How to Strengthen Web Application Security

Security beaches have become a common issue these days and they just seem to be increasing everyday. Yet companies seem to take stern steps only once they have faced it. Studies clearly show that the favoured way of cyber attackers are through web applications. Attackers never leave probabilities to get through your security system. It is important that you shut all doors to the attackers. Here are some ways how to secure web application from vulnerabilities.

 Verify User Input

Even though there are some inputs that are trustworthy but verification is the key to safeguarding your web security. Most of the web application attacks happen because they don’t validate the inputs received. Designing an application must include functions that authenticate all requests received by the application irrespective of whether they are from API call on network or a user filled form. Buffer overrun attacks, information disclosure attacks and SQL injection attacks can easily be lessened if the application doesn’t take action on malformed or invalid requests.

The frameworks for protection against such attacks are improvising and bettering every day. However, this doesn’t seem to dishearten the attackers who are always on a look-out for ambiguities.

A proper validating input is far more complicated that filtering. Applying a tested framework helps in securing the web application to a great extent.

The Risks Within

Next on how to secure web application from vulnerabilities is the risk that you can least expect. Most of the times companies usually worry about the attacks from outside and forget that there are risks within the system also. A user who is not well-educated about the web applications and has freedom on using it will also cause damage to your web security.

Every application must be secured by login and all the users should have a part in that system which outlines what they can do and above that what they are not supposed to do. Defining every users role and privilege over the web application will help to keep the applications and infrastructure secure. Normal users should not intentionally or accidentally see, alter or delete data they don’t have access to.

Servers and Software Should Always be Up-to-Date

Security loopholes will always exist and software companies always release patches and fixes frequently. The point is to be updated about these patches and update your applications. A website which has been hosted on an out of date of unpatched server may lead to susceptibilities. This will make your important files and personal information an open and easy target for the attackers who know how to make their way through these loopholes.

Don’t Always Trust the Tools to Check the Security

Among several breaches that happen, there are malwares that go undetected by the security tools that are in place. Several companies make the mistake of putting security tools in place and think the hands-on-testing is not important. Tools are important and perform their functions however, the hands-on testing should not be left out. For instance, Insecure Direct Object Reference is something that a tool would not be able to detect. An application would offer some type of pointer to record in a database, like an account number. An attacker could change the account number to somebody else’s and if the application is not validating for authorization the attacker would gain access to another users account. Tools usually don’t have the capability of logic, to understand that it is a problem. They are aware whether or not a ‘userzyx’ should have the access to ‘account 000’.

Security Should be Made Part of the Business

Another important point in how to secure web application from vulnerabilities is that security should never come last in your business. Pitching in security after the application has been designed is not acceptable. It is an important constituent of the whole development process and the business as a whole. Security should be made a business requirement. It needs to be clear and authenticated in the quality assurance. Companies cannot have security requirements that are imprecise and cannot be measured. Also the security requirements should have equivalent prominence as functional requirements.

Understand How You Will be Attacked

Knowing your enemy helps you to safeguard your web applications even better. If you wish to build secure web applications then you should apprehend how they could be attacked. Every developer must give time and educate themselves about the techniques which the attackers use to break into the applications. Understanding the methods which the attackers use and then dynamically writing the code that will hinder these techniques is the initial step towards web application security.

Security Focused QA Process

While testing new web applications the testers usually look for bugs in the interface and make sure that the application functions as it should. Companies have to concentrate more on getting a detailed and operational QA process which considers the security more than simply checking to ensure that the application is doing what it needs to do. From the security point of view the developers should look out whether an application can do things it is not supposed to do more than whether or not it is doing what it has to do. Loopholes are created just because the programmers make gaffes and luckily for QA, programmers have a habit of making the same mistake over and over again, irrespective of the platform or language they are working with. If a company succeeds can detect and eradicate these vulnerabilities prior the publishing of the code they are safe.

Even though it is difficult to sum all the points the ones mentioned above are explanations on how to secure web application from vulnerabilities. They will help you secure your web application.  Being on your guard and always keeping an eye on the happenings in your surroundings will help you keep away from security breaches. Always update your system and use the security patches to avoid any attacks on your system.

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