Best Practices to Secure your Web Applications
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With increasing notoriety among unethical elements of the internet, activities like the recent ransomware attacks or the DDoS attacks of 2016 are on the rise. This has led to web application security rising to the top concern for most organizations. Because of their very nature, web applications are vulnerable to cyber attackers.
- They act as the first line of entry to a company's online space as web applications are constantly exposed to the web.
- As compared to traditional targets such as host operating systems and networks, web applications are easier to breach.
- Since most web applications are assembled from outsourced code and some in-house code, it becomes easier to find out the loopholes and proceed from there. Attackers and hackers often hide lines of code in between outsourced code which makes them privy to companies' confidential information by compromising web application security.
- Web applications are driven by shorter development life cycles and this increases the likelihood of errors being present in the code.
The two common types of web application security problems are SQL injection and cross-site scripting. Web applications are vulnerable to these because of improper filter input and output and flawed coding.
(WhiteHat Security Report)
- A number of web applications are vulnerable 365 days of the year.
- Nearly one-third of insurance applications are vulnerable
- 40% financial services web applications are vulnerable
- 50% healthcare and retail web applications are vulnerable
- More than 50% IT applications are vulnerable
- More than 50% manufacturing, beverage and food applications are vulnerable.
At BluEnt, we not only believe in developing custom applications which offer seamless browsing experience, but we focus on securing the app with important web application securities so that your business information and your customers' confidential information remains safe.
- Monitoring Assessment: Instead of a breach telling you which of your applications are weak, having a continuous monitoring assessment is the first and foremost practice for securing web applications for business. Assess your software during development rather than after production or release. This way, essential fixes can be worked upon in cohort with developmental milestones.
Creating an inventory of web applications and prioritizing them: Most organizations have several rogue applications running at any given time. They never come to notice until something goes wrong. It is almost impossible to secure web applications online without knowing which services your company precisely uses on a regular basis. Having insights on which applications are being used currently, how many are being used and their location is a big undertaking. Creating the web app inventory is time-consuming. However, towards the end, you are likely to discover that most running applications are either pointless or redundant. Once the inventory is completed, the next logical step is to sort the apps in order of priority.
- Critical applications are the web apps which are constantly exposed on the web and contain customer details. These applications should be tended to first as they are most likely to be exploited by hackers.
- Serious web applications are next in line. These may be present on the internal and external front and contain less sensitive information. However, they must be tested for vulnerabilities and loopholes down the road.
- The normal applications are the least exposed and they can be tested when everything else has been taken care off. Categorizing your applications allows you to reserve your extensive training for critical applications. This way, you can use company's resources effectively to work on most potent vulnerabilities.
- Training non-technical team members to get involved: For systematic remediation of security threats, the basics of web application security must be passed on to senior management and non-technical team members too. Your DevOps team needs to be trained on basic security principles and other non-technical team members must be able to identify the basic red flags of possible intrusion and security breaches.
- Analyzing network anomalies with intelligent analytics: An effective remediation strategy means employing both real-time and historical data for evaluating risk exposure. Having clear data insights can help you prioritize and identify critical business web applications that need fixing ASAP. Your technical security experts should also be aware of various security threats which are specific to your industry. This will enable to deploy proper security resources for mitigating cyber-attacks.
- Scalability: Your company might be having a great security solution in place but as your company grows, the vulnerabilities proliferate and your risk exposure increases. For measuring your risk exposure, your best bet is to use SaaS software. SaaS is scalable, efficient and cost-effective and offers better infrastructure through multi-tenancy.
- 24x7 third-party assistance: Sometimes having a third-party software isn't enough. You need third-party assistance. This is where it helps to outsource web app development to companies like BluEnt. Not only do we create effective solutions but we also offer post-development support and maintenance of your web application. third-party technology partners provide dedicated support, active risk management and mitigating possible threats so that your business is safe from cyber-attacks.
Security Best Practices – Summary
Managing your web application security is a team effort. While there are immediate steps that you can take to improve your application security, it is important to work on the bigger picture. Your security systems should be scalable as your company grows and should be updated with the latest threat protection and intrusion detection systems. At BluEnt, we specialize in creating secure web applications. Our developers are well-versed with web applications security best practices and they ensure that your business and customer information is kept safe and sound.