What are the 5-common sources of web application attacks?

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What are the 5-common sources of web application attacks?

In today’s fast-paced world of changing trends and hurried life, the aroused pandemic situation has made a huge impact. Even though things took a slow pace, the changing trends of people’s behavior have stood up. More and more people are going online, and businesses converge to the online front-face. And what to look for other than web applications or websites when moving online? Indeed web applications are the first choice for business firms to conduct business and improve their presence. But are these web applications safe enough to go online into the pool of usefulness, surpassing security risks and threats? Here is the keen aspect while engaging with your customers and their confidentiality. Web applications are sprouting as the lucrative targets of attackers, and application security risk assessment is one thing to point straight on. Applications or websites are a rich source of data when it comes to the hands of an attacker. Here is the very need for web security threat assessment or application security assessment that identifies the loopholes for breaches. A security vulnerability that comes with business websites is the perfect gateway for malicious intrusions. To know the prone areas of your web application, vulnerability testing mechanisms are widely employed. Now let us peep into the five mostly seen web application attacks that can drain you down.

1. SQL Injection

Injections are the most common attack that aims or gunshots the database of the web application. Databases in a business website  go flushed with large chunks of data that are an easy exploit for attackers. Of those code injection and SQL injection are the hand-picked modes by attackers. In SQL injection, application vulnerability gets targeted and exploited often, lacking robust code implementation. These attacks hijack the database ownership from the owner via data injections to the application database. Vulnerable fields, sensitive data, weak coding, and the negligence of proper application security testing have fuelled the attack. Through these gateways, attackers intrude and attack the backend SQL database, exposing valuable information. Data leaks, removals, and modifications are the prime imprints of SQL injection
attacks.

2. Cross-Site Scripting

Cross-site scripting is seen a lot to the attacking trend, and to a stat, 40 % of attacks point to the name of cross-site scripting. Even though it accounts for a massive scale, they are not that sophisticated as these attacks picture immature cybercriminals. It varies from injection attacks such that these intrusions target the users of the web application beyond the application privileges. But the root of the attack haunts the application vulnerability, lacking security threat assessment. The hacker injects a vulnerable code or script here onto the point of the website vulnerability, and the user executes it unknowingly. They use XSS to execute malicious scripts to run on user browsers, and the breach happens. They can take over the session cookies, spoil the surface of the website and redirect the users to malicious sites. They are even capable of modifying the website to trick users into data exposure.

3. Path Traversal

Not that recurring or most thought after SQLi or XSS, but are a threat to application infrastructure and directory. Path traversal attacks get focussed not on root folders of your database. But they target the directories or unauthorized files outside the target folders. The attacker intrudes on your application directory and deploys certain specific patterns to move up the hierarchy. An effective path traversal can result in the attacker accessing valuable user credentials and other configuration files. Accessing site information and extended scopes to other websites on the same server is reported with the traversal. Application security risk assessments and proper input
sanitization techniques are the pillar stones against path traversal attacks. Keeping the confidentiality of user inputs  without rendering
to  file system API can account for the needed resistance. Making your security threat assessment belt packed and tightened can induce future resistance to such attacks.

4. Malware

Security misconfigurations are yet another source of attacks on websites or other web applications. Besides having  a web application
performing, one must keep an eye on its maintenance and updations as well. Malware attacks disrupt your loosened configurations and are the common threats to any weak security build-up. Malware has its own types dedicated for different purposes that extend to Spyware, Ransomware, Worm, Viruses, and Trojans. Spotting malware infections at the earliest and preventive testing mechanisms that
involve security threat assessments and countermeasures are keen. Pointing to the backdoor access, malware intrusions and downloads can expose a large amount of data. Updated firewall, expert aid on security barriers, efficient backup plans, and regular checks on security software gets recommended. Also, place your head towards third-party plugins and their updations on time.

5. Distributed Denial-Of-Service

These are the most serious attacks that we can’t take off the list, known as a DDoS attack. Straight from the name itself, it’s crystal clear that there is a denial in the running service for web applications. Yes, these attacks render the sites down for a period of their choice. It can extend from temporary to the permanent shutdown of application without showing any variation to the size of the target. The attacks initiate by flushing the website with several requests, overloading the server, and presenting a visual disruption. These attacks are never standalone and often combine with other injection attacks exploring the vulnerability factor. They primarily focus on disrupting security
systems. Application security risk assessment and vulnerability testings can identify the prone parts for the attack. The usage of CDN,
a load balancer to mitigate the traffic with an effective web application firewall, can prove its worth.

Other Security Threats

Although these five raise a bigger threat to online web applications, several other sources of attacks are still on the cards. Let’s take a quick gaze at the facets of those attacks.

1. Broken authentication

Authentication bottlenecks are the result of application vulnerabilities associated with the improper use of control mechanisms. These
vulnerabilities get exploited by the attackers, gaining control and privilege over websites and entire systems. Credential stuffing, brute
force attacks, and session hijacking possess serious security threats with broken authentication.

2. Cross-site request forgery

CSRF attacks sprout when a malicious entity causes a user browser to perform an action with which the person goes currently authenticated. The browser is made to send a forged request to a vulnerable web application. It can include the victim’s authentication information.

3. Man in the middle Attack

Man in the middle attack is an encryption-oriented attack that disturbs the flow of data. Here sensitive information flowing from one user to the application gets targeted through intrusion to the data that are not encrypted. An SSL certificate for your website can stand as an
application security indicator that conforms to its encryption.

4. Brute Force Attack

Here in the Brute Force attack, login information of a web application is focussed. These attacks are due to user negligence and improper security assessments that leave the sensitive information unfolded. The attackers try to gain access by guessing the patterns of user credentials, entering the account. A strong password and two-factor authentication are enough to put the barrier.

Common Solutions/countermeasures

With the online development of business platforms and e-commerce sites, an organization’s ability to store customer data has increased
substantially. With this scope, data breaches and attacks have also skied up with the trend. Some solutions that can overcome and mitigate these hurdles are as follows;

1. Application Security Testing

Applications security risk assessment and weakness testing’s on an underlying premise have made ready for better sending of secure
lines. These programs can aid you to detect a security threat before its actual convergence. They also stand as high priority mitigation
strategy employed by top firms. It is always better to probe the prone areas and act before the out leash.

2. Web Application firewalls

Web application firewalls or WAF’s are goalkeepers for the resources of a website. These firewalls serve on the website application layer and have the privilege to control other layers and protocols. They use known rules and intelligence gained from previous attacks and adapts to the framework.

3. Secure Development Testing

Secure development testing or STC assists and informs the task force of an organization on security breaches that are likely to happen. It accounts for every person concerned with the firm’s online binding such as testers, developers, admins, and managers.
Penetration testing is one of the hottest practices to look out for concerned to maintaining your IT environments without patches. It is
also capable of giving insights into all possible malicious ways of attacks. Penetration testing is one of the best application security
vulnerability testing to safeguard the IT infrastructure. While we pointed to different countermeasures to the top web application-based
attacks, it is hard to eradicate the roots. We can have a better mitigation plan and self-awareness of being more secure in this digital world. Learn not to escape the digital world, rather build a defense mechanism that can surpass the odds.

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