Alarming number of analyzed passwords easy to crack: Kaspersky

In an era where digital engagement is critical for businesses, public-facing applications have become essential tools for interacting with customers, partners, and stakeholders.

In an era where digital engagement is critical for businesses, public-facing applications have become essential tools for interacting with customers, partners, and stakeholders. These applications, including websites, APIs, and web services, serve as the digital gateways of organizations, offering crucial services and information to users worldwide. However, according to Kaspersky’s latest Incident Response report, these public-facing applications are increasingly being exploited by cybercriminals as primary vectors for attacks.

The Kaspersky Incident Response Report 2023 reveals that public-facing applications remain the most common entry points for cyberattacks, with a significant portion of these applications being compromised through known vulnerabilities. The report highlights that over a third of these applications were targeted via vulnerabilities identified in 2021 and 2022. Alarmingly, this method of attack accounted for 42.37% of the cases examined.

Given these findings, Kaspersky has released critical insights into the cybersecurity threats associated with public-facing applications. Konstantin Sapronov, Head of the Global Emergency Response Team at Kaspersky, emphasized the growing risks:

“As organizations increasingly rely on public-facing applications to drive digital engagement, the cybersecurity risks associated with these platforms have never been higher. Incidents such as data breaches and malware infections can have devastating consequences for businesses and their customers.”

Public-facing applications, unlike internal-facing ones used within an organization’s network, are accessible to anyone with an internet connection. These applications include a variety of platforms such as e-commerce sites, customer portals, social media networks, and online banking systems. While they are crucial for business operations and customer interaction, they also present significant cybersecurity challenges.

Cybersecurity Dangers of Public-Facing Applications

The report identifies several key cybersecurity threats posed by public-facing applications:

  • Data Breaches: Unauthorized access to confidential information can result in significant financial and reputational damage.
  • Malware Infections: Cybercriminals can introduce malicious software through vulnerabilities in applications, leading to widespread disruption and data theft.
  • Phishing Attacks: Public-facing applications can be used as platforms to launch phishing attacks, tricking users into revealing sensitive information.
  • SQL Injections and Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): These attacks exploit weaknesses in application code, allowing attackers to execute malicious commands and access sensitive data.
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks: Overwhelming application servers with traffic can make services unavailable, disrupting business operations.

Proactive Security Measures

To mitigate these risks, Kaspersky recommends several proactive security measures for organizations:

  • Regular Vulnerability Assessments: Frequent scanning and updating of applications to identify and fix known vulnerabilities.
  • Incident Response Planning: Establishing robust incident response strategies to quickly address and recover from cyber incidents.
  • Employee Training: Educating staff about cybersecurity best practices and the latest threat vectors to enhance the overall security posture.
  • Secure Development Practices: Incorporating security measures during the development phase of applications to reduce vulnerabilities.

Sapronov further added:

“At Kaspersky, we understand the importance of swift and effective responses to cyber incidents and offer specialized Incident Response services to help organizations detect, respond to, and recover from cyber threats. With this support, businesses can strengthen their cybersecurity posture and protect their digital assets with confidence.”

As digital engagement continues to grow, understanding the cybersecurity risks associated with public-facing applications is crucial. By implementing proactive security measures, organizations can enhance their resilience against cyberthreats and safeguard their digital assets and reputation in today’s interconnected world.