Web security is of paramount importance to organizations as any breach of data or information can put the company’s business reputation at stake. Consumer data, financial and monetary information may be easily compromised.
Thus, business owners need to understand the risks associated with online security and take the required action to safeguard their web applications. The number of DDoS attacks has also increased over the years and is expected to grow further in the future. There are different methods that may be implemented by companies to reduce the possibilities of running into web application related security problems.
Best web application security practices for entrepreneurs
Web application security is increasingly becoming a challenge for all organizations today as most of the cyber attacks are targeted at web applications. With the growth of technologies such as cloud computing, open-source technologies, and the complexity of web applications-hackers are using sophisticated means to attack enterprise networks.
- Build a web application threat model
Companies need to meet the growing demands of their customers with new applications, payment solutions, customer portals and market integrations being developed at a rapid pace. There should be a record of a number of applications, last updated, their terms of usage where most businesses fail to do so. Companies should have an application database along with a number of application details. The details of If possible, deployment mode, application layers, security methods used in-app should be listed.
- Maintain inventory of your web applications
It may be helpful to have a database of applications in the form of an inventory sheet comprising of details of the number of applications including their use, last updated version along with future plans. Make sure to include all applications in the list and jot down the deployment mode, layers contained within the application along with the current security methods used for the app.
- Install SSL certificate
There are many benefits of switching over to HTTPS for your web-based application including enhanced speed, higher SEO and improved Google page rankings. SSL certificate also helps to boost trust and confidence among your website visitors. Once you install an SSL certificate on your website, it means that it is verified by the certificate authority, server, and the browser. When the encryption is enabled, it allows users to securely browse your website without the data falling prey into the wrong hands.
- Rank applications as per priority
Once you’ve finished making an inventory of your web application, the next task is to sort them priority-wise. Start sorting the applications in different categories-Critical, Serious and Normal otherwise you may lose focus.
Critical-This category is mainly for external facing apps that focus on sensitive customer-related data and transactions. Hackers are more likely to target these apps which means that these apps need to be tested and fixed on high priority.
Serious-Serious applications may be both external and internal with the sensitive company and customer information.
Normal-Hackers will test and fix apps as they may not have direct knowledge of these apps.
Create an additional category for apps that are no longer useful. Update the inventory sheet after completion of the task. Follow Cyber-attack prevention tips and secure your data.
- Analyze your app for any vulnerabilities
Check through your list of web applications, you need to test them thoroughly to come up with a list of vulnerabilities which you need to prioritize based on their severity. On average, there are at least 20 vulnerabilities that may be found in any application and not all of them are severe to result in a data loss. However, it may not be possible to test all the vulnerabilities but it’s best to focus on the most critical ones. To get an in-depth analysis of threat agents, security weakness, OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) will be there.
- Run applications using few privileges
Despite testing your application for vulnerabilities, you may still not be able to figure out all vulnerabilities correctly as each web application has specific privileges across local and remote computers. These need to be adjusted accordingly to enhance the security of your web application. Use least permissive settings for all your web applications and only authorized people may be allowed to make changes to the settings with full access allowed only for system administrators.
It may take time and effort with proper planning for implementing web application security practices, but it’s essential to build a solid foundation by finding and fixing vulnerabilities for preventing hacking attempts. In addition, its important to collect data for security intelligence, DDoS patterns and visibility with a clear roadmap to securing your web applications.