The Importance of Web Security
Web security encompasses a broad set of strategies to keep malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and other threats from stealing data, disrupting services, or otherwise harming your business. The global nature of the Internet exposes web applications to attackers from many different locations and at various levels of sophistication. The ideal web security solution leverages multiple technologies to stop malware and ransomware, block phishing domains, and restrict the use of credentials—building a holistic defense.
In a world where more and more of our work, play, and financial transactions are done online, it’s essential to have solid web security protections in place. A single cyber attack can cost your organization dearly, stealing sensitive information, damaging your brand, and propagating illegal content to users. This makes effective web security an imperative for businesses of all sizes.
Hackers and cybercriminals are always on the prowl for new ways to steal or corrupt your data. This data can range from credit card numbers and passwords to customer lists and sales records. It can also include private pictures, videos, or confidential communications. Whatever the information, its loss can damage your company’s reputation and lead to financial ruin. The best way to protect your business and the privacy of your customers is with a comprehensive web security strategy.
The Internet offers the ultimate flexibility, allowing users to connect with your website and apps from anywhere. This freedom comes with a downside, however, as the increased connectivity exposes your infrastructure to more points of entry for bad actors. A security flaw in the browser can expose authentication credentials and sensitive data; vulnerabilities in web protocols can break confidentiality or integrity; and errors in software development can introduce malicious code into trusted documents.
These weaknesses can be exploited to create malware that attacks the web application or website. These threats are known as advanced persistent threats (APT), and they can be extremely difficult to contain once they’re on your network. A good web security solution will proactively find any threats already on your system and stop them before they cause serious disruptions.
Web application security focuses on keeping your web-based services running smoothly and protecting against common cyberattacks. These include:
Secure browsers are an important first line of defense. The more complex web security solutions can check that the browsers you use are up to date with the latest security fixes. They can also verify that the contents of fetched resources are exactly as they were sent, to prevent manipulation. This is called subresource integrity (SRI).
Web scanning involves examining every page of your site for potential weaknesses that could leave it open to an attack. A typical scan involves using an application to systematically visit each page and look for elements that could be exploited by a bot, rootkit, spyware, Trojan horse, or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. The scanner will then report back on the findings, identifying any weak points that require further investigation. A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a sophisticated tool that can detect and block these types of attacks by combining multiple techniques, including sandboxing and dynamic analysis to identify vulnerabilities before they become attacks.