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An Introduction to Safeguarding your Online Assets – Website Security (Part 1)

Website Security Importance - TechAffinity

With the dawn of the new decade, there are many positive tech trends to look forward especially website security. But as any advances in the tech domain has its share of new unpredictable threats. The internet has become a breeding ground for the new age of con-artists. Every advancement or trend is utilized by the bad guys for their monetary advantage. 

Every website owner hopes to keep the bad guys away from their property. But what happens when you cannot anticipate the type of exploit that you are being targeted with. Exploits are not always finding ways to deface your website with lewd images or text. Exploits can be so subtle that it may fly under the radar. Sometimes, websites are just taken over with no suspicious activity to track and are used in Botnet AttackBotnet AttackA botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices infected by malware that allow hackers to control them. Cyber criminals use botnets to instigate botnet attacks, which include malicious activities such as credentials leaks, unauthorized access, data theft and DDoS attacks.. The website is then used as part of the botnet to attack other services.

There are many types of exploits that can affect your online assets. The majority of the attacks are done utilizing automated scripts aka BotBotWhat is a Bot - The bot is also known as a web robot, robot or simply bot, is a software application that runs automated tasks over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone.. These bots are capable of running of stealing your data, run stolen credit cards through your payment gateway, send millions of illegal requests to take down your server, increase infra costs, leak customer private data, etc. Some of the damages are irreversible for online businesses in terms of customer trust and brand dependability. This makes website security important. 

CybercrimeCybercrimeCybercrime, or computer-oriented crime, is a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. has been around since the dawn of electronic machines, one of the earliest reported and infamous incidents was in 1970-73 that ended up costing Union Dime Savings Bank $1.5 million now equivalent to roughly $10 million. Many cases usually include innocent genuine websites being taken down in the crossfire in the fight against hackers. In a report back in 2014 by Forbes claimed that Google blacklists around 10,000+ websites every day for CybercrimeCybercrimeCybercrime, or computer-oriented crime, is a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. and around 50,000 for PhishingPhishingPhishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. every week. This number is predicted to have grown exponentially with the active adoption of new technologies by cybercriminals. The increased number of new users online (from low-income countries with weak cybersecurity knowledge and prevention measures). Some of the victims are genuine websites caught up in a botnet without their knowledge.

McAfee in its Economic Impact of Cybercrime report estimated that cybercrime now costs the world almost $600 billion, or 0.8% of global GDP.

What makes up the massive $600 billion loss

  • The loss of intellectual assets and business classified data.
  • The consequences of stolen personally identifiable information (PII)
  • Financial manipulation, using stolen sensitive business information on publicly traded companies.
  • Opportunity costs, disruption in production or services, and reduced trust for online activities. 
  • The cost of securing networks, buying cyber insurance, and spending on restoration from cyberattacks
  • Reputational damage and liability risk for the victim’s company and its brand, including temporary damage to the brand.



The Lack of Justice:

Cyber Justice

The reason that even with laws in place, it’s difficult to fight cybercriminals due to cross-border issues. Laws against internet crimes in certain countries are not given the same amount of importance as perhaps the EU and the United States. Anonymity and advanced CloakingCloakingCloaking is a search engine optimization technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user's browser. This is done by delivering content based on the IP addresses or the User-Agent HTTP header of the user requesting the page. techniques make it almost impossible to trace the attackers. Regulating the money trail that funds these illicit activities have also taken a hit with the rise of cryptocurrency. It is easier for criminals to fund and earn from illegal activities. 

Certain countries that do not have any law or policy for cybercrime are usually the hub for hackers. Safe havens and legal loopholes that can be exploited make it even more difficult for authorities to enforce website security.

Types of Web Attacks & Cyber Attacks:

Even though there is no conclusive way to prevent attacks or hacking attempts, we can certainly take steps to safeguard websites from criminals and maintain website security. 

Some of the well-known lists of types of cyberattacks, exploits, and threats that website/web application owners have to deal with are –

  1. Injections (SQLSQLSQL is a domain-specific language used in programming and designed for managing data held in a relational database management system, or for stream processing in a relational data stream management system., NoSQLNoSQLNoSQL database provides a mechanism for storage and retrieval of data that is modeled in means other than the tabular relations used in relational databases., OSOSAn operating system is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common services for computer programs., and LDAPLDAPLDAP  is an open and cross platform protocol used for directory services authentication. LDAP provides the communication language that applications use to communicate with other directory services servers. injection) are usually known as SQL injectionSQL injectionSQL injection is a computer attack in which malicious code is embedded in a poorly-designed application and then passed to the backend database. The malicious data then produces database query results or actions that should never have been executed. Attack. sqlmapsqlmapsqlmap is an open source software that is used to detect and exploit database vulnerabilities and provides options for injecting malicious codes into them. It is a penetration testing tool that automates the process of detecting and exploiting SQL injection flaws providing its user interface in the terminal. Vulnerabilities.
  2. Authentication Vulnerabilities
  3. Malware
  4. Bot Traffic and Web scrapingWeb scrapingWeb scraping, web harvesting, or web data extraction is data scraping used for extracting data from websites. Web scraping software may access the World Wide Web directly using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or through a web browser.
  5. Cross-Site Scripting XSSXSSXSS is a type of computer security vulnerability typically found in web applications. XSS enables attackers to inject client-side scripts into web pages viewed by other users. A cross-site scripting vulnerability may be used by attackers to bypass access controls such as the same-origin policy.
  6. DDoS DDoS DDoS attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic. Attacks ( Distributed Denial of Service Attack ) – Types of DDoS Attacks
    • Volumetric attack
    • Protocol attack – syn flood attack
    • Application layer attack

In conclusion, the damage caused by security flaws in websites, web apps, mobile apps, IoTs are becoming a huge burden on economies and companies. It is important to note that many of the security flaws and loopholes can be and should be addressed in the development stage. We will be further discussing the methods and guides to ensure that your online assets are safe and foolproof.

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