise thousands of their customers.
One of the major reasons for the upsurge in these website security attacks is the disruptions owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the need to go remote, adopt cloud computing, and quickly transform their tech stack, organizations looked towards third-party service providers for solutions that weren’t sufficiently researched and tested.
3. Cloud-Based Attacks
Over the past couple of years, organizations have moved much of their infrastructure to the cloud to ensure business continuity amid the pandemic and adapt to the hybrid work models. And these cloud models are evolving at an accelerated pace, creating security gaps and vulnerabilities that attackers can easily leverage.
Some of the common cloud-based web security attacks are:
- SQL Injections
- XSS Attacks
- Trojan horses
- Spyware, etc.
4. API Threats
With the explosion of single-page, JAMstack apps and modular application architecture in the age of composable commerce, APIs have become critical parts of applications. Given that APIs have higher degrees of access to data and resources, there are a growing number of API threats and security risks today. From poor coding to unsecured APIs, attackers have several vulnerabilities to exploit to gain access to the treasure trove of data.
5. Phishing Attacks
In a phishing attack, attackers lure unsuspecting victims into visiting malicious websites/ clicking on links/ downloading attachments/and sharing login credentials. Once the user has done the attacker’s bidding, the attacker gains access to the website data, and they go on to create backdoors to do whatever they please without being detected.
How to Prevent Security Threats to the Website?
The best way to stop existing and emerging website security threats is to leverage a comprehensive, managed, intelligent, next-gen security solution like Indusface’s AppTrana. The solution must include
- A next-gen WAF capable of monitoring incoming traffic, blocking bad requests, applying instantaneous virtual patches to vulnerabilities to prevent exploitation, offering real-time alerts to stop threats, etc.
- The WAF must be equipped with global threat intelligence, security analytics, advanced technology (AI, ML, automation, analytics, etc.), and full visibility into the security posture.
- Continuously updating the asset inventory and finding new areas to crawl.
- Regular, intelligent scanning and pen-testing to identify vulnerabilities before attackers do
- CDN services to prevent DDoS attacks, downtimes, etc. from traffic spikes
The rules and policies for the solution must be tailored to meet the needs, specifications, and context of the organization to ensure effective protection. This is important because no two organizations are the same – they have unique challenges, security risks, systems, business logic, vulnerabilities, etc. And so, website security threats do not impact them the same way.
While adopting the best-in-the-breed technology, the solution must be managed by certified security experts. These experts help build policies with surgical accuracy, conduct pen-testing to unearth unknown vulnerabilities, analyze and make sense of security data, provide recommendations to improve security, etc.
Other Measures to Prevent Website Security Threats
- Secure development practices and testing
- Proper vendor management systems
- Input validation
- Strong authentication and access controls
- Continuous education to all stakeholders
- Update everything
- Data backup
As the threat landscape evolves rapidly, the prevention of website security threats needs a multipronged approach that effectively combines human expertise, technology, and best practices.