September 10, 2012

Web Applications Showing Vulnerabilities, Making Consumers Increase Security

When you use a computer or portable device, the threat of having your information hacked is always a possibility. However, many users don’t realize how large the threat is when using an online Web application. Over the years, many people have learned not to open an e-mail from someone they don’t know, click on a link that looks strange, or download an attachment from an unfamiliar website. However, as the traffic continues to increase for Web applications, it has become more attractive to hackers, making it a common place for people to get a false sense of security.

Complex technology, growing adoption of Web 2.0 functionality and powerful features of HTML5 have enhanced the opportunity for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities.

Malicious hackers nowadays can make use of a number of tools that help them automate their attack. They can use everything from scanning tools, bots connecting to websites and downloads that will add trackers to your computer, and even files that can exploit your vulnerabilities.

“According to High-Tech Bridge, as many as three out of four successful network intrusions start and/or involve an unsecured web application,” says Frost & Sullivan (NewsAlert) analyst, Chris Rodriguez. “By ‘network intrusion’ we mean attacks where the goal is to achieve an ongoing access.”

This type of access allows for hackers to obtain everything from administrator passwords, FTP credentials, obtaining database information containing financial or personal information, copy system passwords, and even cause a disruption in Web services.

“Hackers frequently attack the trusted partners of their real victims,” said Rodriguez. “Web developers usually consider partners to be trusted parties and take insufficient security measures. However, organizations must be vigilant that their partners ensure the protection of their accounts against breaches and misuse…that is why security is an on-going commitment.”

In order to try and combat malicious hacking, users do have tools at their disposal. The first one is a firewall. Firewall is software that plays the role of a gatekeeper between the virtual world and the network. It basically picks and chooses what it deems safe to connect onto your computer and allow you access. The next tool is a simple one that most people can do. If your network is setup through a wireless connection make sure you password protect it. If you have a MAC make sure you enable to address filtering and use WPA or WPA2 security protocols.

Finally, the most obvious tool is a virus protector. Use trusted antivirus software that will automatically scan your computer and check for anything out of the ordinary. “Developing a security-conscious culture is a step in the right direction,” said Rodriquez.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (NewsAlert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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