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cloudbric website protection

Your Guide to the 3 Layers of Website Protection

Of course, it’s difficult to talk about completeness when it comes to information security. Even the professionals need serious resources for comprehensive protection, from architecture to operation, and even then, perfection still isn’t guaranteed. There are no standard web security measures, so every individual builds security depending on their own unique situation. Web security solutions need to fit each company’s IT system. This begins with understanding how a company’s IT system is structured.

 

Cloudbric free website protection

What’s the shortcut to website security?

The Three Layers of an IT System: Network, System, Application

Generally, an IT system consists of networks, systems, and applications. Each of these three layers need their own unique level of protection. The networks layer at the bottom of this stack deals with data transfer, while the systems layer (what we know as operating systems such as Windows or Linux) works as a platform that enables the applications layer to operate. The applications layer itself offer protocols and services with many features. Many kinds of server systems are just like this structure, so securing the server means all these three layers are safe.

IT system layer structure

IT system layer structure

Don’t Overlook Web Application Security

Despite the importance of web application security, most companies spend 10 percent on web application security compared to network security. The reason is simple: companies don’t know what to do about web application security. The application layer is technically more complicated and the kinds of applications also vary.

Most security professionals find it difficult to set up a security policy and apply security measures. What we think of as the ‘web’ actually consists of applications. Websites and mobile apps are all applications, and attacks on these also take advantage of the vulnerabilities of applications.

Web attacks such as SQL injection or XSS also target the vulnerabilities of website applications. Malicious code called a ‘web shell’ also consists of a type of web application. The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), famous in the web security industry, named 10 web vulnerabilities, all of which are web application attacks.

More than 90% of web attacks target web applications. A web application firewall (WAF) is what protects your website from unwanted visitors. Its role is like a fence. It monitors traffic, detects web attacks and protects your website. What’s important is that it prevents vulnerabilities from being exposed. From the outside shell, it limits access from malicious traffic. Also, it hinders malicious code from being uploaded to your web server.

 

cloudbric website protection

A Web Application Firewall blocks all sorts of web attacks

If you look into web application firewall solutions, there is a comprehensive yet free solution called Cloudbric. Cloudbric is the most advanced web application firewall, with algorithms that progressively learn from past experience. Go to the top of this page and click to get started with Cloudbric protection for your website!

Cloudbric as a one-stop wall of security

Why You Need a Firewall

Your Website is Published. Is it Good to Go?

 

According to the Netcraft January 2015 web server survey, there are over 876 million websites all around the world. Among them, however, 30,000 websites are hacked each day and the majority of these websites are legitimate small businesses that are irrelevant to cyber criminals. Why is this the case? Many of them missed the final touch. The website owners must have thought their websites were ready to go online. Yet, there was one thing they left out. The firewall.

You might be thinking ‘Among those 876 million websites, mine is just a small one. Why would mine be attacked when there are so many out there to be targeted?’ You’ll be surprised to see how many attacks every website receives, regardless of size. Here are the ACTUAL dashboards of Cloudbric customers who kindly agreed to share their traffic levels.

1. Personal Website

A number of cyber attacks personal website received

Cloudbric protected this user’s website by blocking 2,323 attack attempts originating from five hackers.

2. Small/Medium-Sized Business

A number of cyber attacks business website received

Cloudbric has stopped a high volume of dangerous activity, with two recent spikes.

If you look at the dashboard images above, both the personal website and business website had been attacked. Indeed, the personal website had alarmingly high number of attacks. Your website is not an exception. Building a website with no protection measure is like building a house without a door lock. Do you still think hackers would ignore your site because it’s too small to get their attention? Well, that’s a big no!

Here Are 2 Main Reasons Why Hackers Attack Your Website

 

1. Just for Fun or to Show Off

“Deface hacking” is one of the hacking methods that is increasing sharply. This hacking activity finds a target website’s vulnerabilities and inserts a new webpage or changes content. As a result, the website will not appear at all or it will contain irrelevant content or malicious code.

2. To Use Your Site for Further Attacks

The most famous hacking method is DDoS attack. With this method, a hacker can connect many innocent computers to form a botnet. Such zombie computers are controlled by a hacker. A botnet makes it harder to detect the real hacker and also makes it harder to block. Your website may not be ‘that’ important, but it can still be used for another crime.

 

All Websites Are Constantly Being Attacked, Regardless of Size

Before publishing your website, make sure that it is secured. Simply set up a guard in front of your website.Once you set up a firewall, all kinds of website attacks can be blocked. Then you can finally have peace of mind for your website.

Cloudbric as a one-stop wall of security

Cloudbric fends off the major types of attacks.

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Buffer Overflow, a Common Attack

Data can exceed a buffer’s capacity. Not many people may know or have heard about buffer overflow, but we are here to help you understand this dangerous web threat. To put it simply, most programs that run in our computers manipulate data of some form. This data could originate from data associated with the program or logged data that is stored on your computer. The computer assigns this data to a temporary storage, also known as a “buffer”, where they can be quickly used and deployed.

buffer overflow

What is Buffer Overflow?

