Over the past decade, millions of businesses have embraced web applications as an inexpensive way to build relationships and transactions with prospects and customers. But while they provide the opportunity for greater customer insight and efficiency, web applications also have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cybercriminals. One of the most common and devastating of these is a web attack.

A web attack is a type of a cyberattack in which an attacker impersonates another to gain access to sensitive information or carry out malicious activities such as taking credit card numbers or other personal information. Web attacks are often characterized by SQLi (Structured Query Language Injection), XSS (cross-site scripting) and file upload attacks.

In an SQLi attack hackers enter customized Structured Query Language commands into an app or website field to steal private data stored in the database server behind. In an XSS attack, hackers inject malicious code into a web app or website, which is then executed by the victim’s browser without validation or encoding. The attack could steal session information, display unauthorised text or images or redirect the victim to a phishing website.

The best method to protect against a web-based attack is to conduct regular vulnerability checks, and then apply patches to your site, its web servers and any databases involved in the attack. It is also a good idea to devise an incident response plan to ensure that an attack can be detected quickly and addressed. Also, be sure to are aware of ways to spot a web attack through warning indicators such as slowdowns in the network or intermittent shutdowns of websites.