Most Common Browser Security Threats and How to Stop Them
You have several choices when it comes to internet browsers. Each one has real and perceived benefits. None of them are completely impervious to security threats. In fact, there’s nothing more prone to security vulnerabilities than a website browser. Think about it. When users open up an internet browser, they open up a continual connection to the internet, and they interact with websites that could potentially contain malware and other threats.
One way to mitigate these threats is to be aware of the most common and to take action to recognize and mitigate these threats. Below are the most prevalent, along with actions you can take.
Weak Antivirus Software and Other Protections
Cybercrime, malware, and hacking can lucrative pastimes. People make a significant amount of money infiltrating websites and servers for nefarious purposes. Hackers are motivated to improve their methods and find workarounds when it comes to firewalls, antivirus software, and other protections. As a result, these attacks can be difficult to detect and can do a lot of damage before any action can be taken.
To solve this probably, organizations should take a multi-pronged approach. This includes using multiple products that specialize in email scanning, proxy filtering, and detection of malware. It’s also imperative that security products are kept updated.
Finally, businesses must recognize that there is a powerful human component here. Users must become educated. Computer training should include modules that teach users to recognize security threats, potentially dangerous websites, phishing attempts, and another social engineering that they may encounter. IT security professionals with internet security training also play a valuable role in this process.
Redirects and Pop up Ads
Most pop-ups are annoying at most, but some are quite malicious. They attempt to force users into entering an unsafe website or downloading malware. In many cases, this is done by preventing the user from closing the pop-up down. These ads often attempt to entice users with promises of a free prize or money or scare them with threats about their computer being threatened in some way.
These threats rely on users to act quickly and impulsively. The best bet is to simply disable pop-ups. Users should also be taught to exit their browser session or manually shut it down through task manager or by using another means.
Malicious redirects take users from a seemingly safe website to one that isn’t. Again, the newly entered website will usually announce some sort of threat or warning, although some are simply trying to sell a product. In any case, users should know to exit these pages.
If there is any reason to believe a pop-up ad or redirect may have resulted in any kind of security breach, action must be taken immediately. This means scanning the computer for malware and taking it offline until action can be taken.
Browser Extensions and Plugins
Extensions and plugins can be used to offer improved experiences online, and to add helpful functionality to websites. The trustworthy ones can be used to perform a variety of functions. Fortunately, there are many reputable publishers who offer these. Unfortunately, not every source can be trusted.
Some are created with malicious intent. Many others are simply poorly made and create vulnerabilities in the browsers in which they are installed. These can provide a pathway for hackers to steal data or install ransomware. Businesses can take action by creating a policy that forbids users from installing extensions and plugins that don’t have a business purpose. They can even create a list of allowed extensions and plugins and take action to block those that are not on the approved list.
Distributed Security Controls and Administration
Without a centralized and consistent means for installing protections, making policies, and monitoring systems, it’s nearly impossible to effectively protect your organization from browser-based threats. When different departments and locations use different browsers, versions, and security protections, that can be problematic. The same is true when people are free to alter their sessions at will.
All of these things should be managed centrally. If different users and groups require different settings and permissions, this can be managed through active directory.
Saved Passwords and Form Info
There’s no denying that saved passwords, user information, and other data make surfing much more convenient. It also creates significant security concerns. If someone steals a user’s device, they may be able to access company data alarmingly fast if they don’t need to bother with figuring out passwords.
On the other hand, users who are forced to remember a large number of logins and passwords may resort to writing down passwords or choosing passwords that are easily hacked. Instead, consider using password management software that will store and secure passwords without the need to store them in browser sessions.
Internet browsers are absolutely necessary for almost every business. As a result, it’s important that IT security pros and business owners take steps to ensure that they take action to block any possible security holes. This includes carefully researching and selecting a secure internet browser. The security issues listed here are most common. Recognizing these threats and taking action against them is key.