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Over the past decade, millions of businesses have embraced web applications as an inexpensive way to build relationships and transactions with prospects and customers. But while they provide the opportunity for greater customer insight and efficiency, web applications also have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cybercriminals. One of the most common and devastating of these is a web attack.

A web attack is a type of cyberattack in which an attacker assumes the identity of someone else to access sensitive information or perform malicious activities, like taking credit card numbers or other personal information. Common types of web attacks include Structured Query Language injection (SQLi) and cross-site scripting (XSS), and attacks on file uploads.

In a SQLi attack hackers input custom Structured Query Language commands into a web application or website field to steal private data stored on the database server backend. In an XSS attack hackers inject malicious code into an app or website that the victim’s browser automatically executes without verification or encoding. The attack can hijack the user’s session, display unauthorized images or text, or redirect users to a phishing website.

The best method to safeguard against a cyber attack is to conduct regular vulnerability scans and apply patches to your website as well as its web servers and any databases underneath. It is also a good idea to establish an incident response plan to ensure that any attack is identified quickly and addressed. You should also be able to detect attacks on websites by being able to recognize warning signs such as slowing down of the network additional reading and frequent website shut downs.