Happy National Cookie Day! 🍪🍪 National Cookies Day celebrates not only the delectable treats we indulge in but also the digital cookies that streamline our online experiences. Just like savouring a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie brings joy, website cookies, though virtual, add to our digital comfort. They help websites remember our preferences, much like how a favourite homemade cookie recipe never fails to please our taste buds! For this special day, we are going to explore the connection between Digital Cookies and Cyber Securities, and of course how to mitigate them! 🍪
Cookies are delicious! But have you wondered what Digital Cookies are? 🍪 Our digital Cookies are small pieces of text sent to your browser by a website you visited. Cookies help the website remember information about your visit to make it easier to revisit the site and make the site more useful to you. Cookies themselves are not inherently a security risk, but… they can potentially be exploited by hackers in certain situations:
Session Hijacking: If a hacker gains access to your session cookie, they might be able to impersonate and access your account. They can do this without needing your password. However, modern websites often employ security measures like encryption or two additional authentication steps to mitigate this particular risk.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): Hackers can inject malicious scripts into a website, and if executed, could access cookies and other sensitive information stored in the user’s browser. Such as password, your email address, bank or credit card number.
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF): This is a vulnerability where an attacker performs actions while impersonating you. Attackers can create malicious requests disguised as legitimate ones, tricking the website into thinking: “Oh the request is coming directly from the user!”, thereby potentially exploiting cookies tied to the user’s session.
To mitigate these risks, website developers employ security practices such as:
Encryption: By utilising HTTPS for transmitting data between the server and the user’s browser, it safeguards cookies from potential interception by hackers.
HttpOnly and Secure Flags: Using the HttpOnly tag while creating a cookie aids in reducing the risk of client-side scripts gaining access to the protected cookies, therefore enhancing the security of these cookies. If the HttpOnly flag is present in the HTTP response header, the cookie cannot be accessed by client-side scripts.
Token-based authentication: A lot of contemporary websites opt for tokens rather than storing sensitive information directly in cookies, which makes it more challenging for Black hat hackers to exploit stolen data.
Regular Security Audits: Regularly assessing and modifying security measures helps identify and address vulnerabilities promptly.
With that said, users can take precautions:
Regularly clear cookies: Do this to remove unnecessary cookies to reduce the risk of exposure to potential security threats.
Use browser settings: Adjust your browser settings to restrict third-party cookies or use browser extensions that manage and block cookies from certain domains.
Although cookies can present security risks when mishandled or exploited, the implementation of robust security measures and remaining vigilant can greatly decrease the chances of a security breach occurring through cookies on websites. We understand the critical need for adaptable and future-proof security policies. Our expertise lies in crafting policies that evolve alongside technological advancements, ensuring lasting protection. Secure your seat now for a free consultation to ensure comprehensive protection for your online assets. 🍪🍪