Once upon a time, to access the web we had to have access to our PCs.
Perhaps it wasn’t that long ago, but now with our smart devices, we can access the Internet no matter where we’re currently located. Especially here in Korea, everything is inextricably connected. Companies have even jumped on board with this new-found “connectedness.” Nowadays the services that were previously necessary to seek in-person are available online as a given. Internet banking, financial transactions, registration card issuance, and customer service platforms… The web is now an essential part of everyday life. So what do we do about web security?
Web Security: the Elephant in the Room
With this connected world comes the part that no one wants to talk about. The elephant in the room: Web security.
Now, no one wants to think about that but let’s say you’re a small-medium business (SMB) owner. You’re just getting started and making a slight profit. You want to promote your business on your website. It would also be nice to manage through online services that handle bills and salaries for your employees.
There’s no real way around it – you’re connected to the web. Your information (as well as those of your customers and employees) could be out there if you don’t take the steps to protect it.
The Application Layer
There are many layers to an IT system – and most businesses spend the majority of their security budget on the network layer (which deals with data transfers), maybe a bit more on the systems layer (which are the operating systems like Windows or Linux), and finally the least of their budget on the applications layer (which offers the protocols and services with many features). Now why do they spend so little on the applications? The applications layer is technically complicated and most varied. Therefore, it becomes difficult to find a web security solution.
But this layer is the area that needs the most protection. Because what we know as the “web” is basically composed of applications, including your website. Simply protecting the network or systems layers is not enough. Unfortunately, cyber criminals have figured out that web applications are profitable targets. The most profitable would be the web applications of businesses and companies because the value of their data would be hefty compared to the data of an individual.
Additionally, what many individuals and businesses don’t realize is that cyber threats don’t come in a neat file cabinet. It’s more of a whirlwind of documents that’s constantly being rearranged. For example, there’s SQL injection, cross-site scripting, cookie tampering, website defacement, denial of service, malware… and next year the biggest trends could be an entirely different set of attacks.
While it’s easy to think that perhaps your business is the exception to the rule, Whitehat Security reported that 86% of all websites have at least one vulnerability. That means companies shouldn’t consider web security to be optional, but essential.
Protecting Yourself from Web Attacks?
Then the question is: how do you protect yourself when threats are always changing?
First, if you’re just starting out in the world of web security, I would suggest Cloudbric – a full-service Web Application Firewall (WAF) that can detect even the most elusive attacks. It’s powered by WAPPLES, Penta Security’s WAF that uses a logic analysis engine instead of the traditional pattern matching system. With a lower false positive rate than many of the products out there, it offers accessibility at a reasonable price – free if your monthly traffic doesn’t exceed 4GB.
Second, make sure you’re consistently educating yourself on cyber security and how to keep your information safe. At the end of the day, keep yourself informed. We’ll be doing our part on this blog going through different types of web threats, what the newest trends are, and what to be on the lookout for. Even those in the industry are always learning. Preparing for these types of threats can prevent major headaches or even worse – loss or damage to information.
Because at the end of the day – you’re protecting your website and investing some time and resources in order to grow your business further. An organization grows as much as you put into it, but if you don’t protect one of your most valuable assets (your customers’ and your own information), how can you expect it to flourish? So research, and take the leap into web security. For more information, visit www.pentasecurity.com/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org