As pandemic forced companies to work from home, students attended online classes; outdoor play activities gave way to online entertainment, e-commerce flourished like never before, use of web applications and SaaS(Software as a service) applications Like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google meet, etc. have become so much part of our lives.
This expanded use of applications and developers rolling out applications quickly has too many security lapses directly affecting application security.
Thus, cyberattacks on applications have increased exponentially and have become very complex and sophisticated.
Cybercriminals are using tried and tested methods like SQL injections, cross-site scripting, and DDoS attacks to execute cyber-attacks on applications successfully.
Such instances lead to the leaking of crucial user’s information and sensitive data, which could be misused by cybercriminals, heavy revenue loss to companies and individuals alike.
Some important findings from Forrester’s State of Application Security Report for 2021 reveal that Web Application exploits is the topmost form (38% )of external attacks, as can be seen in the image below. The report also shows that 28% of security makers will prioritize improving Application Security in 2021.
Understanding Application Security
There is a growing need to pay attention to the security of the applications against any potential cyberattacks. Application security essentially helps to keep your application safe by looking out for vulnerabilities, fixing them, and improvising its security in the process.
To make application security more effective against today’s complex cyberattacks, the process of application security starts by incorporating security right from the code development stage and carrying it on up to the very final deployment stage.
The use of the latest technology and best application security practices can greatly help improve the applications’ security stature. So let us now walk you through some of the best application security practices that will keep your applications safe.
Ensure Security For Your Code or Application
As developers, you must ensure security for your code or application by using code signing. The Code Signing Certificate protects the integrity and authenticity of the downloaded and installed applications by attaching a digital signature of the developer to its application.
The code-signing certificate can be bought from many reputed Certificate authorities (CA) that can give you good deals according to your budget to invest in a cost-effective cheap code signing certificate. It helps you win the trust of the users that the application is safe for downloading.
Work Around an Organized Application Security Plan
It pays off to work around a well-organized and documented application security plan. It becomes much easier if a detailed plan of action and the different vulnerable areas of the application that needs to be covered are put in one place for reference.
This will help you make and execute a comprehensive security policy to secure your application proactively against cyberattacks.
Strive To Create a Secure Code
You must develop a foolproof security code that makes it difficult for the hacker to find a weak point to infiltrate and plant malicious code into your application and cause serious damage.
You can use some testing tools to ensure that your code is difficult to crack, and if any vulnerabilities are found that could be exploited by the hackers, that could be fixed into your code.
Facilitate Encryption For all Your Data
You should ensure that every data and information at rest or is communicated from your application is fully encrypted. This includes the data in your server as well as in transit.
Encryption of data renders it useless for hackers whether in transit, like in the Man-in-the-Middle attacks or internal data on the servers, thus preventing data thefts.
Incorporate Security into the Development Process of The Application
Application security is too crucial a matter to be thought about later. Being proactive in your approach is a better and more effective way of dealing with the most complicated cyberattacks.
Therefore it is always advisable to make security an integral part of the development of the application at a very early stage. So, suppose your developer team is well trained in security.
In that case, it helps to resolve many application security issues that might arise in the future at the very onset, and a lot of pressure on time and security resources are reduced.
This sets a perfect stage for all the support systems in the organization and even users to be trained to understand the importance and risks involved in application security to contribute well towards safe application security practices.
Pay Attention To Rigorous Security Testing
You must ensure a continuous and rigorous security testing of your application to identify, analyze and design solutions to the new vulnerabilities as and when they arise before it swells into a bigger threat and data is lost.
Invest in various security testing tools, scripts, or some automated frameworks to carry out regular testing to identify errors in the application during the development stage or as part of a wider security infrastructure assessment.
This may include threat modeling, emulators, and penetration testing, which is used to evaluate the security of an organization’s infrastructure by simulating a real hacking-like situation by using ethical hacking techniques.
Use Latest Web Technology To Counter Attacks
Be aware and research well about the new web technologies developed to minimize the attacks and integrate them into your applications to reap the maximum benefit to uplift your security health example, a Content Security Policy (CSP) is a technology that adds a layer of security that is designed to target injection attacks including cross-site scripting.
This layer prevents hackers from injecting harmful codes to steal sensitive user data from applications. Similarly, other technologies are available to mitigate other complex attacks like DDoS attacks to protect your application.
Take Regular Software Updates
You must engage in taking regular updates for your operating system and always use the latest version. This will keep your application safe from malicious intents of cybercriminals that try to take advantage of vulnerabilities of older versions to launch an attack.
You can also download updates for your applications directly from the authorized vendor or the open community to secure your application.
Organize Web Applications And Prioritize their Security
You must organize all the applications used in your organization and identify their roles to know any hidden malicious application running without being noticed.
You could prioritize their security based on the critical roles they are playing in the organization. e.g., you could provide extra security to those applications that carry sensitive customer information and could be on the most favored list of hackers.
In conclusion, we can say that in today’s security environment, incorporating security into the application development by developers, vigorous security testing, security awareness, inculcating best security practices in our daily online habits, and some more measures as discussed above can greatly minimize the risk of cyber attacks on applications and make cyberspace a happy experience for everyone.