Cyber Attacks: Common Website Security Threats

According to recent findings, cyber attacks pose a huge risk for businesses in 2022. Unfortunately, this challenge seems to gain momentum with time. Seven of eight countries reported cyber attacks as a major issue in their business in the past few years.

So what does this mean for website managers?

Any firm is at risk from this deadly trap. Whether it results from human errors or malicious hacks, you must do everything possible to guard your website against attack.

Keep reading to learn what a cyber attack is and common cyber threats that can potentially expose your website.

What a Cyber Attack is?

Any unwelcome attempt to disable computer systems or alter or steal information is considered a cyber attack. Whether personal, criminal, or political, most attacks are closely associated with warfare and terrorism. Almost always, the motivation behind an attack is money. The attackers penetrate the system and then demand payment from victims.

Who is Most Vulnerable to Cyberattacks?

Cybercriminals can target any business, whether a small or large eCommerce website. Thanks to the current digital landscape and internet usage, it is super easy for cyber criminals to initiate attacks. These attacks target computer systems, personal computers, IT systems, and infrastructure.

While some industries are more vulnerable, companies that rely on online data storage and services make better targets. Still, there have been specific trends in larger businesses in past years. In no particular order, cybercriminals prefer the government, finance, manufacturing, health care, and education industries.

Common Cyber Threats on Your Website

Websites’ most frequent threats include man-in-the-middle attacks, phishing, malware, and DDoS. Let’s get into the details.

1. Man-in-the-Middle Attack

This attack affects websites that don’t have end-to-end data encryption from the users to the servers. The perpetrators eavesdrop and gather information on the internet when it’s being transferred. This is often personal, sensitive information.

One of the sure ways to identify if the website you’re using is at risk is to examine its URL. The URL of a secure website should begin with HTTPS. The ‘S’ means that the data is encrypted. You can also mitigate this by installing a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate on your website. The certificate encrypts data traveling between two parties so the hacker can’t understand it.

2. Phishing

Phishing describes a method where criminals send fraudulent messages making users think they’re from a reputable source. The goal is to steal user information like login credentials and credit card details or introduce malware on a victim’s computer system.

The attackers camouflage their true identity and use persuasive language to lure victims into opening a text, email, or instant message. The attacker tricks the victim into clicking a link that leads to installing malware which freezes the system in case of a ransomware attack.

What’s more, unsuspecting users might end up revealing confidential information like passwords in their accounts. You need to check if the email address looks legit before clicking. And if it feels fishy, trust your senses. Run!

3. Zero-Day Attack

Just as web developers use fuzzing to look for programming errors and other loopholes, attackers can use the same technique on your website. In case of an upcoming security update, they can identify the loopholes before the launch.

Alternatively, they can target users who fail to update their software in time. Whichever the case, your website security will be at risk. You might want to update after developers announce a more recent version of an application.

4. Malware

Malware is malicious software that infects computers and devices. When a malicious program installs on your computer, it can cripple your device performance and erase or mine sensitive data from the system. Common malware on computer systems includes worms, trojans, ransomware, and spyware.

Common ways a computer becomes infected include a user clicking on an unsafe link. They might download infected files like email attachments on the screen and install harmful software. You might want to avoid visiting questionable websites or connecting your devices to infected external hard disks.

4. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)

A DDoS attack temporarily or permanently takes your website offline or prevents it from functioning properly. The main aim of these attacks is to deny service to users. Since every website has a specific capacity limit on the number of requests it can serve at a time, these attacks take advantage of that. So they affect a site by flooding it with excessive requests and overwhelming the webserver.

The most common targets for DDoS threats are businesses that provide online services like casinos or shopping websites. The website becomes unavailable to other visitors, or the response becomes slower than expected. To bring things back to normal, the attacker may request compensation.

5. Bruce Force Attack

As the term suggests, the attacker uses all means possible to gain access to an account. Normally, the invader imagines all possible combinations for the user name and password to your privacy. They use a trial and error method to find the login information of a web application.

Most victims of this crime have obvious, effortless passwords that make them easy prey. As a user, you can do so much to defend your account. Ensure you have strong passwords that are impossible to guess. You might also want to use complex passwords with different character types like numerals and symbol combinations. As a rule, create passwords that you can easily remember but makes no sense to anyone else.

Other malicious threats can also affect your business. We have only covered the most common. Whether small or sophisticated, it’s apparent that every website is vulnerable to attacks. You must stay on top to ensure your business is secure. Your awareness of the ever-evolving cyber threats will help you understand what you’re fighting. You don’t want to discover an attack that has already happened. You want to prevent it. Ensure you create strong passwords, keep your software updated and avoid spam messages from unknown sources.

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