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How Threat Intelligence Platform Can Help Companies Keep Their Websites Threat-Free

Posted on March 30, 2020
How Threat Intelligence Platform Can Help Companies Keep Their Websites Threat-Free

The Internet has grown immensely both in scale and reach over time, allowing anyone to grow ventures online as they wish. Unfortunately, that convenience also allowed parasites (aka cybercriminals) who seek to exploit legitimate sites for their own gain. Based on the latest statistics, a company can lose an average of $13 million to an attack. Organizations, big and small alike, have fallen prey to costly and devastating attacks and so now have no choice but to improve their defenses.

One way of amplifying security efforts, especially for those who own and maintain websites, is to use applications like Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP). But before we can go into the “how,” let’s first identify some of the biggest threats that can affect any organization’s site.

How Malware Affect Websites

In general, cybercriminals use malware to damage victims’ computers or to infect corporate websites. You may be wondering how they profit from such acts. Let’s go into further detail below:

Website Defacement

Although many defacement cases have to do with expressing discontent with the website owners and are thus considered acts of hacktivism, some attacks are financially motivated. Cybercriminals can deface your site, for instance, for a fee. An unscrupulous business rival can, for example, hire them to alter your website’s content so you’d lose your customers’ trust.

Malvertising

Malvertising, or “malicious advertising,” uses online ads to spread malware. Cybercriminals typically inject malicious or malware-laden ads into legitimate websites. Any visitor who clicks them may end up with infected computers. If the malicious file happens to be a spyware, for instance, cybercriminals would be able to get their hands on all of the victim’s online account credentials. These can be sold in underground markets or used to steal money from the victim’s bank account.

Malicious Website Redirection

Cybercriminals also inject malware into unprotected websites to redirect their visitors to their own sites. In most cases, their specially crafted sites are copycats of those of the victims. That way, visitors won’t get alerted about the redirection and so get their systems infected. This tactic produces the same effects as malvertising.

Malware Injection

We all know that today’s search engines now actively audit website content and block access to those that contain malware. Apart from turning legitimate websites into a source of traffic for their own pages as in malicious site redirection, cybercriminals can cause victims’ sites to end up on blocklists. Malware injection could also be employed as a tactic to serve the wishes of a competitor for a fee.

These are just some of the ways in which cybercriminals can cause website owners to suffer via website content manipulation. Entrepreneurs need not fret, however, as these issues are avoidable with TIP’s help.

Using Threat Intelligence Platform to Protect Website Content

Threat intelligence products are easy-to-use solutions that help users get accurate and well-parsed information about their websites. Its website analysis capability, in particular, allows them to check if their assets are playing host to malicious content that could negatively affect their organizations’ reputation. Here’s how it works:

Detects Technologies Used to Build the Site

Threat Intelligence Platform runs a website through a comprehensive check to see metatags, HyperText Markup Language (HTML) directives, and JavaScript source code, among others. That allows it to discover the content management system (CMS), JavaScript frameworks, and other technologies used to build the website so it can identify vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit.

Searches for Potentially Dangerous Content

The platform scans the website for any possible harmful content, including malware. While not all of the items on the list are necessarily malicious, they need further scrutiny to make sure that they won’t cause problems for site visitors. Threat Intelligence Platform can detect:

  • Links to Android package kit (.apk) files: A lot of mobile malware attacks come in the form of malicious .apk files that may be dropped by hosts onto vulnerable Android devices.
  • Links to executable (.exe) files: Very few websites, apart from those that sell applications or programs, typically have executable content. Note that malware meant to run on Windows-powered computers usually comes in this format.
  • Iframes: These refer to hardly visible frames that cybercriminals use to embed code from other domains into a website. They figure in cross-site scripting (XSS) and clickjacking attacks, among others. Some can make JavaScript calls to get access to user data by showing an extra field on an online form, for instance. Others can redirect visitors to other websites. Not all iframes are malicious, though. Some users use the technology to embed YouTube videos on their sites.
  • Scripts: These are code fragments usually hidden in legitimate but compromised websites. The platform alerts users to the presence of scripts that open new browser windows.
  • Redirects: Malicious redirects can cause website visitors to land on harmful sites. The platform checks for redirects, too.

Checks for Host Configuration Issues

In a lot of cases, website compromise begins with the exploitation of an unpatched vulnerability. Threat Intelligence Platform checks a website’s content to see if it has open directories in the document root.

The platform also checks a website to see if it allows directory listing. If that’s the case, any visitor can view the files in the document root, which is useful for a variety of attacks. No outsider should be able to do this as well.

In a nutshell, threat intelligence products like Threat Intelligence Platform are handy tools for any website owner or administrator who wants to make sure their portals are threat-free.

While securing devices and systems from harm is their owners’ responsibility, any good online entrepreneur should take time to look out for their customers’ welfare. How else will they be able to gain their trust and loyalty, right? To get the most out of their websites, business owners can rely on Threat Intelligence Platform as a means to proactively defend against a myriad of website content threats that can put their clients and thus their reputation and bottom line at risk.

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