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This SEC6040 Solutions will assist students in developing a security policy and standard operating procedure (SOP) for a company that is installing a new network, applications, and online infrastructure. The following are some of the topics covered: Security Testing and Implementation, Risk Management, Threats to IT Assets, Encryption, Standards and Compliance, and Security Education and Advisory.
The Internet is a dangerous place! With great regularity, we hear about websites becoming unavailable due to denial of service attacks, or displaying modified (and often damaging) information on their homepages. In other high-profile cases, millions of passwords, email addresses, and credit card details have been leaked into the public domain, exposing website users to both personal embarrassment and financial risk.
The purpose of website security is to prevent these (or any) sorts of attacks. The more formal definition of website security is the act/practice of protecting websites from unauthorized access, use, modification, destruction, or disruption.
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Effective website security requires design effort across the whole of the website: in your web application, the configuration of the web server, your policies for creating and renewing passwords, and the client-side code. While all that sounds very ominous, the good news is that if you're using a server-side web framework, it will almost certainly enable "by default" robust and well-thought-out defense mechanisms against a number of the more common attacks. Other attacks can be mitigated through your web server configuration, for example by enabling HTTPS. Finally, there are publicly available vulnerability scanner tools that can help you find out if you've made any obvious mistakes.
Any data that can be considered priveledged or sensitive, such as user credentials, payment-based information, personally identifiable information, et cetera, can be exposed to security threats.
Navigating the web can be tricky when it comes to keeping your information safe. Always check to see if the URL (or link) begins with HTTP or HTTPS. Any data transmitted via HTTP is insecure, and therefore vulnerable to intercepting HTTP protocol that will capture transmitted date, potentially leading to a security threat. HTTPS is the secured version, protected by either SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security). HTTPS is considered far more secure as the data that is transferred is encrypted. HTTPS is typically used for confidential transactions such as purchasing or online banking.
Web application security is the process of protecting websites and online services against different security threats that exploit vulnerabilities in an application’s code. Common targets for web application attacks are content management systems (e.g., WordPress), database administration tools (e.g., phpMyAdmin) and SaaS applications.
Perpetrators consider web applications high-priority targets due to:
The inherent complexity of their source code, which increases the likelihood of unattended vulnerabilities and malicious code manipulation.
High value rewards, including sensitive private data collected from successful source code manipulation.
Ease of execution, as most attacks can be easily automated and launched indiscriminately against thousands, or even tens or hundreds of thousands of targets at a time.
Organizations failing to secure their web applications run the risk of being attacked. Among other consequences, this can result in information theft, damaged client relationships, revoked licenses and legal proceedings.
Web application vulnerabilities are typically the result of a lack of input/output sanitization, which are often exploited to either manipulate source code or gain unauthorized access.
Such vulnerabilities enable the use of different attack vectors, including:
SQL Injection – Occurs when a perpetrator uses malicious SQL code to manipulate a backend database so it reveals information. Consequences include the unauthorized viewing of lists, deletion of tables and unauthorized administrative access.
Cross-site Scripting (XSS) – XSS is an injection attack targeting users in order to access accounts, activate Trojans or modify page content. Stored XSS occurs when malicious code is injected directly into an application. Reflected XSStakes place when malicious script is reflected off of an application onto a user’s browser.
Remote File Inclusion – A hacker uses this type of attack to remotely inject a file onto a web application server. This can result in the execution of malicious scripts or code within the application, as well as data theft or manipulation.
Cross-site Request Forgery (CSRF) – An attack that could result in an unsolicited transfer of funds, changed passwords or data theft. It’s caused when a malicious web application makes a user’s browser perform an unwanted action in a site to which a user is logged on.
Data security is the process of protecting corporate data and preventing data loss through unauthorized access. This includes protecting your data from attacks that can encrypt or destroy data, such as ransomware, as well as attacks that can modify or corrupt your data. Data security also ensures data is available to anyone in the organization who has access to it.
Some industries require a high level of data security to comply with data protection regulations. For example, organizations that process payment card information must use and store payment card data securely, and healthcare organizations in the USA must secure private health information (PHI) in line with the HIPAA standard.
But even if your organization is not subject to a regulation or compliance standard, the survival of a modern business depends on data security, which can impact both the organization’s key assets and private data belonging to its customers.
The SEC6040 task answers will ensure that students learn the following.
Web security must be a critical priority for every organization. Along with email, the web is one of the top vectors for cyberattacks. The web and the use of DNS services specifically are part of 91% of all malware attacks, and email and web together are a key part for 99% of successful breaches.
While the importance of web security is undisputed, protecting against web security threats grows more challenging each day. From thwarting attacks to dealing with limits in skills and resources, IT security departments face serious challenges when trying to secure the web.
To manage email and online security in the past, security teams used a variety of on-premises technologies. However, enterprises are increasingly turning to integrated, cloud-based email and online security solutions that simplify the work and lower the cost of risk reduction. Because attackers frequently use email and online channels in tandem, a unified and scalable strategy to secure both is critical.
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