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5 Common Threats to Web Applications and How to Avoid Them

web application threats
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Despite their convenience, there are drawbacks when it comes to relying on web applications for business processes.

One thing all business owners will have to acknowledge and guard themselves against would be the presence of software vulnerabilities and threats to web applications.

While there is no 100% guarantee for safety, there are some steps one can undertake to avoid sustaining damage.

If you are using CMS, then the latest hacked report by SUCURI shows more than 50% of websites infected with one or more vulnerabilities.


If you are new to web applications, here are some common threats to look out for and avoid:

Security Misconfiguration

A functioning web application is usually supported by some complex elements that make up its security infrastructure. This includes databases, OS, firewalls, servers, and other application software or devices.

What people don’t realize is that all these elements require frequent maintenance and configuration to keep the web application running properly.

Before making use of a web application, communicate with the developers to understand the security and priority measures that have been undertaken for its development.

Whenever possible, schedule penetration tests for web applications to test out its capability of handling sensitive data. This can help find out web application vulnerabilities immediately.

This can help find out web application vulnerabilities quickly.


The presence of malware is yet another one of the most common threats that companies commonly have to guard against. Upon downloading malware, severe repercussions like activity monitoring, access to confidential information, and backdoor access to large scale data breaches can be incurred.

Malware can be categorized into different groups since they work to achieve different goals- Spyware, Viruses, Ransomware, Worms, and Trojans.


To combat this problem, make sure to install and keep firewalls up to date. Ensure that all your operating systems have been updated as well. You can also engage developers and antispam/virus experts to come up with preventative measures to remove and spot malware infections.

Do also make sure to backup important files in external safe environments. This essentially means that if you are locked out, you will be able to access all your information without having to pay due to ransomware.

Do perform checks on your security software, the browsers used, and third-party plugins. If there are patches and updates for the plugins, make sure to update as soon as possible.

Injection Attacks

Injection attacks are yet another common threat to be on the lookout for. These types of attacks come in a variety of different injection types and are primed to attack the data in web applications since web applications require data to function.

The more data is required, the more opportunities for injection attacks to target. Some examples of these attacks include SQL injection, code injection, and cross-site scripting.

SQL injection attacks usually hijack control over the website owner’s database through the act of data injection into the web application. The data injected gives the website owner’s database instructions that have not been authorized by the site owner themselves.

This results in data leaking, removal, or manipulation of stored data. Code injection, on the other hand, involves the injecting of source codes into the web application while cross-site scripting injects code (javascript) into browsers.

These injection attacks primarily function to give your web application instructions that are not authorized as well.

To combat this, business owners are advised to implement input validation techniques and robust coding. Business owners are also encouraged to make use of ‘least privilege’ principles so that the user rights and authorization for actions are minimized.

Phishing Scam

Phishing scam attacks are usually involved and interfere directly with email marketing efforts. These types of threats are designed to look like emails that are from legitimate sources, with the goal of acquiring sensitive information like login credentials, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and other data.

If the individual is not aware of the differences and indications that the email messages are suspicious, it can be deadly since they may respond to it. Alternatively, they can also be used to send in malware that, upon clicking, may end up gaining access to the user’s information.


To prevent such incidents from happening, ensure that all employees are aware and capable of spotting suspicious emails.

Preventative measures should also be covered so that further actions can be undertaken.

For example, scanning links and information before downloading, as well as contacting the individual to which the email is sent to verify its legitimacy.

Brute Force

Then there’s also brute force attacks, where hackers attempt to guess passwords and forcefully gain access to the web application owner’s details.

There is no effective way to prevent this from occurring. However, business owners can deter this form of attack by limiting the number of logins one can undertake as well as making use of a technique known as encryption.

By taking the time to encrypt data, this ensures that they are difficult for hackers to make use of it for anything else unless they have encryption keys.

This is an important step for corporations that are required to store data that is sensitive to prevent further problems from occurring.

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