Over the past decade our perception of Internet threats has changed a lot, the number of attacks is growing every year, and they are becoming more sophisticated than ever, in fact, cybersecurity is one of the most discussed topics amongst the IT professionals and tech leaders.

There are several factors that have contributed to the rapid growth of attacks, just consider what was it like to be an aspiring hacker in the past, you would have to use dial-up modems to phone phreak other hackers and occasionally, customers, you’d also have to understand how the underlying systems functioned to be successful.

In the modern era, everything has changed and became easier and more accessible, anyone with the Internet connection can participate in mischief activities, just think about the introduction of open-source software like “Low Orbit Ion Cannon”, anyone who wants to participate in an attack has to download the software and press the launch button, no tech skills are needed.

Since the introduction of such automated tools in approximately 2010, things just got worse, today we have HaaS, Hacking as a Service, for as low as 25 dollars an hour you can hire a hacker who’ll do all the job for you.

These factors have driven a rapid change in the threat landscape. Today cybersecurity is the major concern not only of the IT leaders but for anyone who has a website, providing Web security to avoid downtime, data theft and defacement is the objective of any business.

There are myriad of web-based threats, we can categorize them in two main categories:

 Opportunistic and Targeted attacks, lets see the difference:

  • Opportunistic attacks leverage known security weaknesses, they target as many users as possible using the well-known breaches of the popular technology stacks and products. These attacks are often highly automated and are conducted at scale with little effort to conceal their attack. In this case the main goal of a hacker is to make quick money using known methods and they do not spend much time on covering their traces.
  • Targeted attacks, on the other hand, can be conducted by a group of attackers that invest a lot of time and effort into developing new attack strategies and methods. These types of attacks are much harder to detect and mitigate, they target few and very specific victims with the goal to do as much damage as possible, make big money and they use sophisticated methods to hide and leave little to no trace of themselves.

These attacks are broad and multi-layer, the attackers are ready to put all their work and dedication into exploiting vulnerabilities on application, network and DNS layers. In a recent Akamai State of the Internet, Akamai has disclosed that the threats are growing in double digits:

– 16% increase in infrastructure layer DDoS attacks

– 38% increase in application layer DDoS attacks

The biggest issue is that there are no “finite number” of threats, attackers are getting very creative in inventing new techniques like Memcached reflection technique (which was used against GitHub in February 2018, fortunately, no damage was done as GitHub had already in place a solid WAF protection served from the edge servers), new atypes of attacks also exploit APIs and Network.

As we mention GitHub’s case, it’s important to say a Web Application Firewall (WAF) solution can help you effectively mitigate the attacks.

Traditionally, on-premises WAF was the standard solution, however, it is becoming obsolete as more and more companies do business online. The most used security WAF solution to protect websites and web applications is Cloud-based WAF protecting the whole perimeter and blocking the attacks from the Edge servers close to the attacker, avoiding any possibility for them getting somewhere near the Origin server.

Cloud-based WAF solutions can eliminate downtime to maximize brand equity and revenue potential, secure the IT perimeter and keep attackers from compromising infrastructure, applications, and data.

Business security is not easy to achieve, but trusting an experienced IT service provider will help you to find the right security strategy for your business, in fact, Criticalcase thanks to a solid partnership with Akamai, having over 240.000 Edge servers distributed worldwide can guarantee you a proactive, ongoing protection from the latest threats.

Get in touch with us for an in-depth dive into the web security solutions and request your free a consultancy on the best practice for cybersecurity, you should start working on now!

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