Five Web Application Security Myths - Slide 4

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Wlasuk says there’s a lot to be said about his kid’s ‘98 Nissan Maxima. It runs great and gets her around. Perhaps even better is the fact that no one is ever going to go out of their way to steal it there is just not a lot of demand for the old Maxima on the black market.

So, like your fluffy company brochure site, you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth the trouble to lock it up. But, thinking about the Nissan again; would you leave the keys in it (nope, joy ride bait) or leave your laptop on the backseat (the thieves will go after your computer, the Nissan’s window will just be collateral damage) just because no one wants to steal the car?

The point being, of course, is that it’s not the car (or your website) that’s in danger; it’s all the secondary pieces that will cause you the pain.

The most obvious peripheral risk surrounding your site is the database under the site (all websites require a database to store the website software) which might contain much more information than just pictures of your kids. Perhaps that same database contains your financial information, or personal data that might be used for identify theft. In either case, if your site does get hacked, you may be giving up a lot more than just the website source code.

The far more subtle risk to any website hack is the undetected changes the hacker might make to your site without your knowledge. Many sites, even the ones that appear to have little commercial value, run the risk of being turned into a malware distribution point anyone who visits your site may end up living their PC life as an unknowing zombie. Or your server may be turned into Command and Control point of a botnet army.

Your website and server may seem to be of little value, except in the wrong hands, in which case it may be extremely valuable to cyber criminals.

Protecting your website from hackers is tough. The battle between the good guys (you) and the bad guys (the hackers) is an ever escalating war where a misstep on your part may mean a breached site. But, many companies fail to even make the first step towards security because of misconceptions and security myths, either believing simple security protections are sufficient or thinking they really do not have to worry about hackers. This slideshow features five common Web security myths, identified by Alan Wlasuk, managing partner at 403 Web Security, a subsidiary of WDDinc.

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