Websites, applications, backend databases, and origin servers make up an organization’s web presence. An organization’s web presence is not always located behind the corporate firewall, so it is the first area that risk managers must address.
Many of the latest data breaches that have made headlines were directly related to hackers taking advantage of web security risks, gaining access to downstream databases, and stealing data from backend servers. All of this activity was performed by hackers using the internet, coming from the outside in.
Today, most organizations’ web presence is hosted in a content delivery network of some sort, often just called the cloud. It makes the most sense to protect that presence by using security in the cloud as well. Here are five web security risks that organizations can address with cloud-based security services.
One of the biggest emerging web security risks is the threat of bots. Hackers are creating large botnets made up of compromised computers, smartphones, internet of things devices, etc. and using them to perform all sorts of malicious activities against your web presence. This activity can be completely thwarted by implementing cloud-based bot management services.
DDoS attacks against an organization’s web presence cause latency, outages, and downtime. Often, the motivations for these web attacks are financial. Hackers use threats of pending DDoS attacks as a form of extortion to get their victims to pay a ransom and avoid being attacked. DDoS attacks can be extremely detrimental to an organization’s lines of business. Organizations can quickly implement cloud-based DDoS protection services — sometimes in just a few hours — to address these web security risks.
Internet-facing application attacks
Internet-facing applications are under a constant barrage of attacks from hackers looking to take advantage of application vulnerabilities that have been unknowingly exposed. Web application firewalls can manage the risks associated with application-targeted attacks by preventing malicious internet traffic from reaching web and application servers.
Protecting APIs, apps and backend servers is often overlooked. As a result, hackers have discovered these areas as untapped territory for stealing data, money, etc. APIs use primarily machine-to-machine communications, so most people believe they are of little risk. That is definitely not the case, so organizations should strongly consider implementing API security services.
Many organizations allow online users to upload pictures, claims, forms, videos, and other content to an organization’s website. Malware uploaded via these means could potentially infect the site and its applications — and also turn the site into a distribution point used to spread malware to other sites, applications, visitors, and even partners. Cloud-based malware detection technologies can address this problem.
Unfortunately, cyberattacks are here to stay. But organizations that continually evaluate their approach, proactively implement solutions, and follow best practices to protect against web security risks are better positioned to stay ahead of hackers.