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The Top 20 Security Threats We Fend Off to Protect our Clients

The dangers of the internet are well-known.

Hospital files are hacked and held ransom.

Credit card data is stolen from major retailers.

Websites are taken offline without warning.

Viruses. Malware. Hacks.

Nobody wants to think that their files and livelihood is at risk, but unfortunately if it’s on the internet, it’s vulnerable.

That is why you must choose companies to help you safeguard what is yours to protect.

You want your servers and data protected and as safe as they can be in today’s internet.

And that is exactly what we do.

Broken Authentication

How many websites have some form of authentication process? They assure you it is safe with locking images, but are they really? Surprisingly (or not) there are many weaknesses in logins and session times. A failure or weakness in the authentication allows attackers to compromise passwords and session tokens as well as exploiting other opportunity to gain user identity information.

Brute Drive and Password Hack Protection

Brute Drive

Brute Drive

Some attackers come through your defenses using brute force. It’s an attack that lacks subtlety, but it can be highly effective. With a brute drive, millions of potential login credentials are cycled through your system one after another until something works. Once they are in, they are in.

Distributed Denial Providers

Hacking strategies know no expiration dates. Distributed denial attacks may be old-fashioned, but they can still be very effective. Rather than an attack of brute force, the distributed denial attack is like a swarm of small warriors attacking in isolation all over your server. Eventually, the sheer volume of attacks consumes your bandwidth and the site is open for visitors.


Another oldie but goody, viruses never go out of style! More than 80 percent of companies are fending off viruses via email and files on a daily basis. It doesn’t help that viruses are developing right along with the software designed to prevent them from getting through.

Mass Mail Attacks

A clever attack through email, it’s no longer even necessary for the victim to open an email attachment. Simply viewing the email is enough to infect your computer or server. Once infected, your server becomes a mass mail server and your business is suddenly sending waves of spam emails irritating customers and overwhelming system limitations.

Trojans and Worms

Traditional malware still has its place in the lineup. Trojans and worms are easily spread not just across a website, but across entire swaths of the internet easily moving through our connections from one machine and one account to another easily causing billions in damages.

Backdoors after Viruses



The clever hacker (and aren’t they all?) has a two-stage attack. First he sends a nasty virus or malware your way. Resources are slammed as you deal with and remove the virus before the worst can happen. Then, as soon as you are relaxing at the end of the fight, the hacker walks right through the openings in your security software you failed to close immediately after banishing the original virus.

Insecure Direct Object References

Direct object references occur when a tiny hole or weakness exposes a reference to an internal implementation object like a database key or single file. Attackers manipulate the references to gain data without even triggering an alarm without a quality access control check.

Buffer Overflows

In another series of coordinated attacks, a buffer overflow overwhelms servers with a series of assaults with the purpose of locking up the system leaving defenses vulnerable to an attack.

Security Misconfiguration

A solid security system requires having the proper protection at every level for every application, framework, server, database, application and platform. These should be coordinated systems and if they are not defined properly and properly maintained through updates and checks, gaps appear and the attacker can waltz right through the misconfiguration in your wall of defenses.

SQL Injection

A more isolated attack, SQL injections are getting more popular with the vast treasures of personal information stored in a poorly protected database server. SQL injections wiggle right into the weak database or through a weak connection and the database information winds up in the enemy’s hands.

Other Injection Flaws

SQL are not the only injection flaws. There are similar OS and LDAP attacks. These occur when untrusted data is sent through a command or query. The hostile data starts a chain reaction that opens the target for attacker commands and data access.


Another classic attack that is still sadly relevant, phishing is an attack through fake email. The bad guy sends an email that looks authentic. The good guy falls for it and now the bad guy has login information and any other information the good guy typed into the fake information boxes.

Cross Website Scripting

Hackers actively seek out weak points in your website. Once they find a likely spot, the hackers exploit that weakness to link your site to an identical website. Customers go to the identical site without realizing what is happening and enter all of their usual payment information and personal data for the hackers to collect.

