Top 7 Website Security Threats

With the number of sites that are infected or compromised every day, being online can feel like a minefield at times. Data from Google reports that about 10% of all websites on the web are considered dangerous. This means that the average person could be exposed to hundreds of dangerous websites every week without even realizing it.

This is why it’s essential that people get better educated about the risks there are out there, and how to counter them. Website owners also need to be aware of those risks and take the right steps to protect themselves. Here are the top 7 website security threats you need to watch out for.

Ransomware

Ransomware attacks are one of the most common website security threats. They’re also one of the most malicious. Ransomware attacks can either come in the form of a website installing malicious software on your device, or cybercriminals attacking website owners themselves.

The method is the same in most cases – compromise the website or the computer’s information in exchange for a ransom. There’s also no guarantee that they’ll honor their part of the deal once you pay up.

If you don’t want to get infected by ransomware while navigating, you’ll need to beef up your security online. The first thing you should do is look for a website security app that will automatically block you from connecting to dangerous websites. The next would be to get yourself a good antivirus and firewall. This is about all you can do to protect yourself personally from these attacks, but it will provide a good line of defense as long as you don’t leave yourself open in some other way.

Phishing

Phishing is another common form of attack and one that can have disastrous consequences. Phishing attacks can occur in several ways. You have attacks when people send emails trying to pry personal information from the receiver. But one of the most harmful types of attacks is when sites are set up to mimic legitimate ones. They can then be used to steal people’s credentials and even payment information.

Malware

Malware is everywhere online and if you don’t have the proper protection in place, you’re likely to get infected. Malware infections are not always obvious, however. Malware can serve many functions. It can be used to steal information, but some malware has no goal besides damaging devices.

The best way to protect yourself in this case is to again have multiple layers of security. Have an app to block malicious sites, and even consider switching to a safer OS like Linux. Get a solid active firewall and anti-virus, and stick to browsers with a solid reputation for security. Chrome and most Chromium-based browsers are all great choices.

Data Breaches

Data breaches occur any time a rogue agent can infiltrate a website’s server or applications. These are often used to get a hold of critical data, like client files and payment information. Sometimes, social number security numbers, phones, and addresses will be stolen. These are very serious cases that could bring some organizations to their knees, and something that should not be taken lightly.

Human Error

We can talk about data breaches and rogue agents, but the highest risk factor for breaches remains with humans. Human error can cause a lot of damage, and accidentally deleting files or not backing up properly could completely wipe a website off the map. In other cases, one seemingly minor file could cause an entire site to crash, sometimes irreversibly. This can be the case with certain database entries, for instance.

Employee Sabotage

Employee sabotage is more common than many may think and could be used to attack both a company’s website and its visitors. These are often much more complex as those who commit those kinds of attacks tend to be good at covering their tracks. That’s because they usually have higher administrative privileges or are part of the IT team.

The sad part about these kinds of attacks is that there isn’t much that can be done about them besides fostering a good relationship with past and current employees while encouraging employees to speak up if they see anything suspicious.

DDoS Attacks

DDoS attacks have gained a lot of attention over the last few years. One of the reasons for this is because of how big the websites that have been attacked were. Big players like Netflix and the PlayStation Network have all been affected, showing that no site or network is truly entirely safe.

DDoS attacks use bots to overwhelm websites or domain servers with a surge of traffic. While some of these attacks have no clear purpose, ransoms are often demanded for the attacks to stop.

These are the 7 most common and dangerous security threats to websites. They can affect both owners and visitors, and both need to do their part to protect themselves either when surfing or operating their online property.

Feature Image by iAmMrRob Pixabay

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