Now, imagine a buffer as an empty cup that can be filled with water or ice. It has the capacity to store a fixed amount of water or, in this case, data. If there is more water than it can hold, the water will leak and overflow onto your table. Buffer overflow happens in a very similar, albeit a bit more complicated way. Buffers have a limited amount of data they can store and if the buffer is overwhelmed with extra data, it will naturally fall into adjacent buffers to make up the storage.

The overflow of data can be caused by a simple programming error made during its development. However, malicious hackers are able to enact an overflow and perform severe damage to any computing system.

How Does Buffer Overflow Affect You?

According to the SANS Institute, a buffer overflow may cause havoc on network systems and applications. More specifically, buffer overflows can:

  1. Corrupt data that was stored in other buffers, which may lead to a 404 error.
  2. Interrupt the normal flow of programs.
  3. Shut down an operating system.
  4. Run malicious programs through the excess data.

So How Can I Prevent Buffer Overflow?

Buffer Overflow comes in many sizes and these days, they can come also as viruses. Therefore, if you don’t have a firewall and an antivirus software, we strongly advise to install them at once. Make updates as soon as possible when your antivirus and firewall programs ask your permission. In addition, avoid opening unknown and suspicious emails as they can execute malicious programs or malware that can lead to your PC becoming a zombie bot. Don’t install suspicious third party programs because this could be a gateway to allow hackers to mess with your operation system.


This blog post was originally featured on cloudbric.com. Visit their blog for more insight, news, and accessible information on web threats and trends. If you would like to learn more about Cloudbric’s logic-based WAF service, please contact info@cloudbric.com.

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DDoS Attacks: Top 5 Industry Targets

If you take a look in any online hacking forum, you’ll find the buzz term “DDoS attack.” Since 2014 alone, the occurrences of DDoS attacks have increased by +132.4%. To normal people, DDoS attacks seem to work like magic—sending a flood of zombie bots that can overwhelm a web app and shut it down.

With so much power and chaos, if a website is caught off guard without proper defenses, it is shut down in seconds. In fact, DDoS attacks are so popular in the cracking community (the correct term for hackers who use their skills to wreak havoc), that in 2013, the group Anonymous petitioned the U.S government to legalize DDoS attacks as a legal form of petitioning.

So, who are some of DDoS attackers’ favorite targets?  Check out our list of their Top 5 Favorites below.

1. News Sites and Media Publications

This attack was the largest DDoS attack to date. Web crackers against the Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters hacked multiple independent Hong Kong news sites supporting Hong Kong suffrage rights. Every time these sites were trying to organize mock executive elections, their websites were attacked with bigger and bigger DDoS attacks.

2. Universities

Some universities lose their internet connection due to the DDoS Attacks.

You might have heard about the controversy about Rutgers University with thousands of students losing internet connection due to multiple DDoS attacks. Apparently, the cracker who rendered the Rutgers networks to useless was hired by someone who had a vendetta against the school. Some attribute the reason to the attacks was the university’s rise of tuition for the 2015-2016 school year.

3. Online Services

This attack is the one that many news outlets declared “the attack that almost broke the internet.” This attack was against Spamhaus, a website that tracks Internet’s spam operations and sources. Spamhaus maintains real-time, spam-blocking databases that help Internet networks weed out bogus email. A service company with a noble goal; however, once it blacklisted a website called CyberBunker, it was targeted for the attack. Journalists declared that the DDoS attack was so large that its affects could be felt outside of the attacked web app. Whether that is really true is still up for debate.

4. Online Gambling Industry

Compared to 2014, there has been a +350% increase in DDoS attacks in the online gambling industry alone. For the crackers who want to get quick access to money, the online gambling industry seems like an easy target. Because the industry is very competitive, crackers will often work for a competitor site. A cracker will attack a site and cause latency—pushing users to want to use a competitor’s service instead of the attacked service.

5. Politics

Just like the group Anonymous, crackers often hack into web apps for political views. In early October, crackers attacked the Thai government’s websites to protest government’s plan to limit access to sites deemed inappropriate. The hack was a part of a petition against the government. Tens of thousands of people declared the government’s plan as the “Great Firewall of Thailand.”

Preventing DDoS attacks?

So how do you protect yourself against a DDoS attack? Dave Larson, CTO and VP, product, of Corero shares that in order to prevent DDoS attacks, companies need to mitigate all of their web traffic targeting their networks.

But, you don’t need to be a company to be attacked by a DDoS attack. DDoS attacks can hit anyone, so it’s best to take measures to protect your website. A web application firewall such as Cloudbric blocks botnet traffic. It disarms attacks by filtering them on the server level, so that they never make it to your website. If your website isn’t already secured against DDoS attack, it’s time to start now, because the threat is only getting stronger with time.


This blog post was originally featured on cloudbric.com. Visit their blog for more insight, news, and accessible information on web threats and trends. If you would like to learn more about Cloudbric’s logic-based WAF service, please contact info@cloudbric.com