Best ways to enhance web application security for your enterprise
Corporate businesses largely depend on web applications to bridge their customer base. Indeed, applications have given a large surface for them to sell the prospect services or products via the web. However, the heavy reliance on these applications without adequate security measures has created a backdoor for hackers on the other end. Here is where the need for application security testing as a service sprout tall.
Securing web applications should be considered in the early stages of the project development life cycle. But due to many reasons, developers often overlook the security of web applications. Usually, with increased demand for creative designs, visual appeal and time constraints, security gets compromised here. They spend less time ensuring the security of web applications.
However, we provide a list of actions that enterprises can track considering web application security. In either case of developing applications in-house or a vendor-supplied application, here are some of the top ways to look keenly.
Best ways to enhance web application security
Identify complete application scope
There is a common fact in cyber security “Protect the scoped”. Try listing out or making an inventory of all applications, including your own and third-party applications. Your business can be scattered and wide. But always try to bring our all applications under the eye of cyber vision. Besides your developed applications, there exist intermediary applications used by customers to bridge your application. That must go included as well.
Also, prioritizing web applications based on impact and criticality can be effective. You can revise the application list based on how critically an issue could affect it. Also, you must take a close look at the applications that process card payments. It can help them rank high in the inventory list. As a result, patching gets easy efficient.
Forge cyber security best practices
Creating and following cyber security best approaches/practices can help maintain your application fitness levels. But often, these are not developed and deployed to practice. Ensure there is a unique and solid password policy for your application in use. Likewise, consider enabling multifactor authentication (MFA) on your most critical apps.
While developing apps in-house, ensure that the primary protocol of HTTPS and the latest version of TLS exists. Also, consider configuring the server with security headers such as X-XSS-Protection Security header that can help prevent cross-site scripting attacks to healthy levels. Most application security testing companies will require you to implement these to ensure adequate protection.
Strengthen access rights and credentials
Challenges arise when your business is large and sticks to temporary workers for different operations. So, maintain the complete list of users holding the access rights and credentials in a separate database. It would be helpful for you to grant privileges to new users using applications or revoke access right if any employee leaves/ role changes.
Try deploying the least privilege principle for the process. By doing this, you can limit the rights only to what an employee role demands or requires. It can have good benefits not only by restricting external malicious users but also by eliminating insider threats. Failure to deploy access rights based on the least privilege principle could lead to the risk of application data loss or theft.
Engage with white hat hackers
Profession white hat hackers are used to penetrate applications and detect if there are any security holes or weaknesses. Penetration testing techniques are a part of web application security testing service. Ethical hackers can deeply penetrate your applications, find open vulnerabilities, and fix them before they surface in an attacker’s vision.
Many large-scale businesses put it a challenge for ethical hackers to find if there goes any security flaws in the code or else in the functioning of the app. It is well known as a bug bounty program. These hackers could reflect your application flaws in no time and help determine how well your security controls perform in a real-time attack scenario.
Backup whenever, wherever
Web applications hold large chunks of data which can be sensitive and critical. If your applications don’t have a backup policy enabled, this information is at constant risk. They should be backed up regularly outside the application boundary. Also, it is better not to store it in cloud infrastructures that host your application.
Any risk or loss of data can adversely affect your reputation, fame, and trust of your customer base. Information can be critical and have several aftermaths once stolen or compromised. Regular backup at safe and secure storage places lets you address the situation, and it’s never a too old practice to forget or let go.
Conduct regular security reviews
Web applications might have existing security controls and policies in place. However, without regular security reviews, these are like old-school lessons. Like, were you require constant updation of knowledge, it goes the same for web application security. You need to conduct periodic security reviews of policies and controls deployed.
Nearly half of the data loss happens due to inside errors while handling applications. And half of these insider issues are due to negligence or accidental. Therefore, improved cyber security policies and approaches could help employees and other security personnel better comprehend how to maintain and deploy policies accurately.
Scrutinize vendor security procedures
Application security testing as a service requires businesses to keep an eye on vendor security policies. It means that your security reviews should also scope technology partners. Web applications purchased from vendors often depend on them for many critical functionalities. Therefore regularly reviewing vendor policies and practices is also vital.
The weakest link connected determines how secure your web application stands in the public domain. Nowadays, web apps heavily rely on vendor background services and other elements that prove insecure at times. Many organizations overlook the fact and reflect on issues in the long haul. So, keeping an eye on vendor security policies and spotting their potential vulnerabilities is also a requisite for the complete fitness of your app.
Use web application firewalls
Attacks are becoming more and more persistent and sophisticated against web applications. Filtering inbound traffic and examining web users before making requests to your app goes significant. A web application firewall or WAF filter, observe and block the malicious traffic going in and out of the application service. It also helps understand what traffic is relevant and not.
In contrast to other conventional firewalls, WAF has an advantage in providing greater visibility into critical or sensitive app data travelling through the application layer. Therefore, utilizing WAF can help enterprises prevent application layer attacks that bypass traditional firewalls.
Leverage scanning tools
Scanning tools are a part of web application security testing methodology that helps check for security vulnerabilities. Application security testing companies possess deep knowledge of new threats and configuration issues that affect application security. They leverage automated scanning tools that simulate a real-world attack. It helps you identify security weaknesses existing in your web apps.
The use of automated scanning techniques is a proactive measure to shield and defend threat vectors before it sticks to your app. You can find a wide variety of scanning tools available for testing. However, selecting the right one is significant, and always do mindful research on the same or consult a security vendor.
Consult a security vendor
When it comes to protecting web applications and deploying the best practices of cyber security, partnering with a security vendor is always the beneficial choice. Cyber threats have kept evolving, and your in-house security team often find them hard to handle. They are unable to address ad-hoc needs and long-haul security practices, which ultimately bridges organizations towards application security testing companies.
The complexity of threats and impact of cyber-attacks have indeed made enterprises think and realize the benefits of outsourcing IT security.
Cybercrimes and connected threat vectors can be a chain of activities and trying to fight all alone could be a possible risk to take in the digital tick.
So far, we have unfolded the many ways that help organizations to enhance their web application security to a greater level. With organizations getting more dependent on the usefulness and benefits of web applications, security is something not to go missed. For this, connecting the ideal web application security service for your business is vital. Ensure your security service partner has the right expertise, engagement positivity and a proficient wing of testers capable of delivering the actual requirement.