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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 a cyberattack in which the attacker impersonates another person to gain access to sensitive information or carry out malicious activities such as stealing credit card numbers or other personal data. Common types of web attacks include Structured Query Language injection (SQLi) and cross-site scripting (XSS) and file upload attacks.

In an SQLi attack hackers insert customized Structured Query Language commands into a web application or website field to steal private data stored in the database server behind. In an XSS attack hackers inject malicious code into an app or website that the victim’s browser automatically executes without verification or encryption. The attack can take over the victim’s session, show unauthorised images or text, or redirect them to a fraudulent website.

The best way to defend against cyber-attacks is to perform regular vulnerability scans and apply patches to your website along with its web servers and any databases that are involved in the attack. It is also recommended to establish an incident response plan to ensure that, should an attack occur it can be quickly identified and responded to. Also, make sure you are aware of ways to spot an attack on your website through warning indicators like slowing of network speeds or intermittent shutdowns of websites.

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