Application Specific Hacking

Some hacking isn’t universal or even on a broad scale. Certain programs and applications leave holes in your armor and attackers know to look for these weaknesses to exploit them. This is especially true with automatic updates of software where new version, complete with security flaws, may download onto your machine and create holes you’re unaware of until it’s too late.

Sensitive Data Exposure

Sensitive Data Exposure

Sensitive Data Exposure

As much as companies reassure clients, the fact of the matter is, many websites and web applications do not have enough security to properly protect sensitive data including credit cards and authentication credentials with encryption and other precautions. Attackers slip through the weaknesses in these applications to gather and use sensitive information for their own purposes.

Missing Function Control

Most web applications verify user level access before allowing users into certain functionalities of the application. This process should be happening on the server with each function level access for a control check. Without the failsafe verification on the server, attackers can forge requests and access functions without proper authentication.

Cross Site Forgery

A targeted attack on a single user (at a time), this attack waits for a customer to log into an account before sending a forged HTTP request including session cookies and authentication information to an application. This allows victim’s own browser to send messages and requests from websites they think they can trust.

Malicious Forwards

Sometimes the best attacks are the simple ones. With the many forwarding websites and redirects, attackers can create their own opportunity by redirecting legitimate web traffic to a new, malicious, destination page much like phishing but without the email.

Careless Consumers

Finally the most painful attack of all – the attack of the careless customer. Sometimes you can do everything right, have every security measure in place, and then your customer messes it all up by choosing a login that is so simple to guess, bad guys just hop right through their account into your applications and start attacking at will.

Anything online is vulnerable, and the bad guys will always be trying to get one step ahead of the good guys. What matters most is that you know the risks and you work with a company who understands the levels of security that are most important to keep your website – and your customers’ data – safe.


Oleg Calugher is your Fellow Blogger and Co-founder of Guest Crew. Catch him on Twitter.

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22 Comments on “The Top 20 Security Threats We Fend Off to Protect our Clients”

  1. Ron Callari says:

    Very thorough overview. It will be interesting to see how the DDoS attacks proposed by the hacktavist group Anonymous will play out with their proposed attacks on Donald Trump’s websites, called Operation #OpTrump – or whether it will fizzle out — particularly now since the latest news is saying this was all of hoax perpetrated in Anonymous’ name, and announced on April Fool’s Day.

  2. Sarah Robinson says:

    This is such a thorough list it scares me a little and makes me wonder who has all this time on their hands to figure out how to hack security. This is a great reference list for any business to use to make sure they are doing all they can. Thanks for putting it together!

  3. David Leonhardt says:

    I’m glad you added careless consumers to the list. It’s like driving or hiking or anything else. All it takes is one fool to do something crazy, and the domino effect takes over.

    Apart from that, this list is pretty boggling. The most boggling thing about it is that it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more, and who can keep track?

  4. Gabriella says:

    Wow, who knew there were so many options. While we have had clients hacked in the past I never did understand the reason. Granted I can see why they would hit a hospital or credit card company. But why wold they hack a small company, that doesn’t even take credit card information? Seems odd to me. Thanks for taking the time to write this overview, I’ll be sure to share it with my network.

  5. Priya Florence Shah says:

    This is quite a detailed and thorough list of what could possibly go wrong. Most of them I have never heard of before. It’s kind of scary, but also good to know that there are companies like yours that have them covered. I just hope my own web host is looking out for me the way you do for your customers.

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  18. usman sarwer says:

    i just read your post that is full of information my sites been hacked twice but nobody fix the problem but after reading your post now i can do my site security thanks for sharing these great tips

    • Oleg says:

      Hey Usman,

      Thank you for the comment,
      Good to know that you are working on your site’s security by implementing the tips,

      At Temok, we take site’s security very seriously – if you need help, feel free to contact us,

      – Oleg

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