What Is Web Security?

web security

Web security is a term that refers to the protective measures and protocols that organizations adopt to protect their web-based services, servers and data. These measures are crucial for protecting business continuity and to keeping data, users and companies safe from cyber threats and hackers who exploit the web.

The main goal of web security is to prevent breaches in security by identifying, containing, and preventing malware and other threats on the network. This includes using multiple technologies to stop malware and ransomware, block phishing domains, restrict the use of credentials and more–building a holistic defense.

Identifying and Preventing Threats: The first step in preventing attacks is to understand what vulnerabilities are and what techniques hackers use to gain access. It is also important to know what protections are available and which are not.

Server-side flaws: These include cross-site scripting (XSS) and remote file inclusion (RFI). XSS is an attack where attackers inject malicious code into web pages and can also be used to steal sensitive data from users. With RFI, an attacker can reference external scripts that can be downloaded and executed on the server to upload harmful malware.

Denial of service: These attacks are designed to slow down a network device by sending too much data. They are often carried out by hijacked devices that have been compromised and can be difficult for administrators to detect.

Login forms over HTTP: Having login pages served via HTTP can be risky because they can be hacked and manipulated by network eavesdroppers to extract user passwords. These can be obtained by sniffing the network or by changing the served page in transit.

Session hijacking: The session ID can leak in the referer header if timeouts are not implemented correctly, or if using HTTP (no SSL security). Passwords may not be encrypted in storage and transit, making them easy to gain unauthorized access.

Same-origin policy: The same-origin policy is a critical security mechanism that restricts how a document or script from one origin can interact with a resource from another origin. The Access-Control-Allow-Origin response header indicates whether a fetched resource can share its code with requests from the given origin.

Secure contexts: Many powerful APIs and features are only accessible in a secure context, which is a Window or Worker for which there is reasonable confidence that the content has been delivered securely. This helps to minimize the chance of man-in-the-middle attacks, ensuring that web platform functionality is protected from exploitation.

Web application firewalls: Most WAFs are cloud-based and plug-and-play, providing a gateway to all incoming traffic and blocking any hacking attempts at the source. They filter out other types of traffic and malware, and they can also help prevent DDOS attacks.

Restrict access to network resources: A common way for attackers to compromise websites is by trying to get administrator credentials. In order to avoid this, it is important to ensure that employees only access the website when necessary and have their computer logins expire after a short period of inactivity.