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Everything About Attacks on Web Applications

  • 16 May 2024
  • 3 min read

Application development is booming with Agile and DevOps, but this growth has caught the eye of cyber criminals. Modern apps are easy targets because they often have over 10 vulnerabilities. 

On average, they face over 13,000 attacks each month. These security risks can harm operations and data security. Prioritizing application security is more important than ever. 

This blog talks about web application attacks and how to prevent them.

What is Web Application Security

Web application security protects websites from cyber threats. Attackers target the application layer to find code vulnerabilities. They affect many programming languages like .NET, Ruby, Java, and Python. Vulnerabilities exist in both custom code and open-source libraries. Ensuring security keeps data safe and maintains trust.

Attacks on Web Applications: Key Insights

  1. 17% of Cyber Attacks Target Web Apps: Almost one-fifth of cyber attacks are aimed at web applications, making them a significant target for hackers.
  2. 98% of Web Apps Have Vulnerabilities: Nearly all web applications have weaknesses that can be exploited, leading to issues like malware and redirects to harmful sites.
  3. 72% of Vulnerabilities are Due to Coding Flaws: Most web application vulnerabilities come from errors in coding. This highlights the importance of secure coding practices.

Common Types of Web Application Attacks

Here are the 6 most common types of web application attacks: 

SQL Injection (SQLi)

SQL Injection (SQLi) is when attackers inject malicious SQL code into input fields of a website, aiming to access or manipulate the site's database. It happens because websites don't properly validate user input, letting attackers sneak in their own commands.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) involves attackers injecting malicious scripts into web pages viewed by other users. It happens when websites don't properly sanitize user input, allowing attackers to insert harmful scripts that can steal data or take control of accounts.

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks trick users into unintentionally performing actions on websites they're logged into. Attackers exploit trust between a user and a website to execute unwanted actions, like transferring money or changing account settings.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks flood a website with an overwhelming amount of traffic, making it unavailable to legitimate users. Attackers use networks of compromised devices (botnets) to send massive amounts of traffic, causing servers to crash or slow down.

Remote Code Execution (RCE)

Remote Code Execution (RCE) attacks allow attackers to execute malicious code on a server or website remotely. It happens due to vulnerabilities in the website's code, allowing attackers to take control of the server and potentially steal sensitive data or disrupt services.

Path Traversal Attacks

Path Traversal Attacks exploit vulnerabilities in web applications that improperly handle user input. Attackers manipulate file paths to access unauthorized directories or files on the server. This can lead to data theft, unauthorized access, or even server compromise.

Best Practices for Securing Web Applications

Securing web applications is super important to keep them safe from cyber attacks.

  1. Keep Everything Updated: Make sure your software, plugins, and libraries are always up-to-date. This helps get rid of any security holes that hackers might exploit.
  2. Use Strong Passwords: Encourage users to use strong, unique passwords and enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible. It becomes difficult for hackers to break into accounts.
  3. Implement HTTPS: Use HTTPS encryption to protect data transmitted between the user's browser and your server. It adds an extra layer of security for sensitive information.
  4. Apply Security Headers: Use security headers like Content Security Policy (CSP) and X-Content-Type-Options to protect against common web vulnerabilities like XSS attacks.
  5. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): Consider implementing ZTNA, which verifies every user and device trying to access your web app, even if they're inside your network. This way, you can control access and reduce the risk of unwanted access.

Future Trends in Web Application Security

Looking ahead, here are three trends in web application security:

Increased Use of AI and Machine Learning: Expect to see more AI and machine learning tools helping to detect and prevent cyber attacks on web apps. These smart technologies can quickly identify and respond to threats, keeping your apps safer.

Focus on Zero Trust Architecture: The Zero Trust approach, where no one is automatically trusted, will become more popular. This means verifying every user and device before granting access to web applications, providing an extra layer of security.

Rise in API Security Measures: With the growing use of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), there will be a greater emphasis on securing them. API security measures will become more robust to protect against vulnerabilities and ensure data integrity.

How PureDome Helps

By implementing ZTNA, PureDome ensures that every user and device attempting to access the web app is verified, regardless of their location or network. Organizations can strengthen their web application security posture and protect against evolving cyber threats effectively.


Frequently Asked Questions
What is the main goal of web application security?

The main goal is to protect websites from cyber threats and ensure data security.

Why are web applications vulnerable to attacks?

Web applications are vulnerable due to coding flaws, outdated software, and inadequate security measures.

What is ZTNA, and how does it enhance web app security?

ZTNA, or Zero Trust Network Access, verifies every user and device before granting access, regardless of their location, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized access.