Top Cybersecurity Threats Our Devs Look For

View All Posts
Web Developer
Jun 8, 2021

As much as we believe in the importance of having a website, it’s still true that every site has the potential to be hacked. Cybersecurity threats are numerous and hackers are consistently evolving and adding to their repertoire. 

So what do you, as someone who has a website, do in this situation? At our St. Louis web development company — working with clients in industries from the financial sector to healthcare — we know web security. Take a look at what you should understand about cybersecurity and how we can help. 

The Risks of Website Insecurity

There are many reasons why an insecure website can cause a snowball effect of problems — some of which can be very costly. Cybersecurity breaches can become litigious depending on the sensitivity of the data or the degree of financial loss to affected users.

A healthcare organization could also face HIPAA compliance violation if electronic healthcare records are exposed to hackers, or users aren’t adequately informed of even potential security breaches.

With much of the web hosted on cloud computing services like AWS (Amazon Web Services), there’s a risk of huge, expensive spikes in cloud computing costs from a DDOS attack, which we’ll discuss a little later. 

The Most Common Website Security Issues

Cross-Site Scripting

Nearly half of all attacks on websites involve cross-site scripting or XSS. This is an injection attack where one party gets another party’s browser to run a malicious script, often via unvalidated input fields.

Take, for example, a website’s comment section that doesn’t validate or escape code. Someone might put some malicious Javascript into a comment, and another user then views that page. The victim’s browser assumes the script is trustworthy and runs it. The attacker can now do things such as spoof a “session” and impersonate the victim.

Database Injection

This is where an attacker uses (again) an unvalidated input field and gets an unsanitized string into a database. 

To continue with the prior example, say another hacker puts an SQL query into the comment form. This now allows them to do things like drop all of the data, list sensitive information about users and more.

Zero-Day Exploits

In some instances, a hacker reads about an upcoming security patch for a piece of software (such as a WordPress plugin, WordPress itself, a Javascript library or framework) and finds websites that have yet to be patched to exploit the vulnerability addressed in that security patch.

DDOS Attacks

Distributed denial-of-service (or DDoS) attacks involve a hacker overwhelming a server or service’s resources, causing disruption of service. 

Take, for instance, a hacker who uses dozens of bots (a botnet) to make thousands of requests per second to a server. This will subsequently overwhelm the server’s bandwidth and resources until it inevitably crashes.  

Who Is Most Susceptible for Cybersecurity Threats?

While every website has its vulnerabilities, there are certain types of industries, website types and features that are at a higher risk for cybersecurity threats, for example:

  • Clients that conduct financial transactions on their websites
  • Clients that collect/transmit personal data that might be used for identity theft 
  • Websites with forms or input fields
  • Any technology with dependencies that aren’t kept up to date

How Integrity Mitigates Cybersecurity Threats

Luckily, cybersecurity doesn’t have to be all doom-and-gloom. With an experienced web development team at your side, you can feel confident that we’re not only building and enhancing your site to have security defenses but that we’ll watch for and mitigate them regularly as well.

Planning Ahead

One of the first things we do when partnering with a client on their website is budgeting for up-front security concerns that you may not immediately think of when entering a contract, such as:

  • PCI-DSS compliance for any site that facilitates financial transactions (this is mandatory but can be time consuming)
  • Putting a mobile app on the App Store involves a lot of security and privacy compliance (this can also take a good chunk of time)

In addition, we’ll make sure to factor in time for ongoing support that:

  • Keeps dependencies up to date
  • Ensures WordPress plugins — and WordPress itself — are up to date
  • Keeps track of what plugins are depreciated and finding alternatives (depreciated plugins are those that have not been updated in years, and this is a potential security concern)
  • Responds to attacks 

Maintaining Your Site’s Security

If you have an e-Commerce site, we’ll ensure it’s PCI-DSS compliant. Some of this responsibility will fall on individual vendors like Shopify or Magento, but others will also fall on you — or Integrity — to handle.

We’ll also leverage in-platform tools that boost and watch for security issues. For example, AWS offers usage alerts as well as services like AWS Shield that can protect you from server usage spikes.

Picking the Right Platforms

There are endless options that you can use to increase the visual experience and functionality of your site: plugins and SAAS platforms are incredible tools you can leverage dependent on your needs. 

But it’s important to recognize how integrating these tools can put your website at risk. Integrity vets all new plugins and platforms relative to their potential security concerns and evaluates current plugins and platforms on a quarterly basis, or as needed as updates are pushed.


Want to ensure your website is protected from cybersecurity threats? Integrity’s team of developers will ensure your site is secure both today and in the future. Contact our St. Louis web development company to get started. 

Love cybersecurity and are looking for a web development job? Check out our open positions

Contact Us

Do you have a project like this?

The latest from Integrity

View all posts