Hosting customers left to fend for themselves as attack levels rise
Despite the highly publicized attacks on websites worldwide, many web hosting customers remain unprotected against the newest forms of attacks as cyber crime tactics evolve, says
Applicure, a leading web application firewall specialist which protects hosting companies and their customers from incoming web server attacks.
Hundreds of thousands of web site operators - many with little or no technical expertise - rely on web hosting providers to keep their websites and web applications safe. Yet events such as the recent SQL injection attack that compromised more than 70,000 websites, and the 10,000 web sites serving up malicious code in December, show hackers are exploiting vulnerabilities in web applications with impunity.
The combination of traditional firewall technology becoming mainstream and enterprise networks improving their defenses has driven hackers to find more vulnerable targets.
Yaacov Sherban, CEO of Applicure, comments: 'Popular entry routes for attacks now focus on web applications including message boards, forums and registration forms, which puts websites of every kind right in the firing line. With many web applications virtually unprotected, it's easy for hackers to deface or shut down the website, or else manipulate
the applications to reveal sensitive data. For web host providers all it takes is one customer website to be breached and the whole server, with thousands of hosting customers, can be wide open.'
The traditional approach to application vulnerabilities is to scan programs and patch the weaknesses. 'Naturally, hosting companies cannot be expected to scan and patch vulnerabilities in their customers' applications,' says Sherban. 'The good news is that security technology has advanced to the point where attack monitors and specialized web
application firewalls can be deployed within minutes, and the additional security is provided to customers as a value added service.'
Sherban goes on to say: 'What makes this new technology special is that it detects and intercepts suspicious traffic before it gets to the customer's site, potentially preventing an attack that would otherwise lead to a damaging breach.'
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