Common web server attacks and how to prevent them

Your web server is a crucial part of your digital architecture, designed to store web pages and provide them to clients upon request. Here’s how to ensure your data remains safe…

Mike Mead

10/05/2019

Your web server is a crucial part of your digital architecture, designed to store web pages and provide them to clients upon request. As a source of valuable business information, web servers are often vulnerable to attack from malicious individuals attempting to gain access to your files.

As cybersecurity issues continue to grow more common in industries all the way from finance to healthcare, today’s organisations find themselves searching for a way to protect against the disruptive impact of a DOS attack or SQL issue.

The Most Common Types of Web Server Attack

According to details from Security Magazine, a hacker attempts to gain access to a web server once every 39 seconds. While it may not be possible to protect your business against all forms of DOS attack or web server infiltration, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Something as simple as updating your system regularly or investing in server surveillance could protect you and your customers from a dangerous interaction with a hacker.

The first step in protecting yourself is learning what strategies today’s criminals use to access web servers. Some of the most common web server attacks include:

SQL Injection Attacks

SQL Injection attacks aim to modify databases and extract valuable information from your server. SQL queries equipped with your URL parameters are fed into your database, along with files that allow malicious users to make changes to your database. When this attack takes place, there’s a good chance your company can suffer from catastrophic results, including compromised data and damaged back-end security.

One easy way to prevent against SQL attacks is with SQL server monitoring. Web server monitoring is one of the most effective and efficient ways to protect your digital assets. By monitoring the response time of a given server, your server surveillance tools can inform you instantly when your company is under threat.

Malware Attacks

Malware is another form of common server attack that involves placing harmful software into your database. Usually, the software placed into your server includes viruses and ransomware that can destroy valuable data.

The easiest way to avoid malware issues is to ensure that your employees never open unexpected email attachments or documents. Tools for monitoring server performance can sometimes include malware checkers that test the authenticity of a file before your employees open it.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are some of the most common security attacks to take place on web servers. The purpose of a phishing attack is to collect sensitive information from your company. Most of the time, phishing happens when someone clicks on a link sent by an unfamiliar email address. The link may lead to a familiar-looking URL, where an employee is asked to enter sensitive information.

While server surveillance can help with phishing attacks, it’s also important to provide your employees with guidelines on how to safely manage emails and browse the web.

Distributed Denial of Service

DDOS or DOS attacks are the preferred tool of hackers that simply want to create diversions or disable websites. A DOS attack involves a hacker sending extremely large volumes of specific requests into your website, causing a flood to your network.

A DOS attack is very difficult to prevent, but it’s worth noting that server monitoring and advanced surveillance tools can be very helpful. Because server monitoring allows you to track the requests going in and out of your server, you can notice early-on when volumes reach unusual heights.

Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

Finally, cross site request forgery or CSRF attacks happen when users click on links or download files that automatically perform detrimental actions on their behalf. The best way to prevent this kind of attack is to encourage vigilant security measures within your business, designed to reduce the risk of introducing threats to your server.

Protecting Your Business with Web Server Monitoring

A web server is a crucial part of your business network, but it’s also something that can often be left open to attack. As cybercriminals continue to discover new ways to access sensitive business data, it’s essential for companies to have a plan in place for how they can protect their details.

One of the best ways to protect your web server is to make sure that your employees know how to act safely online. Prevent your team members from downloading files from people they don’t know or clicking on links that may not be secure.

At the same time, it may be worth considering an investment in SQL server monitoring and server surveillance. Consistent monitoring tools allow you to track the performance of your server and receive instant alerts when something in your system isn’t working as it should be. With web server monitoring, you can catch potential attacks before they have a chance to cause significant damage to your network.