We often take our website’s security for granted. However, recent reports by the cybersecurity firm Imperva suggests that we should be more cautious as illicit activities are on the rise. Hackers are taking advantage of many legitimate sites in order to further promote the ranking of their client’s websites. How are they doing this exactly?
- Hackers use botnets and hacking techniques such as SQL injection
- Hackers comment spam to insert backlinks to their clients
- Hackers use HTML tricks to hide these suspicious activities from the visitors and site administrators
Hackers are targeting not only vulnerable websites with minimal sites at risk but even the top performing websites. A plethora of malicious ads have taken over well-established websites and such as New York Times and BBC. This concept of malvertising (hacking through ads) has become a huge vulnerability and harm to visitors. As organizations are becoming aware of this hacking strategy, they have started to lay down their plans for action. The logical option would be to review the website’s source code. But are organizations really going to go through thousands of lines of code to check for any bugs? Amit Ashbel, director of product marketing of the cybersecurity firm Checkmarx, suggests using the static application security testing (SAST) tools, which will search for bugs in the code. Although this application does not guarantee 100% protection, it is worth investing in.
Applications with the same motives as the SAST are currently being worked on by developers who see the need for a strong application that will make it easier to build secure code. Cyber Grand Challenges have been hosted and a small team at the University of Idaho has been making many advances.
There still lies one problem, however. What about the organizations that do not have the knowledge and resources to spot these security bugs? Firms such as these, should take advantage of cloud-based security services such as WAF. WAF monitors the website traffic and is very effective at protecting against known attacks. It has gained immense popularity as an alternative for firms lacking the resources and coding knowledge.
In the end, it all comes down to being aware and protecting your website from harmful bugs despite how safe you think it may be. With illegal activities on the rise, it is becoming more important than ever to use certain applications such as those mentioned above to keep your visitors and websites safe from hackers.