Network Security Concern for Your Business (Part 2): Injection Flaws

IT outsourcing companyInjection flaws are a widespread threat to IT security due to the variety of injection flaw attacks and the severe impact they can have on a network.

Responding to these threats means taking a comprehensive approach to security in order to prevent your system from being compromised or even destroyed. Unfortunately, many Oklahoma companies are not doing enough to protect against injection flaw threats.

Here is what your business needs to know about injection flaws, how to best protect against them and why it might be time to hire an IT outsourcing company.

Understanding Injection Flaws

You may have search boxes on your website, contact forms, or fields that need to be filled out when a customer purchases a product from you over the web. However, these forms and fields are vulnerable to injection flaws.

With injection flaws, attackers can insert malicious code that interacts with these different fields, allowing them to gain access to your database or stop your network from performing certain functions. These injection flaws often allow attackers to perform actions like deleting, changing or reading sensitive data that they should not have access to.

Injection flaw attacks are happening constantly across the web. In fact, 65 percent of organizations said their companies were hit with injection flaw attacks in 2014. One of the reasons why so many are turning to an IT outsourcing company to monitor these concerns.

Types of Injection Flaws

There are a variety of injection flaws. For example, SQL injection attacks are one of the most common and dangerous, and occur when an attacker uses dangerous computer code to access a company’s database. A study by Barclays indicated that 97 percent of data breaches can be attributed to SQL injection.

However, there are many other types of injection flaw attacks, including XML injection, HTML injection and OS Command injection. In most cases, an attacker usually exploits a web-based application that is poorly designed, which then allows the attacker to insert malicious scripts.

How to Prevent Injection Flaw Attacks

There are a variety of ways to safeguard against injection flaw attacks. Here are a few strategies:

Keep Your Data “Clean”

Whenever you feature forms or fields on your website, such as asking for credit card information, having a login page, or hosting survey questions, the data entered into these fields needs to be carefully filtered and examined. That means making sure the data being sent matches certain standards during the validation process. Basically, attackers want to insert dangerous commands that help them hijack your system, and you need to ensure your web application is coded in a way that rejects dangerous code from the outside.

For example, if someone enters the name “Lisa” into a first-name field on your website, this name will likely be properly validated. If certain characters are inserted into this same first-name field, like “L&sa”, it may allow attackers to execute dangerous injection flaw attacks. Sure, the “&” symbol may look innocent, but your website should recognize it as a potential attack, as it really has no place in a first-name field.

Use a Web Application Firewall (WAF)

If an attacker tries to insert an attack on your website, a web application firewall (WAF) should be able to block most common attacks. These firewalls can’t entirely fix a poorly coded web application, but they can scan for common attacks, log any attacks, and help give your business peace of mind.

Set Privilege Levels Properly

Another strategy includes ensuring that any database account your company runs are set at the lowest possible privilege level. For example, do not have the login fields on your website connected to a database account that has administrator privileges. If an attacker gains access to that account, they can seriously abuse your system. Instead, create accounts connected to your database with minimum privileges.

Hire a Professional IT Outsourcing Company

Ultimately, injection flaws can seriously jeopardize your company. Dobson Technologies offers a fully-integrated IT outsourcing solution that will put security protocols in place to minimize these types of attacks. Send us a message or call us at (405) 242-0171 to schedule a meeting.