The 3 most common cyberattacks on business websites

The 3 most common cyberattacks on business websites

Enterprises place a great deal of importance on their websites. Beyond being its public face and a huge factor in its online presence, websites play a big role in a company’s success. In today’s digitally driven marketplace, businesses invest heavily in and rely on their websites to support all of their digital marketing efforts, including collecting a chunk of its lifeblood: data.

This reliance, unfortunately, makes a business website a favorite target for cyberattacks. So whether you’re a business in Orange County, NY or elsewhere, you need to protect the base for all your digital marketing. Find out about the three most common cyberattacks on websites and what you can do to prevent them.

What is a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack?

DDoS is a cyberattack that involves sending an excessive amount of internet traffic to a business’s website or online service from multiple rogue or compromised computer systems, and sometimes even IoT devices. Much like a traffic jam disrupting the smooth flow of vehicles, a DDoS attack blocks legitimate visitors and customers from going to your site. The overload to the target’s network or server not only results in disruptions to normal access, but even shutdowns and crashes.

There are five kinds of DDoS attacks: SYN flood, Teardrop, Smurf, Ping of Death, and Botnet attacks.

What you can do to defend your website:

  • Proactively monitor your networks for unusual activity.
  • Distribute traffic in your network evenly by optimizing your network infrastructure.
  • Be aware of potential exploits in your systems and install the latest security patches.
  • To preemptively secure your network against an attack, disable IP-directed broadcasts from your router or reconfigure your system to keep it from responding to these broadcasts

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What is an SQL injection?

SQL injections or SQL insertions are the most common kinds of website attack. They are aptly named because they are a code injection technique. They exploit vulnerabilities in a website’s SQL-based software by forcibly planting malicious code into scripts of traditional inputs like passwords.

These commands allow a hacker to take control of the actual website — for instance, redirecting visitors to a malware-infected website. But more popularly, the technique allows hackers to gain access to the site’s root server and issue commands to its operating system, allowing them to access or even shut down databases.

What you can do to defend your website:

  • Update your website applications to more current ones. Older applications, such as J2EE and ASP.NET, are more vulnerable to exploitation.
  • Check your web applications for vulnerabilities and use testing tools such as web application scanners, vulnerability scanners, and static code analyzers. These tools ensure that your website’s deployed codes are secure.
  • Use web application firewalls and make sure your systems and networks are patched.
  • Practice safe coding by adopting secure coding standards such as those endorsed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).
  • Avoid free or very cheap hosting, and make sure your current web host has security solutions against exploits as a core feature of their service.

What is cross-site scripting (XSS)?
XSS is a security vulnerability found in website applications that accept user input through search bars, user forms, and comment boxes. By inputting strings of malicious code, hackers can exploit these applications and hurt the systems of users who visit your site.

The hacker’s code alters web pages in ways only visible on the visitor’s computer. No damage will be apparent on the website owner’s side and only lower click-through rates may be noticeable. These changes will allow hackers to record the website visitor’s keystrokes, obtain their passwords and data, and even gain control of their computer.

What you can do to defend your website:

  • Ensure your web applications that accept user input clean or sanitize inputted strings before loading a web page in response to user input.
  • Regularly scan for any web application vulnerabilities and apply appropriate patches or fixes.
  • Make sure your websites filter out code inputs such as HTML and JavaScript when accepting user inputs.
  • Regularly update your website and server software.

Security is a complex endeavor and businesses can find themselves vulnerable on many fronts. With Hudson Valley IT Services’ comprehensive security consulting services, you can be confident of a robust security environment for your infrastructure and business operations. Protect one of your most valuable business assets — your website — with best practices and tools in security. Contact Hudson Valley IT Services today or learn more.

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