Last Updated 18 Dec 2022

The Importance of Web Security and How to Use It to Protect Against Threats

Category Cyber Security
Words 1031 (4 pages)
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The web technologies have their significance for every organization and individuals. The rapid growth in the web applications and website technologies have also raised some serious security concerns which actually threaten the people and the organizations in a worst possible manner that everyone fears being victimized. These concerns have raised the importance of web security to manifolds and in this regard, it is extremely important to understand this importance of security and how to utilize it for protecting against the threats. This report focuses on the impact of known threats over the website and web technologies and the role of web security in countering these threats and protecting the information.

In the current digital age, the importance and significance of web technologies and websites is undoubted and un-questionable. Today, there is not a single company or a celebrity that doesn’t have its e-presence in form of a website (Rouse, 2005). These websites start from basic static website having fixed content, to a fully database-backed dynamic interactive web application which handles almost all the business operations of an organization (Ndegwa, 2016).

Websites are considered as a face of any organization in the cyber world and most of the organization run their own web applications which are deployed over the cloud or cluster of webservers (as shown in Figure 1) catering the needs of their customers or users. The extensiveness of this concept can be understood from the fact that there are actually e-businesses where companies do their business electronically (Rosborough, 2018). These companies have their own e-commerce websites and selling products to a large-scale community in a global context followed by the involvement of online payment gateways that would allow companies to perform business online.

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Websites and web technologies have played a catalyst role in the modern digitalization as well as it has set new trends and standards for businesses and individuals to have a distinct appearance and to make their own mark in a more effective manner (Optimus, 2013). However, this modernization and innovation has also raised grave concerns with regards to security and has raised the threats to a significant level where it has become extremely necessary to take countermeasures. These counter-measures fall under the umbrella of Information Security.

Web security is a critical component that intends to keep the websites and their allied technologies like web servers and communication channels secure. The most common approach to test websites against possible and known threats, is to scan them for vulnerability testing so that if any vulnerabilities like backdoor hacks, redirect hacks, Trojans, and many any other threats are identified, they can be countered (Comodo, 2017).

These threats are more critical for the enterprise networks as compared to individuals or small organizations because the value of information is way too high which comes with a higher risk. Therefore, such organizations need to take more promising and effective measures to counter these threats otherwise they would be in a much more trouble as compared to small organizations. If the network of such organizations get compromised, the web server will be compromised and similarly, it will lead to the website being compromised and this is how the malware would infiltrate and propagate within the network and across.

Following are the commonly identified threats types associated with the website and web applications (Trend Micro, n.d.).

Malware. It is a software program that is secretly resides into a computer and performs unauthorized and unexpected malicious actions.

Virus. It’s a software that copies itself and effects computers badly by deleting the files, formatting storage and eating up all the memory to disrupt computer functions.

Worm. It’s an independent program that spreads across the networks, emails, instant messaging or even through removeable storage media. It also harvest other malwares and disrupts system operations by disabling antivirus or access to some sites.

Trojan Horse. It’s a program with malicious intent but it can’t replicate and hence, requires support from some other worm that would help it in propagation. Usually, such program is in dormant state and only acts once its executed.

Spam. It’s more of an approach then a program as it intends to send out mass messages through email or instant messengers. This is usually done to make money for the spammer.

Phishing. It’s another technique and a most dangerous threat because it directly interacts and effect the real people. In this method, the criminal sends crafted email or messages at a mass scale. The main purpose is to get personal information of the people or lure them into some sort of financial fraud.

It has a further dangerous type called Spear Phishing where the same attack is conducted against a particular individual or a group of people or against a corporate entity.

Spyware. It’s a malicious software that intends to steal, monitor and track the victims activities. In this regard, it may uses Keyloggers to capture the key strokes like usernames and passwords or financial details. Furthermore, it may use screen-capture technologies to get the victim’s screenshots.

Bots and Botnet. These are another serious threat because they are not only dangerous for being stealing the information but also critical because it allows a botmaster to use a victim’s computer as a zombie that acts according to the commands.

Ransomware. It’s a program that is most critical and highly rated because it encrypts the victim’s data and then claim for ransom for release. There have been number of incidents like Cryptolocker attack which caused a lot of damage.

Web Application Vulnerabilities are the common weaknesses which are exploited by the attackers to exploit the web application (CyResLab, 2017),(OWASP, 2017).

SQL Injection is a highly dangerous vulnerability because it allows an attacker to gain access to database and enumerate all the data right from the web application. This would allow them to modify any entry, delete or even create entries.

Cross-site Scripting (XSS). This vulnerability allows an attacker to inject script into the form field and since most of the time, the web developers doesn’t consider this severity of this and loosely code their pages, which allows an attacker to enumerate their code, resulting, making it making part of the page.

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