What is SQL Injection
SQL Injection is an application layer attack that takes advantage of security vulnerabilities in websites and applications, and when executed gives the hacker access to an underlying database. Along with Malware and DDoS, SQL Injection Attacks are one of the most common forms of cyber-security attacks.
The SQL injection attack exploits common design flaws in web applications and continues to be an easy and effective method of cyber attack. The threat of SQL injection is a serious database security issue for organizations as it is now a leading attack vector used by hackers to compromise websites. Hacktivists groups like the Syrian Electronic Army have been known to use automated SQL injection exploit tools to sabotage and infiltrate online properties and distribute malware.
The Dangers of an SQL Injection Attack
Capable of targeting external websites or internal databases, the SQL injection attack is used by cyber criminals to manipulate, steal, or destroy data. By taking advantage of vulnerabilities in the database layer of an application, hackers are able to inject malicious SQL queries into a website entry field, trick the application into executing unintended commands, and penetrate the backend database. An SQL injection attack may result in slowed application performance, data theft, loss or corruption, denial of access, or even complete takeover of the server.
Preventing an SQL Injection Attack on Your Web Applications
As companies strive to offer appealing, interactive websites, the database—a key component of any web-based application providing dynamic content—becomes a convenient target for attacking all types of businesses and organizations. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent an SQL injection attack:
- Web application designers should familiarize themselves with the inner workings of the SQL injection attack through an online SQL injection tutorial in order to prevent coding flaws, adopt an appropriate input validation technique, and fortify SQL statements.
- IT departments should update and patch servers and applications regularly and as often as possible, use intrusion prevention systems and database monitoring technologies, and implement application and network penetration testing to probe for vulnerabilities.
- Organizations can leverage the power of a cloud-based web application firewall, the best method of defense against the SQL injection attack and the most cost-effective way to prevent a range of cyber attacks targeting the application layer.
Mitigating the Risks of Cyber Attack Using a Web Application Firewall
A web application firewall (WAF) helps protect your web servers and applications by inspecting the HTTP layer and using patterns to identify, isolate and block abnormal or malicious traffic. Akamai's Kona Site Defender—a powerful Web Security Solution implemented inline across the globe-spanning Akamai Intelligent Platform—not only defends your web applications with a full-featured, highly-scalable WAF but also mitigates the risk of massive-scale DDoS attacks. Incorporating sophisticated application-layer controls, our cloud-based WAF enables deep packet inspection of HTTP/S, ensuring the SSL security of your transactions while preventing HTTPS traffic exploits like the BREACH attack. And because our solutions are deployed at the edge of the internet, we can detect and deflect suspicious traffic before it reaches your servers—without compromising performance and availability.
Learn more about how Akamai Cloud Security Solutions can help maintain the performance and integrity of your websites and applications.