The Importance of Web Security

Website security includes the strategies, infrastructure, training, and monitoring that prevent malware and advanced persistent threats (APTs) from affecting data and internet network resources. It is a key component of cybersecurity and must be a part of every business.

Web applications are often the target of attack because they are accessible to everyone with an internet connection, including hackers. And while development teams spend the vast majority of their time focused on code, visual design, and functionality, they often don’t put as much energy into making sure the web apps they create are secure. This is a major mistake. Whether a company’s web applications are created in-house or by third-party vendors, there are some simple steps that can be taken to improve security.

A web application firewall (WAF) sits between the internet and a website, filtering traffic and blocking requests it deems malicious. WAFs can be effective at protecting against common attacks, such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and remote file inclusion attacks.

An XSS vulnerability occurs when data sent to a server is interpreted as instructions to execute server code. This can include data from GET or POST requests, HTTP headers and cookies, and even user-uploaded files. To help protect against XSS vulnerabilities, all input should be validated and sanitized (e.g., removing script and markup tags). This helps to ensure that a malicious attack can’t be executed as the site is loaded.

In order to stop cyberattackers from stealing passwords or other sensitive information, all incoming user data must be validated and encrypted. The use of encryption is particularly important when accepting online payments. For example, all credit card or bank account numbers entered on a website should be encrypted to ensure that it cannot be intercepted by attackers along its route to the backend systems.

Another aspect of web security is securing the data at rest, such as in databases and other storage platforms. This can be accomplished by using techniques like securing login credentials, encouraging strong password management and two-factor authentication, and encrypting all transmitted data.

Data breaches are one of the most serious consequences of a weak web security strategy. A breach can compromise sensitive information, damage a company’s reputation, and cost the organization millions of dollars. No matter the size of a company, all organizations should implement best-in-class data loss prevention (DLP) to stop these costly cyberattacks. The good news is that this technology can be integrated into a holistic web security solution to provide a complete defense against all types of cyberattacks. This can include preventing malware and ransomware, stopping phishing domains, and securing credentials. To prevent these attacks, organizations must have the ability to detect and respond to them in real time.