In the past decade, millions have used the Web to communicate and conduct business with their customers. This includes web-based applications that collect and store data. This includes information about customers submitted through content management systems such as online shopping carts, inquiry forms or login fields.
These applications are typically accessed via the Internet and are able to be hacked in order to exploit weaknesses within the application or supporting infrastructure. SQL injection attacks which exploit weaknesses within databases, can cause damage to databases that hold sensitive data. Attackers could use the leverage they gain through compromising your Web application to find other systems that are more vulnerable within your network.
Other common Web attack types include Cross Site Scripting attacks (XSS), which exploit vulnerabilities in the web server to inject malicious code into web pages, which then executes as a virus-infected script within the victim’s browser. This allows attackers steal confidential information or redirect users to phishing websites. Web forums, message boards, and blogs are particularly susceptible to XSS attacks.
Distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) are when hackers band together to overwhelm a website with more requests than it is able to handle. This can cause a website’s performance to suffer or even shut down completely. This can affect the ability to handle requests, making it inaccessible to everyone. This is why DDoS attacks are especially devastating for small businesses that depend on their websites for the operation, such as local bakeries or restaurants.