Taking an umbrella when headed outdoors is an obvious and smart choice when anticipating rain. It keeps you safe from harsh weather. In the same way, learning about web application vulnerabilities and taking preventive measures keeps your company safe and secure from catastrophic cyber threats. Moreover, studies show that the average cost of a data breach is approximately $4.24 million and rising. Thus, in this blog, we will discuss seven web application vulnerabilities and how you can protect your enterprise.
Understanding 7 Web Application Vulnerabilities
1. Broken access control
Broken access control is when a hacker gains administrative control or gets user privileges. In simpler terms, the hacker becomes a privileged user and manipulates the data by editing or even deleting it. This can impact the integrity of the system alongside the data exposure.
2. Broken authentication
To understand broken authentication, let’s first grasp the difference between the authentication and authorization. While the former means validating a person’s identity, the latter means validating what systems, files, or networks they have access to. Thus in broken authentication, hackers feign a person’s identity to steal sensitive information. This enables hackers to carry out attacks like credential stuffing and brute force attacks.
3. Sensitive data exposure
Web applications collect a wealth of user data, from contact information to credit card numbers and health records. Without proper database management or encryption, this information can fall into the hands of attackers and cause significant financial and reputational losses to businesses.
4. Cross-site scripting (XSS)
In XSS, the cybercriminal injects code into a web page via URL, image, comments, or other measures. Then, when the user accesses that web page, it opens the code injected by the hacker, which in turn infects their device and gives hackers complete control of any visitor’s information.
5. Cross-site request forgery (CSRF)
Leveraging social engineering, the hackers get users to perform actions they didn’t intend to, like changing passwords. It then leverages the user’s authenticated sessions leading to data theft, password changes, and bank transfers by using open browsers and log-in information.
6. SQL Injection
Hackers most commonly use malicious SQL code at injection points like form fields to manipulate the database to gather credit card information, passwords, or contact information.
7. Security misconfiguration
This vulnerability results from a configuration error in the system, language, or framework, which leaves it open to attacks. An example could be not changing the default security setting or using the same set of passwords that came with the application. Additionally, this vulnerability includes unpatched software, lack of strong password policies, or lack of proper firewall policies.
5 Effective Ways to Protect Your Organization
Now that we’ve seen how hackers can use vulnerabilities in web applications to conduct cybercrimes, here are five simple ways to prevent these crimes from attacking your organization.
- Enforce a strong password policy and a zero-trust policy.
- Deploy a web application firewall (WAF) in front of your web apps to monitor incoming and outgoing HTTP/HTTPS traffic and keep malicious traffic at bay.
- Employ multi-factor authentication (MFA) to keep unauthenticated users at bay and avoid automated attacks like credential stuffing.
- Use parameterized queries to prevent SQL attacks.
- Encrypt your sensitive data with the latest encryption algorithm.
With the rise in cyber threats, it’s getting more important than ever to protect your web applications from these common threats and attacks. Besides, the nature of web applications allows everyone on the internet to gain access to it. Therefore, it’s critical you’re aware of the latest web application vulnerabilities and take a proactive approach.
Web application firewalls can be your first line of defense and protect your application from known and unknown attacks like DDoS, bot attacks, zero-day and more.
To learn more about WAFs , please contact us at https://arraynetworks.com/contact-us/