Cyber Crime & Why Web Security is Crucial

Full Service Web & Digital Marketing Agency

Cyber crime is a new and rapidly growing threat to every company in the world. The total fiscal damage of cyber crime is expected to have exceeded $6 trillion in 2021, making it more profitable than all of the illegal drug trade in the world combined. Cyber attacks are committed by cybercriminals who attempt to breach other computers, networks or information systems. Cyber attacks take many different forms, one may result in stolen or missing data, a disabled computer, or a significant financial loss.Cyber criminals attack a variety of victims from individual users to large corporations or even government operations. Typically, a hacker’s goal while attacking a business will be to gain access to private or valuable company materials such as customer data, payment details or intellectual property. The expenses incurred from these types of damages are not forgiving.

How Could a Cyber Attack Impact Your Business?

It’s easy to associate enterprise-grade security with large corporations, but small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) should undoubtedly prepare for and remain aware of the various cybersecurity threats that could impact them. IBM’s 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report showed that the average SMB breach costs an average of $120,000 to $1.4 million, many SMBs cannot take this large of a financial hit. 

In consideration of the massive cost victims of cyber attacks face, a routine investment in enterprise-grade security appears quite reasonable. Pennyrile Technologies reported that on average, SMBs spend 5% to 20% of their total IT budget on security; meaning if they spend $5,000 on IT, $250 to $1,000 should go toward security. This cost may appear a bit large, but in the modern era of business, security expenses are directly comparable to insurance for your business. 

A Current Cyber Attack Example

On November 17, 2021, GoDaddy discovered a data breach and announced that 1.2 million customers’ data may have been accessed after the company discovered an unauthorized third-party user gained access to their “Managed WordPress hosting environment.” WordPress is a web-based content management system that’s used by millions to develop websites.

GoDaddy said the unauthorized third-party user gained access to the GoDaddy system around September 6, almost three full months before the company detected the security breach. The 1.2 million users impacted had their email addresses and customer numbers exposed and that active customers’ sFTP credentials, login information for their WordPress databases which store all of their content were exposed in the breach. Some customers’ SSL private key was exposed, which would enable the attacker to impersonate a customer’s website or service. GoDaddy said that customers whose data was exposed will be more vulnerable to ‘phishing attacks’, a type of attack that will be explored later in this post.

GoDaddy has more than 20 million worldwide customers. A GoDaddy spokesperson, Dan Race, declined to comment on the breach and cited the company’s ongoing investigation.

Types of Cyber Attacks

There are a variety of types of cyber attacks your company may be vulnerable to if the proper security measures aren’t in place. 

There are two main types of cyber attacks to consider: passive and active. Passive attacks are geared toward discovering important information such as customer data, payment details, or intellectual property. Passive attacks do not affect the main resources within a system. The goal of an active attack, on the other hand, is to impact the integrity, confidentiality, or availability of a system. 

  • Phishing
    These types of attacks entice web users to share sensitive information such as a password, credit card information or an account number to download a corrupted file that will install viruses onto their device. 

    Like many other types of cyber attacks, phishing became more common in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, according to CrowdStrike, two of the most common techniques behind phishing attacks in 2020 were impersonating a doctor who claimed they could cure or treat COVID-19 or the impersonation of a government organization that claimed to have important public health information to share.
  • Malware
    Malware means malicious software, it’s any program or code designed to harm the integrity of a computer, network or server. Again, according to CrowdStrike, malware is the most common type of cyberattack because the term malware encompasses a handful of subsets including ransomware, trojans, spyware, viruses, worms, keyloggers, bots, cryptojacking, and any other type of attack that uses this type of software with criminal intent.
  • Ransomware
    Ransomware is a type of malware used in an active attack to deny legitimate users access to their system and subsequently request a payment or type of ransom in order for the user to regain access. Ransomware attackers tend to demand their payment through untraceable cryptocurrency and in many cases users aren’t able to re-access their platform even if the ransom is paid. 

