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    Web Threats, Web Security and What You Should Know

    By: Dustin Bonn
    November 26, 2019

    In recent years, we've all been witnessing a blurring of online life and real life. It almost seems impossible to separate the two. Screen time happens all the time, and just about everyone is connected to the web in some way or another. As we have more devices and more data connected to the web, how are individuals and organizations keeping their information safe? 

    In a lot of situations, they're not.

    Blueish image of padlocks, with a red padlock in the center. The red padlock is open, indicating a cyber threat.Many individuals and businesses are not adapting to the changing digital landscape as quickly as those who use the web to do harm. Cybercrime has grown to a point where it's easy to find Top 10 Lists ranking the damages of data breaches. In a time where the theft of business and consumer data is at risk of normalizing, businesses need to be familiar with how they are at risk.

    Web Security Threats for Businesses and Organizations

    When web servers are vulnerable, so are the websites they host, the people who visit those websites and the devices used. Attackers exploit whatever vulnerabilities they can find in order to compromise websites and gather sensitive data. Businesses without cybersecurity measures in place to defend against web threats become easy targets for attackers. 

    Web Security Threats and Countermeasures

    Invest in training for your Employees

    As corporate cyber security increases, attackers are looking for different ways in. While larger systems may be in place, it's important to educate your employees on what to look for. Training your employees to spot security breaches minimizes the threat. It only takes one click on the wrong link for an employee to accidentally infect the entire company with malware. 

    Computer and Software Updates

    When website owners don't regularly patch and update their websites and servers, the average user would have no idea, and their user experience would probably be unaffected. But for cyber criminals, past-due patches and updates are like an unlocked back door for them to access your data and take whatever they find. According to Symantec's 2018 Internet Security Threat Report, mobile threats are still on the rise from past years, including malware variants by 54%. Keeping your computers (and smartphones) updated with the latest bug fixes is a critical line of defense against these current web threats.

    Identifying Malvertising

    With the increasing popularity of an ad-supported Internet, malvertising provides an easy way to gain access to users who frequent popular, high traffic websites. For instance, one malvertising campaign that went undetected for over a year was able to use the filtering controls provided by advertising platforms to segment and target the users most likely to fall for their campaign. Their strategy allowed them to operate under the radar and infect millions of users.

    Protecting from the Inside Out

    Even with a heavy focus on digital efforts, businesses can leave themselves vulnerable. Web application security threats can show up in physical spaces too. Investing in physical security hardware, like restricted points of entry that require badge swipes, can go a long way in keeping data and network endpoints secure. 

    Educating employees regarding physical security is also important. Unkempt workstations can reveal sensitive information, like a confidential document or a sticky note with a password scribbled on it.  

    I know these examples of web threats and web security breaches can seem scary, especially when you're not sure what level of security you currently have. Protecting yourself, your organization and your users from web threats is a real thing that requires attention. This is especially true for smaller entities operating at the local or state level who may not have proper protection on their networks. If you'd like to learn more about what you can do to assess and protect your network, schedule a consultation: 

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    Topics: Cisco SLED