Security has been one of the critical components when it comes to developing a web application. Web App Developers need to ensure the security of applications as there is a substantial increase in the number of DDoS attacks that have been affecting the overall health of the website.
The situation has been getting worse with each passing year. It has been estimated that there will be a huge rise in the number of DDoS Attacks for the upcoming year 2020 if web app programmers don’t ensure the security of their web applications.
There are security measures that web app developers should follow while developing web applications, though there is no way to guarantee complete 100% security, as unforeseen circumstances can happen over time during the process of web app development.
However, there are security practices that companies can implement to help reduce the chance of running into web application security problems. In this post, I’ve rounded up the top 5 most important web application security best practices to keep in mind as you harden your web security.
1) Create a Web Application Security Blueprint:
You can never hope to stay at the top of web application security practices without having a plan in place. Companies, often take a disorganized approach to the situation and end up accomplishing next to nothing.
To keep things in sync, organizations have to sit through with their IT Security Team, to develop a detailed, actionable web application security plan. It should outline your organizational goals as well.
For instance, you want to enhance your overall compliance, or maybe you need to protect your brand more carefully. It should prioritize which applications should be secured first and how they will be tested. Whether you choose to do it manually, or through a cloud solution, or through a software that you have on-site, or through a managed service provider or through some other means.
Although, each company’s web app security blueprint or checklist will depend on the infrastructure of the organization. Also, if your organization is large enough, your blueprint should name the individuals within the organization who should be involved in maintaining web application security best practices on an ongoing basis.
Finally, you can be sure to factor in the costs that your business will incur by engaging in these activities. Still in doubt, consider web development companies that can help you out in outlining the security blueprint for your web application.
2) Perform an Inventory of your Web Applications:
Organized as you think your company would be, you probably won’t have any idea about which applications your organization relies on a daily basis. In fact, most organizations have many not so useful applications running at any given time and never notice them until something goes wrong.
You can’t hope to maintain effective web application security without knowing precisely which applications your company actually uses.
How many are these applications? Where they are located? Performing such an inventory can be a bit of a task and it is likely to take some time to complete. While performing it, you should make a note of the purpose of each application.
There will be chances that when it is all said and done, there will be many applications that are either redundant or completely pointless. This inventory will come handy for the steps that are about to follow, so take your time and make sure to get every single application.
3) Prioritize your web applications:
After completing the inventory of your web application, the next step is to sort them in the order of priority is the most logical thing. You may doubt it for now, but your list is going to be very long. Without prioritizing which applications to focus on first, you will struggle through to manage a meaningful process.
You can sort your applications into three categories:
- Critical: Critical applications are primarily those that are externally facing and contain customer information. These are the applications that should be managed first, as they are the most likely to be targeted and exploited by vulnerabilities from hackers.
- Serious: Serious applications may be internal or external and may contain some sensitive information.
- Normal: Normal applications have far less exposure, but they should be included in tests down the road.By categorizing your applications, you can plan out extensive testing for critical ones and use less intensive testing for less critical ones. This will allow you to make the most effective use of your company’s resources and will help you achieve progress more quickly
4) Prioritize Vulnerabilities:
As you work through the entire list of web applications prior to testing them, you need to decide which vulnerabilities are worth eliminating and which aren’t. The fact of the matter is that most of the web applications have vulnerabilities.
For instance, if you look at Sucuri’s Q2 hacked websites report, which has analyzed 9000 infected websites and categorized them by the platform.
Eliminating all vulnerabilities is just not possible and or even not worth of your time from all web applications. Even after segregating your applications as per importance, it will take a considerable amount of time to test them all.
By limiting yourself to testing for only the most threatening vulnerabilities, you will save a lot of time and will get through the work a lot more quickly and efficiently.
As far as determining which vulnerabilities to focus on, that really depends on the applications that you’re using. There are a few standard security measures that should be implemented however application-specific vulnerabilities need to be researched and analyzed.
Keeping in mind as well that as testing unfolds, you may realize that you have overlooked certain issues. Don’t be afraid to put the testing on hold in order to collate and focus on additional vulnerabilities. Finally, you will have to remember that in the future, this work will be much easier, as you are starting from scratch now and won’t be later.
5) Run applications using the fewest privileges as possible:
Even after all of your web applications have been accessed, tested and purged of the most problematic vulnerabilities that you aren’t clear about. Every web application has specific privileges and access to both local and remote computers. These privileges can and should be adjusted to enhance security measures in web applications.
Always use the least permissive setting for all your web applications. This means that applications should be buttoned down. Only authorized people should be able to make system changes and the like. You might consider this in your initial assessment. Otherwise, you will have to go back down the entire list adjusting through the settings again.
For the vast majority of applications, only system administrators would want complete access. Most of the users can accomplish what they need with minimally permissive settings.
In the most unlikely event that privileges are adjusted incorrectly for an application and certain users can’t access the features that they need, the problem can be handled when it occurs. It is far better to be too restrictive in this critical situation than to be too permissive.
In this blog, I have tried to list all the best possible web application security practices. It is practically impossible to list out all the possible web app security measures as the security landscape is continuously changing.
However, with the information here, you’re equipped with top 5 best practices to guide you on your journey to building secure applications. Make sure that you use them and consider security as equally as important as testing and performance.
To implement the security in your web application architecture, you must hire a web app developer to keep things going in the right direction through the apt security measures.