    For example, in May 2021 the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies gasoline and jet fuel to the southeastern U.S. was the target of a ransomware attack by DarkSide, a criminal hacking group. After Colonial Pipeline paid a ransom of $4.4 billion, their network continued operating, but very slowly.
  • Denial-of-Service (DoS) & Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
    A DoS attack is a targeted attack that overwhelms a network with false requests in order to disrupt business operations. During this type of attack, users are unable to perform simple tasks such as sending or receiving emails or accessing their websites or accounts. DoS attacks do not typically require a ransom to be paid or result in a loss of data, but they do cost the victim organization time, money and other resources to restore normal operations. 

    The difference between DoS and DDoS attacks is in the origin of the attack. DoS attacks originate from a single system whereas DDoS attacks are launched from multiple systems, making them faster and more difficult to block than DoS attacks. 
  • Man-in-the-middle (MITM) Attacks
    An MITM attack involves a criminal eavesdropper who sees the interactions between a network user and a web application. The goal of a MITM attack is to illegally collect information such as personal data, passwords or billing details that would allow them to impersonate a separate party. These types of attacks can change a login credential, or even complete a transaction or transfer of funds.

How Do We Protect Your Assets?

If you choose to partner with ZatroX Studio, you will be protected. We don’t treat enterprise-grade security as an add-on that we will charge you extra cash for; rather, it’s an essential part of the multifaceted web development and hosting package we offer each of our clients.

Our automated security system provides both prevention and cures to threats and attacks on every level from server, network, application service and file-system levels. An integrated combination of intrusion prevention and detection, WAF (web application firewall), real-time antivirus, network firewall and patch management components, our security system instantly detects, fixes, and protects from any threats that a web-hosting service may encounter, ensuring your business’s assets are always protected.

Some key features included in our security arsenal:

  • HTTP/3 or QUIC.cloud – Used to connect users to websites using the next generation of connectivity.
  • Network Layer Protection –  This layer consists of a Web-Application Firewall together with WebShield and a Network Firewall. This protects against different web attacks sent via HTTP/HTTPS as regular traffic and from a CDN or Proxy. 
  • WebShield – The WebShield component takes care of CDN and Proxy Traffic by determining the attackers’ real IP-addresses, then differentiates those IP addresses from those of legitimate users. 
  • CAPTCHA and Splash Screen – An advanced Captcha system and Splash Screen are employed to halt malicious activity and ensure valid customers can reach your website without draining your hosting resources.
  • Application Service Level Proactive Defense – Malicious code is often hidden, the  proactive defense technology detects and blocks malicious execution flow in runtime. It analyzes the PHP scripts behavior and prevents it from causing any harm to the server.
  • File System Level Antivirus – A real-time file scanner monitors file input and output operations. 
  • Control Panel Integration – This allows for instant protection by giving you access to scanners on every level, running both automatically or manually. 
  • Herd Immunity – Servers gain collective herd immunity, sharing data in real time across all servers. Once an attacker is identified, we proactively block malicious activity on all servers.
  • Customizable Central Dashboard – This displays all security events, with the latest incidents updated in real-time, allows for filtering and event selection based on various parameters, review of the details of incidents, access to white list and blacklist management features, view of settings, reports, and much more.

Why Choose ZatroX Studio for your Business Website Hosting?

With the security softwares we have in place, we can see everything we need to in order to keep your website and business safe. We get notified each time a hacker tries to breach any of our clients’ security systems and we do detect threats on a daily basis, some more severe than others. However, the bottom line is that our security system detects and stops these threats before they become an issue for you. We use this information about what security threats are approaching to optimize the integrity of your website’s protection from future cyber attacks.

Once you partner with us, it will be our job to build, monitor and protect your business’ cyber security. We are constantly innovating and keeping up to date with the latest in cyber security so that your business is always one step ahead of cyber attackers and your competition. 

Schedule your free demo today to learn more about how we can protect your business’ digital assets and elevate your brand.