As internet usage has become an essential part of daily life for most people, transmitting sensitive personal data online is an everyday thing. Your organization may have robust security measures in place to protect data once it has been collected, but what about the safety of that data on the client-side? Formjacking attacks are one way attackers can target data before it’s under the protection of your organization’s security measures. Read on to learn more.
What Are Formjacking Attacks?
Formjacking attacks are client-side cyberattacks. Attackers use formjacking to gather sensitive user data such as payment card numbers, names, and addresses. It’s considered to be a type of supply chain attack because, rather than targeting your organization’s system directly, the attackers often target you indirectly through a service provider that your organization relies on.
How Do Formjacking Attacks Work?
Attackers gather sensitive data using formjacking by compromising websites or applications and injecting malicious code. This code will usually run during payment processing. When the user submits data, the code runs and sends a copy of that data to a location defined by the attacker.
Since collecting payment data is often the goal of these attacks, formjacking attacks are also known as “web skimming.”
How Much of an Issue is Formjacking?
As online transactions and transmissions of other sensitive data have become more and more commonplace, formjacking is becoming an increasingly more appealing technique for attackers.
A user may fill out a payment or other online form with all the details necessary for someone else to use their payment information or steal their identity. Once form data has been submitted, it will usually be stored in a secure database or deleted immediately, making it more difficult or impossible for attackers to access. Stealing this data as it’s submitted rather than afterward allows attackers to avoid going through the process of trying to breach robust security protocols.
Hackers no longer need to access a database, which may not even store the sensitive information they need or may store it in encrypted forms they can’t read. And, since the code tends to run in the background, data can be stolen without the user having any awareness of it.
What Are the Repercussions of Formjacking?
Formjacking is one type of attack that, while indirect, can still have severe implications leading to a breach of your organization’s systems. Formjacking can lead to the following issues:
- The theft of user data – This is the most obvious negative outcome of a successful formjacking attack. Attackers who steal user data may use it themselves or sell it to others, subjecting users to loss of funds or identity theft.
- Compliance violations – The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) exist to protect sensitive user information. For organizations required to comply with these standards, failure to do so could lead to legal issues and financial penalties.
- Reputational damage – If data is compromised or stolen while users interact with your organization online, it could lead to a loss of trust and damage to your organization’s reputation.
For these reasons, your organization should prioritize preventing formjacking attacks.
How to Prevent Formjacking Attacks
Security measures implemented within your network may struggle to protect against client-side attacks, but formjacking protection isn’t entirely out of reach. Take the following four steps to protect user data against formjacking attacks:
1. Automate Vulnerability Scans
Utilize application vulnerability scanners to automate the identification of vulnerabilities in your organization’s websites and applications. Automating this process will reveal issues quickly and in real-time so they can be addressed immediately.
2. Use the Content Security Policy
Content Security Policy (CSP) is a security measure that was designed to help protect against compromises such as data injection. When used on the client-side along with other appropriate security measures, CSP can help keep user data more secure.
3. Assess third-party providers regularly
If your organization works with any third-party service providers to process user data you have a responsibility to mitigate any risks that could arise through that partnership. Ensure your third-party risk management strategy includes monitoring and regular assessment of providers’ application security management processes.
4. Test Networks Thoroughly
Just like other threats, protecting against formjacking attacks requires ongoing, thorough testing. Make use of automated testing for frequent assessment, and be sure to include testing client-side security in the scope of penetration tests and other more thorough assessments.
Stay Ahead of Formjacking Attacks
Security controls, monitoring, and assessment are pillars of any robust cybersecurity protocol, and the same principles apply to preventing formjacking attacks. RSI Security harnesses years of experience and up-to-date expertise to help your organization prevent formjacking attacks and other cyber threats.
Protect Data Against Formjacking Attacks
It may not be easy for attackers to target data after it has been securely stored. And, most often, sensitive data submitted by forms isn’t stored at all. But sensitive data is still at risk before it has been transmitted, which is why protecting against formjacking attacks is essential.
Contact RSI Security today to ensure your organization’s websites, applications, and supply chain are safe against client-side cyber threats.
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