Web Browser-Based Attacks – How to Protect Your End Users?
Web browsers have become an integral part of any business. They act as a window to your website. A single platform to access all content is useful. Yet, it comes at the cost of browser security.
So, how do you protect your end-users from these attacks?
What is Web Browser-Based Attack?
Today, users leverage browsers to access a range of networked assets. Web browsers are the prime target of attackers as they contain sensitive data.
Web browser attacks occur when attackers exploit vulnerabilities. It can be outdated browsers, plug-ins, and other components. Then they inject malicious code into website components. To achieve this,
- Attackers may target your organization’s website and its end-users. For example, the Magecart attack focuses on skimming user data from forms on websites.
- Attackers may leverage the website’s execution to target its end users. Consider clickjacking and malicious pop-ups. Here the attackers inject malicious code into the website. And the end-user systems will direct sensitive data to attackers.
- Attackers may convert legitimate users into attackers. They inject malicious code into their websites and make them part of a botnet.
Why do Browser-Based Attacks happen?
- The increased use of APIs
- Users don’t realize secure browsing practices
- Growing set of browser-based vulnerabilities
- IT teams don’t know internet usage patterns
- Use of browser extensions that work as downloaders
- Companies not applying client-side protections
- Developers do not analyze website scripts
Common Browser Attack Types
The attack impacts organizations and end-users in different ways. It also comes in several different forms and types:
- Cross-site scripting attacks
- Malicious browser plug-ins
- Broken authentication
- Session hijacking
- SQL Injections
- Man-in-the-browser attacks. It includes phishing, eavesdropping, data thefts, malware, and ransomware
- DNS poisoning attacks
- Browser-based crypto mining
Tips to Protect Your End-Users from Web Browser Attacks
You don’t have control over the end-users browsers. It does limit your ability to stop attacks completely. However, you can leverage browser-based attack protection tactics to protect end users.
1. Reduce Your Attack Surface with Browser Isolation
The primary strategy that has been gaining traction over the past few years. It reduces attack surfaces and protects against web browser attacks. Browser isolation separates browser activity from endpoints and networks.
It executes all web page codes in secure virtual containers. This minimizes the attacker’s ability to move laterally and infiltrate systems.
All malware is boxed in containers. A passive visual representation of the content will be provided when a user requests it. So, if the user clicks on a malicious attachment, the malware stays in the secure container. It does not reach the system.
The browser isolation is easy to deploy and scale. Yet, the biggest downside is that the user experience may not be reliable. It may be less than ideal.
2. Implement Client-Side Protections
Though you cannot control how end-users use your browsers, implementing client-side protections can protect end-users. It avoids using outdated browsers and insecure plug-ins. It helps you defend against skimming attacks, malware attacks, and formjacking.
This solution leverages intelligent scanning and pen testing to detect vulnerabilities. It also offers greater visibility into the security posture.
These solutions help you build custom rules based on your context. Thereby it reduces the risk of browser-based attacks.
3. Deploy Bot Management Solutions
Advanced bot management solutions can defend complex botnets resulting from browser attacks. Such solutions use the following techniques to identify malicious bots effectively:
- Behavioral, pattern, and heuristic analysis
- Workflow validation
- Global threat intelligence
- Self-learning AI
4. Analyze Web Scripts
You must continuously monitor your website scripts. Often, attackers leverage these to organise browser-based attacks.
5. Deploy a Multi-Layered, Next-Gen WAF
A multi-layered, next-gen WAF such as AppTrana ensures complete protection. It combines bot management, malware monitoring, and SSL inspection. It identifies vulnerabilities and anomalies that may put the end-users in danger.
Due to a lack of control over the client environment, stopping browser-based attacks is challenging. However, it is not impossible.
Implement these browser-based attack protection strategies to protect your end-users. Also, minimize the damage these attack cause.