In the last decade, millions of people have used the Web to communicate and conduct business with their customers. This includes the use of web-based applications that store and collect data such as customer data submitted through content management systems, shopping carts, inquiry or submit forms, and login fields.

Because these applications are internet-connected and can be accessed from anywhere in the world, they are susceptible to hacking attempts to exploit weaknesses in the application’s infrastructure. For example, SQL injection attacks (which exploit weaknesses in the database) can lead to compromised databases that hold sensitive information. Attackers may also use an advantage gained by breaching a Web application to find and access other vulnerable systems on your network.

Other popular Web attacks include Cross Site Scripting attacks (XSS), which exploit vulnerabilities in the web server to inject malicious code into web pages, and it executes as an infected code in the victim’s browser. This enables attackers to access to confidential information or redirect users to sites that offer phishing. XSS attacks are prevalent on blogs, message boards and web forums.

Distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) comprise hackers banding together to pummel a website with more requests than it is able to handle. This can cause a website to lag or even cease to function completely. This interferes with the ability to process requests, making it unusable for everyone. This is the reason DDoS attacks can be especially damaging for small businesses that depend on their websites for operations in local establishments, like bakeries or restaurants.