If you want to make your Application successful then you will need to ensure that it is functional but more importantly you should make sure that it is safe and secure to use. Therefore, getting started with web application development you should first get started with web application security.
Over the years and more so within the last couple of years, there have been tremendous advancements, influx, and use of web applications. It has changed dramatically just has web services and other technologies that are used to access or share information.
You will find that most of the businesses today have shifted almost all of their operations online. This is to ensure that their employees can work even from remote offices and their partners from different countries. It has made sharing data and information more easily in real-time making their collaborative effort to reach towards the common goal further easy.
However, business data, facts, and figures are all very sensitive and therefore should be shared safely.
- This need has brought in the modern Web 2.0 and HTML5 web apps.
- Add to that, the changes in demands of the customers have also given rise to these apps that allow them to access any data any time or any day.
These online web applications are pushing businesses higher up in their growth and success ladder making all data available online easily.
These web apps have significantly helped the banking industry that has come up with their dedicated online banking systems as well as the ecommerce industry with their online shopping websites.
The risk factor
Here come the risks in using web applications. In spite of all these advancements in web applications, the risk of the scammers and malicious hackers being attracted to it cannot be eradicated completely. In fact, they seem to come up with better and newer attack vectors that make it easier for them to hack into any system and app to gain money illegally.
This has raised concerns of each and every bank, shopping sites, government offices and agencies involved in digital marketing NYC regarding the safety and security aspect. This high concern has given birth to a new industry: Web Application Security.
Securing a web app
Without going into the myths, pros, and cons of web app security, you should focus on how well you can secure your web app to make it popular, useful and result-driven so that the malicious hackers and spammers are kept at bay.
- In order to ensure that your web application is secure, first, you will need to identify all of the probable vulnerabilities and security issues within the app itself. This should be done on a continual basis so that you come to know of these issues before any hackers know about it and use it for their best and unfair interests. Ideally, web developers check for the vulnerabilities in a web application throughout the SDLC stages instead of only once done when the application goes live on the web.
- Next, you should scan the web application using an automated web application security scanner. This will ensure that you identify the technical issues and vulnerabilities in the app as soon as it develops and secures it.
However, this will not help you with identifying the logical vulnerabilities in the app environment overall or any of its components. To identifythe logical vulnerabilities in a web app, you will have to accompany your automated checks for technical vulnerabilities for SQL Injection, Remote Code execution, Cross-Site Scripting, and others with the manual audit.
This manual analysis testing numerous combinations will help you to avoid any major adverse impact on the operation of the app that these logical vulnerabilities are known to do.
Securing other components
There are several different components of a web app and the webserver is one such element that determines how well your app will perform. Securing this is also required to ensure safety and optimal functionality of your app. It will result in better hosting and running of the app. These elements include:
- Server software such as IIS or Apache
- An operating system such as Linux and Windows
- Database servers such as MS SQL and MySQL and
- A network-based service such as FTP or SFTP that allows updating of the website by the administrators.
These types of security measures are a bit complicated as compared to other typical security measures. There are a few specific security guidelines that need to be applied and followed while ensuring safety and security of type of network and server-based service.
- All unnecessary functionality, daemons, and services should be switched off or disabled to reduce the number of an exploitable entry point.
- All remote access points should be limited and secured as well. Ideally, all administrators can ensure the security of their apps in the best possible way when they ensure that the users can only log in to it locally.
However, if that is not possible in any case then it must be made sure that all remote accesses traffic such as SSH, RDP and others are either encrypted or ‘tunneled’. You will also be able to ensure adequate security in your web app if you remote the remote access, if you really have to provide that, to and from a few definite numbers of IP addresses especially in specific offices.
Privileges and permissions
Lastly, ensure that only accounts with limited privileges though it can be a bit cumbersome initially to finish a specific task. However, there needs to be a perfect balance maintained between practicality and security, functionality and being realistic. Different accounts can be used to do different jobs or alter the configuration of services like FTP, SMTP, DNS, and others. The same principle applies to all other types of applications and services. This approach will limit the damage caused even if one account is attacked by a malicious attacker.
Therefore, research well and take time to analyze every app that you want to run to provide least possible chances of hacking or privileges to the users.