11 Web Application Security Best Practices You Should Know
The demand for web applications is increasing over the globe because it offers various benefits such as cross-platform compatibility, reduced costs, enhanced performance, higher security, etc. Hence, many businesses and startups create web applications that reach a wider audience or help them execute their daily tasks efficiently.
With the increasing craze of web applications, various cybercriminals have started attacking these web apps to fetch sensitive data and conduct malicious practices. Moreover, web application attacks are increasing every year.
Hence, it has become crucial to consider web application security to protect essential data and other business resources. Moreover, web application security is essential to avoid various attacks from cybercriminals.
If you are also facing critical security issues in your web application, it is time to consider web application security. We have been building highly secure and scalable web applications for businesses & startups worldwide. Hence, we understand the value of web application security.
In this blog, we will provide the importance of web application security. Also, we will look after best practices to protect any web application.
Before we move on, let’s go through the basics of web application security.
What is Web Application Security?
Web application security is known as the method of securing web servers, web applications, and web services like APIs from attacks happening on the internet. In other words, it is an action of locating, resolving, and eliminating vulnerabilities that cause attacks on web applications from hackers.
In general, cybercriminals usually attack content management systems, database management tools, and SaaS applications.
Importance of Web Application Security
Web application attacks can happen at any time. The result of these attacks is very bad. Therefore, below are some of the points that define the importance of web application security:
- To prevent the loss of susceptive data
- Security is much more than the testing
- It is crucial to retain business reputation and reduce losses.
What are the Web Application Security Vulnerabilities?
Web application security vulnerabilities are basically the weaknesses in an application resulting in security breaches or misuse. These vulnerabilities occur because of misconfigured web servers, web app design flaws, and inappropriate form inputs.
Here are some of the most common web application security vulnerabilities:
SQL injections: This type of attack happens when the attacker inserts malicious data to attack directories or databases.
Broken Authentication: In this vulnerability, the attacker hacks various crucial details of the users.
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF): The vulnerability encourages a user to perform certain actions in a web application that the user is accessing.
Apart from these, businesses across the globe face many other web application security vulnerabilities.
Web Application Security Best Practices
Here is the complete web application security checklist you should consider to protect any web application.
Encrypt Your Web App Data
Encrypting the data is one of the oldest yet well-known practices to secure a web application. Here, you need to encrypt all the sensitive data in the web application. These include passwords, credit card details, passphrases, demographic data, personal details, etc.
Here, one needs to encrypt data-at-rest as well as the data in transit. By doing this, the data will only be accessible by users with proper permissions.
Apart from protecting these data, you should ensure that a web application is up-to-date with the latest SSL certificate. Also, a web application should be HTTPS secure.
Lastly, you should ensure that all the user IDs and passwords should be encrypted using the best hashing algorithms. It helps you to protect web application data efficiently.
Monitor Your Web App Assets
Knowing what you have used in the web application is highly essential to protect any web application. Tracking your web app is one of the web application security best practices.
Here, you should list all the types of web applications developed and used in the organization. You should also have all the details of the servers in which web apps are stored and the components used in the web applications.
It will help you to know which assets your web application is utilizing. Moreover, it will save a lot of time in the long run.
Carry Out a Threat Assessment
Threat assessment is an essential point in the web app security checklist. For protecting any web application, it’s crucial to identify the potential threats.
First, you need to identify the total number of threats in your web application to curb them. Carry out some of the steps given below to identify threats.
- Think about all the paths that an attacker can utilize to hack the web application
- List out all the security measures that you have taken against it.
- What kind of tools you will require to protect your web app against threats.
A thorough assessment will help you integrate the best security measures into your web application. However, combining all these things in the web application doesn’t guarantee the complete protection of the web app.
Avoid Security Misconfigurations
Incorporating a structured build and deploy process will help to integrate various things in the web application efficiently. Also, you can test all the things before deploying them. Moreover, it will help to prevent you from multiple attacks.
Consider Automation for Managing Web App Attacks
Automation is one of the best web application security solutions to manage & resolve attacks.
