Application Security helps keep your applications secure by finding, fixing, and improving the security of applications. Cybercriminals have intensified their attacks on the applications, thus the need to keep your apps safe. Attack on your application leaves the users’ information exposed to theft and abuse by cybercriminals and leads to a loss of millions of dollars.
Keeping your application security is a process that starts from the code creating process up to the deployment stage. It would help if you kept up with the best practices and technologies to ensure you are always ahead of the application attackers. Although 100% application security is not always guaranteed, app developers can take up measures that significantly reduce the attacks.
Here are the 10 application security best practices you should have to keep your apps and software secure.
1.Create and Adopt a Web Application Security Framework
To stay at the top of your application security, you first need a well-structured plan. If there is no organized approach, then you will end up exposing your application to cyber-attacks unknowingly.
Create a formal policy document that is detailed and actionable to guide you through securing the application. Have a checklist to ensure you have covered all important areas of the security application.
2. Create a Secure Code
Most attackers will identify the weak points in the security of your application to launch an attack. If your security code is not quite strong, the attackers will reverse its engineering and interfere with it. As you develop the app, have it in mind that the code must be secure. Complicate the security code so that the attackers cannot reverse its engineering.
Run a couple of tests to ensure it is hard to break as you fix any loopholes that the attackers are likely to use.
3. Your Data Should Be Encrypted
You should have measures in place to ensure that every data and information exchanged through your application is encrypted. Encryption is the formulation of information into symbols or alphabets that only the users or developers can read because they have access to the encryption key. If you lose this information to criminals, they cannot attack your application as the data is meaningless to them.
5. Consider Your Vulnerabilities
Looking back at the common web security flaws, you will realize that some bugs keep on appearing back years after years. As an app developer, you have to realize that recurring bugs aren’t common vulnerabilities, and you should find a way of eliminating them.
However, you should note that vulnerabilities are not easy to eliminate. As you solve the existing ones, new ones arise. It would help if you only focused on eliminating the most threatening vulnerabilities. As an app developer, you need to work together with the security professionals to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities from the root cause and not just fix bugs.
6. Arrange and Prioritize Web Applications
Your business relies on several applications to run its day to day operations. It is possible to miss out on which application is performing in which role. Additionally, most companies have rogue applications running, oblivious of this until things start going wrong. You need to sort out every application and understand its role.
Once you have identified the applications, arrange them in the order of priority. If you don’t prioritize the importance of applications like this, it is hard to secure the important applications.
Group them from the most critical, important, and normal applications. Usually, the critical applications contain information about your customers, and hackers heavily target them. Therefore, you should manage them first. Secondly, the important application contains sensitive information for both the external and internal information about your company. Lastly, normal applications are less likely to get attacked, but running tests is important.
Categorizing them in this order allows you to run extensive tests on the most critical ones and vice versa to save on resources.
7. Integrate Security into the Software Development Stage
Preventing an application attack from happening in the first place is better than dealing with it later on. It is important to ensure that your app developers are well trained on application security. It ensures that the developers are involved in the security process, which helps avoid gross security issues from arising in the future. The proactive approach speeds up the development stage and avoids overworking the app security professionals in case of security.
In addition to the app developers understanding the importance of application security, everyone in the company must understand its importance. If the users do not understand the risk of insecurity, they may unknowingly expose the application to vulnerabilities. Educating the users will also enable them to identify these vulnerabilities and act on eliminating them.
8. Use Latest Web Technology to Minimize Attacks
In addition to securing the application code, you should integrate technology to ensure the application is deployed and well used. Different types of security measures mitigate different types of attacks. For instance, the DDoS security measures protect your application from DDoS attacks on an operational level. The CSP helps in protecting your application against XSS attacks.
9. Update Regularly
Ensure to patch your operating system with the latest versions. If they are not updated, chances are you could be exposing your application to attacks. You can patch your application with updates from the commercial vendors or open-source community to ensure your application is always secured.
10. Test Your Defenses Regularly
Keeping your application security is a continuous process that you should test regularly. Even if you have a robust defense system in place with high vulnerability scanning solutions, attackers can find their way into trespassing your application. If new threats emerge, you need to be ready with new solutions. Therefore, you should invest in periodic penetration testing, emulators, and threat modeling to test vulnerabilities regularly.
Application security is a necessity that every company should invest in. An attack on the application leads to loss of trust from the users, and not to mention millions of losses. Securing your application is a continuous process that you should integrate when creating the first code and continuous testing once it has been deployed.