Probably the biggest issue with web application server security is that it’s rarely taken seriously enough until after an attack occurs. And of course, by then it’s too late. Suddenly the proprietor is playing catch up by trying to create a web app server security plan while simultaneously dealing with a breach that’s causing them problems. For this reason, it’s imperative that a web application server security operation is proactive rather than reactive. It needs to be a dynamic, continually monitored priority. So, what are the threats for the web application servers and how are they managed? This article will cover some of the most common cyber security threats to help web app users get in front of the possible security breaches they might experience.
There’s been a lot of press about phishing scams recently, but probably because they’re starting to affect the average web user. But they can also be used to target the web application servers of larger organizations. It may be easy to think that you’d never fall for such an obvious attack, but the problem multiplies with each person added to your organization.
Phishing scams try to access sensitive information by tricking a user into giving it up willingly. It’s important that everyone in your organization understands the inherent danger of running unknown programs and clicking on suspicious links. Preventing your users from running unknown applications is a start, but education is really the key.
There has been a major surge in phishing scams since many businesses shifted to remote work as a result of the pandemic. If your employees are working from home, it is critical to ensure that they are aware of how to identify common phishing scams.
Malware is another commonly known, and dare we say, popular term due to the effects it’s had on the general public. But it can cause even more serious damage for larger organizations – sometimes without the problem ever being detected. There are several different types of malware that work in distinct ways. The most common are viruses, Trojan horses, worms, spyware and ransomware.
To prevent malware attacks, it’s crucial to maintain effective firewalls and keep them updated. Operating systems, security software, plug ins and browsers also need to be regularly checked and updated. Important information should be backed up and kept off site to make for easier recovery. Having a plan for the removal of malware once it’s been installed will allow you to get up and running quickly while minimizing damage.
Brute force attacks use computing power to quickly process huge amounts of data to literally guess passwords that will allow access to sensitive information. The main protection against this type of attack is to limit the number of login attempts allowed. Beyond that, it can be very difficult to defend against brute force attacks.
Data encryption ensures that if the system is breached, any data leaked is not easily usable by the attackers. If you deal with any type of sensitive date, it should always be encrypted – both in transit and in storage. If sensitive data isn’t needed after being used, it should be disposed of properly. Data that doesn’t exist can’t be misused.
Security misconfiguration is a problem because there are so many different ways a system can be misconfigured. Databases, firewalls, operating systems, devices, software and the servers themselves all need to be properly set up. It only takes a single error to lead to a system breach.
Simple things like updating default server passwords and logins or running the most current versions of software and applications are just the beginning. Regular maintenance and testing are also required to ensure vulnerabilities don’t lie dormant long enough to be exploited.
To learn more about online threats that your business may face, get a free assessment today.