Developers have become extremely careful about vulnerability management. Developers take the utmost care while working on the web application by implementing the best security practices. Despite this, there is no guarantee that your web application will protect you from any attacks.
An organization should integrate an automatic tool such as a web application security scanner. The scanner detects all the attacks at an early stage, decreases the possibility of human errors, and resolves all things effectively.
Define and Adopt a Cybersecurity Framework
A cybersecurity framework consists of many documents or guidelines valid for an organization to protect its security.
Here, an organization has an exclusive right to set up its own security controls, risk assessment methods and defend the data from any attacks. Hence, it is recommended for organizations to adopt a customized cybersecurity framework.
Even though big organizations heavily adopt the cybersecurity framework, small & medium scale companies can also choose several suitable policies.
Have a Close Look on Web App During Patching
Patching a web application is very important from time to time. If you neglect these things in the web application, it can become vulnerable to bugs, attacks, etc.
However, while patching the web application or any of its third-party libraries, it is essential to watch the process extremely carefully. Why?
If you don’t take care of the patching, it might result in some serious vulnerabilities in your web application. To resolve vulnerabilities related to patching, you can post vulnerability details in security advisories or forums, which can further help you resolve the web application.
Conduct Extensive Quality Assurance & Testing
One of the best practices for web application security is to conduct extensive quality assurance and testing.
Here, it is essential to carry out an appropriate manual testing process of the web application. However, adding another layer of security in the web application will help you identify any loopholes in the process.
Moreover, the quality assurance and testing will allow you to enhance user experience, prevent any kind of attacks, and improve the brand’s image.
Update Dependencies Regularly
In this ever-changing scenario, updating all the running libraries and tools would be highly beneficial. If you fail to do so, then you might face various security vulnerabilities in the web application. You might also face issues regarding security, performance, etc.
Therefore, it is imperative to update the dependencies to the latest version. It protects a web application from a vast number of vulnerabilities, enhances performance, reduces maintenance tasks, etc.
Prioritize Vulnerabilities in Web App
One yet another essential web app security best practice is to prioritize vulnerabilities. Whether you have a single web app or multiple web apps, they will contain web app vulnerabilities.
You can identify vulnerabilities that you need to eliminate and leave the rest by prioritizing them.
Primarily there are five ways through which you can prioritize the vulnerabilities.
1. Severity: It means emphasizing the critical and high severity vulnerabilities depending on the CVSS(Common Vulnerability Scoring System) rating.
2. Application Type: Web applications with sensitive data need to be addressed first.
3. Popularity: Based on the popularity of the vulnerability among the hackers, one can prioritize the vulnerabilities.
4. Disclosure Date: Some organizations aren’t able to continuously look after a wide range of vulnerabilities. That’s why they set a date to start resolving the vulnerabilities.
5. Ease of Remediation: One can prioritize the vulnerabilities and resolve them based on the level of correction required.
By utilizing the most suitable method and focusing on the handful of vulnerabilities, you can resolve them instantly and save time.
Utilize Cookies Securely
The utilization of cookies is yet another best practice for securing a web application. Cookies are adopted by businesses and users worldwide.
Cookies are mainly used to identify the users and provide a better experience. Moreover, they provide a faster as well as a personalized experience to the users.
If the cookies are exposed or compromised, hackers can pretend to be another person and gain privileges in a web application.
To protect the user’s data, you should consider some essential things. Firstly, you should never store any kind of sensitive data of the users in cookies.
Secondly, you should decide on a fixed date of expiration for the cookies. Lastly, always encrypt all the cookies of the users.
By implementing all these things in cookies, you can increase web application security.
Here we conclude our in-depth guide on web application security. You must have understood the importance of web application security and the best practices to remove threats in a web application.
If you have decided to create a highly secure web application, then reach out to us.
Guru TechnoLabs is a popular web application development company. We implement best practices to create web applications for clients worldwide. Hence, we can understand your idea and deliver the web application with utmost security.