Code on a dark screen

While structured query language injection (SQLi) may not be a turn of phrase that you hear on an everyday basis, it is one of the most common cyberattacks to affect small businesses, alongside phishing scams and general malware. According to PurpleSec, around 26% of cyberattacks on small businesses are SQLis. And with scams on the rise due to Covid-19, there’s no telling when this type of attack could threaten your small business.

So, in today’s blog post, we will be talking about what SQLi is, what it looks like, as well as some steps you can take to protect your company. After all, with so much business being conducted online these days, you can’t be too careful with your online data.

SQLi: What Is It?

SQLi is a type of malicious code that a hacker can use to gain access to information that should be hidden or private. This could include phone numbers, credit card information, or client details, depending on the type of business you have. And websites tend to be one of the most common targets of these attacks, particularly those with e-commerce functionality.

The result is a breach in confidentiality, since the hacker now has sensitive information about your business and possibly even your clients. Plus, they are now able to make changes to this information, skewing your data or even deleting it forever.

What is SQL?

To more fully understand this type of cyberattack, it’s important to know what structured query language is. It’s a programming language that was first invented in the 1970s. SQL commands can be used to read, create, and delete information stored within a database, something that isn’t visible to the public. 

SQLi attacks are easy to set up for someone who is familiar with the language, and it can be quite easy to execute. That’s what makes them so dangerous, particularly to small businesses.

SQLi Attack Types

There are a few different forms that this type of attack can come in. They all look and behave a bit differently, which is why it’s important for you to be able to recognize them. They are distinguishable by the channels they use to obtain information, as well as their frequency of use.

How to Identify an Attack

The problem with SQLi is that it can often be hard to identify, unless you have experience with coding or are regularly checking backend data. For example, if you start seeing that sensitive information is missing or being replaced in one of your databases, this could be a clear sign of tampering. Even if the database doesn’t seem to be working correctly, you may be able to suspect that it is a victim of SQLi.

Preventing SQLi Attacks

Because this type of cyberattack can be so difficult to identify, the best course of action is to protect yourself before one has even occurred. And the most efficient way to make sure you’re protected is by reaching out to a third party company that has a person on staff that specializes in coding and backend maintenance. 

They will be able to limit searches on your data, as well as the ability to read them. They will also limit answers in search forms to prevent hackers from typing in and searching anything they please. This will put a limit on what hackers can search, making their job harder and your information more secure. 

A specialist can make sure there aren’t any errors or weak points in your data, both things hackers can use to make it accessible. Any error messages that are visible to users on your website can be an immediate hint to hackers that your site is vulnerable. The specialist will ensure that error messages are no longer public-facing.

Perhaps most importantly, an expert or third party company will be able to run regular security checks to make sure nothing is out of place. This is commonly known as penetration testing, and can be used to uncover things like vulnerable passwords, anything that might be out of date, problems in configuration, and much more. 

Putting It All Together

The bottom line is that SQLi attacks can be tricky to catch, but easy to perform for someone who has the right amount of coding knowledge. However, on the flip side, they can also be quite easy to prevent. If you aren’t actively protecting your website and e-commerce data from SQLi, you could be at risk. Don’t put keeping your site safe off for a later date. 

If you’re interested in talking about your web security needs, don’t hesitate to contact Vervology and schedule a free consultation. We’d be happy to help.