Web-based threats, or online threats, are a category of cybersecurity risks that may cause an undesirable event or action for a business or individual via the internet.
Web threats are made possible by end-user vulnerabilities, web service developers/operators, or web services themselves. Regardless of intent or cause, the consequences of a web threat may damage both individuals and organisations, which could lead to financial or confidential data loss.
This term typically applies to — but is not limited to — network-based threats in the following categories:
• Private network threats – impact sub-networks connected to the wider global internet. Typical examples can include home Wi-Fi or ethernet networks, corporate intranets, and national intranets.
• Host threats – impact specific network host devices. The term host often refers to corporate endpoints and personal devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and traditional computers.
• Web server threats – impact dedicated hardware and software that serve web infrastructure and services.
Typically, amateurs are behind threats to identity information found on the Internet. Some of them do not intentionally commit these acts; they are poorly trained or unskilled in their jobs, making it more likely they would spread malware from their computers to those of others. However, we must be aware of the 9.9% of online hackers that are experts in their field.
Studies show that there were just 1,000 cybercrime experts working in 2010, but fast forward 13 years later, 68% of organisations were in need of more security experts to handle potential cyber threats.
The rapid proliferation of new attack surfaces means more opportunities for threat actors than ever before, and this will only continue as new technologies are introduced, according to Vulcan Cyber’s Cyber Risk report at the end of 2022.
The report, developed by the Vulcan Cyber in-house research team, Voyager18, highlights the biggest developments and underlying narratives to cyber risk in 2022 and suggests ways to improve and maintain security posture in 2023. According to the report, organisations, big or small, need to be aware of the following trends for the rest of the year.
Attacks On The Cloud
Security in the cloud remains unknown, with default cloud services often providing inadequate essential security functions for many businesses. We’ve seen the likes of major brands come under threat of cloud exposure, such as:
• Marriott International
Threat actors are keenly aware of this, and security teams must keep up with their organisations’ appetite for cloud adoption. With technology advancing every single day, there is always a need to make sure you are keeping your online security and documentation safe.
Mobile Security Under Threat
With around two-thirds of the world’s population using smart devices as of 2022, it is no surprise that mobile is fast emerging as a major target for threat actors. Attackers leverage easy opportunities in e-commerce, banking and online booking applications, with many of us keeping these applications on our mobile phones without any sort of security.
With mobile devices not going anywhere soon, this attack surface will only continue to grow. So beware of your applications that allow you to access sensitive information.
Healthcare Sector At Risk
The healthcare sector is increasingly vulnerable with more patient data being stored online and in the cloud. As spoke about previously, this could lead to and the residual impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare services.
Communities are becoming fearful of cyber-attacks, which cause inconvenience, or potentially worse, leading to severe financial loss or merely the sense that one’s safety is compromised. Consumers feel a loss of confidence and cybercrimes threaten public morale.
To gain full protection from web threats, this means you will need to find ways to stop human or technical errors. General tips to follow for both end-users and web service providers include:
• Always create backups: All valuable data should be copied and stored safely to prevent data loss in case of an incident. Websites, device drives, and even web servers can be backed up.
• Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA allows for additional layers of user authentication on top of traditional passwords. Organizations should enable this protection for users, while end-users should be sure to make use of it.
• Scan for malware: Regular scans for infections will keep your computer devices secured. Personal devices can all be covered through an antivirus solution like Kaspersky Total Security. Enterprise endpoint machines and computer networks should use this protection as well.
• Keep all tools, software, and OS up to date: Computer systems are more vulnerable when they’ve been unpatched against undiscovered holes in their programming. Software developers regularly probe for weaknesses and issue updates for this purpose. Protect yourself by downloading these updates.
• Monitoring web traffic to gauge for normal volumes and patterns.
• Implementing firewalls to filter and restrict unpermitted web connections.
• Make strong, secure passwords, and avoid duplicates. Use a secure Password Manager to help manage all of your accounts and passwords.
• Throttle login attempts by triggering account lockdown after a limited number of tries.