Over the past decade in the last decade, millions of companies and organizations have accepted the Web as an inexpensive way to communicate with customers and conduct business. This includes web applications that collect and store information. This includes information about customers that is submitted via content management systems and online shopping carts, inquiry forms or login fields.
Since these applications are online-based and are often accessible from any location in the world they are at risk for attacks that exploit weaknesses in the application’s infrastructure. For instance, SQL injection attacks (which exploit weaknesses in the database) can lead to compromised databases that contain sensitive data. Attackers can use the foothold they gain by compromising your Web application to locate other systems that are more vulnerable in your network.
Other typical Web attack types include Cross Site Scripting attacks (XSS) that exploit weaknesses in the web server to inject malicious code into web pages, and that code is executed as an infected program in the victim’s browser. This allows attackers to steal sensitive information or send users to phishing websites. Web forums, message boards, and blogs are especially vulnerable to XSS attacks.
Hackers collaborate to overwhelm a website by sending more requests than the website can handle. This can cause the web page to slow or even shut down completely in a way that hinders its ability to process requests and make it unusable for all users. DDoS attacks can be devastating for small businesses, like local bakeries or restaurants that depend on their websites to run.