Best Practices to Secure Web Applications against Cyber Security Threats and Vulnerabilities

Web applications are very vulnerable and prone to various potential cyber security threats, which can lead to security and privacy breach. If not properly secured, it can lead to infiltration of outside access to your information database thus putting important sensitive business information, monetary transactions, and other business secrets at risk. It could also result in serious financial loss, a negative impact on the reputation of the business and distrust among the consumers of the business.

Cases of such severe cybersecurity threats are increasing day-by-day in various regions across the globe. Hence, it is utmost important to take the necessary measures to ensure the security of your applications. This is the reason that most web development companies, including a few Top Android App Developers, are providing such security measures as a part of their Progressive Web Development Services.

There are a number of security measures that can be undertaken to minimize the risk of cyber threats. Although they do not guarantee 100% security, yet, they can help you in lowering the risk of threat to a great extent. You can also approach Software developers for availing such software development services relating to cybersecurity and protection. Following are a few best practices you can adopt to secure your web applications:

Create a web application threat model:

Business enterprises use a number of web applications at the same time for carrying out different functions. This is the case mostly seen in case of Mobile Application development company. This sometimes results in an unorganized system of applications due to lack of time. Some might not even have the idea about all the applications they are using and the purpose of the same. In order to create a threat model or blueprint, the first step would be to prepare a list of all the applications being used by the business, their uses, future use etc. This would help you in identifying the potential vulnerabilities and taking the correct step towards patching them.

Prioritize your web applications:

It is very important to prioritize all the applications in different categories based on their usage and criticality. The apps which deal with customer data, monetary transactions and other sensitive information can be put at the top of the list as compared to the ones which do not deal with sensitive information. Apps, which no longer serve any purpose, should also be a part of the list placed at the bottom of the list. This way, it will be easier and less time-consuming in identifying the risks and deciding the remedies for the relevant apps.

Analyze, Prioritize and fix your app vulnerabilities:

Next step would be best the vulnerabilities for the relevant app. Once you test, you will get a massive list of potential vulnerabilities. It is not possible and convenient to fix all the vulnerabilities. Hence, you need to prioritize the vulnerabilities the basis of the risks they pose. Some vulnerabilities are not severe enough to lead to any data breach or financial loss. Hence, it is not mandatory to fix those. That is why making a priority list is important to identify severe threats. Once the vulnerabilities are prioritized, the next step would be to fix them by adopting the requisite measures.

Run Applications Using the Fewest Privileges Possible:

Web applications generally have various privileges, which can be used while accessing the applications and other websites. These privileges can be adjusted in settings to enhance the security of the apps/websites. Business enterprises should keep in mind to keep the minimum privileges available to its workers and employees. Only highly authorized people should have access to all the privileges and be able to make any changes in security settings if required.

Using cookies securely:

Cookies make the use of the Internet and web application extremely convenient for all users. They help in remembering the past viewed websites, making future visited easy, faster and customized. That is the reason they are also highly used by business enterprises. But, cookies could lead to high-security threats if not used securely because hackers can easily manipulate them. A few ways by which you can use cookies securely are as follows:

  • Do not use cookies for remembering sensitive information such as passwords
  • Keep shorter expiration date for cookies
  • Encrypt the information that is stored in cookies

Develop a secure password reset system- Every website and web application allows the option of resetting one’s password when required. This involves a set of security questions to be answered. It is a common practice to keep very simple and easy security questions for resetting their password to fast track the process. This leads to easy reset of passwords by hackers, as they are easy to guess. Hence, it is always advised to keep such security questions, which are difficult to guess.

Use of web applications security tools and suggestions-

There are various Advanced Web Application Security Measures, which could help you in securing your web applications. A few of them are listed below:

  • By redirecting HTTP traffic to HTTPS
  • By implementing x-xss-protection security header to prevent cross-site attacks
  • Use of strong passwords and updating passwords periodically
  • Monitor Apps: Monitoring your critical apps at a regular interval will provide an insight into the vulnerabilities, their sources, and purpose
  • Retire applications: It is utmost important to completely get rid of old apps as ignoring them could be dangerous for the business
  • Maintain a session timeout, denying multiple sessions from a single user, having a content security policy, using un-writeable file systems etc.

Strict dealing of harmful user inputs-

It is very important to monitor and filter user entries before accepting them. If not monitored properly, malicious users and hackers can easily send harmful information to your application. Few ways to keep a check on harmful user entries are as follows:

  • Never play unfiltered user entries. You can use HTML encoding to convert the potentially harmful script into a readable or displayable format.
  • Do not store unfiltered user entries in your database.

Do not store confidential information in a hidden field which is easily locatable or a cookie, because they are easily accessible.

Amit Agrawal Founder and COO at Cyber Infrastructure (P) Limited which is an IT services provider such as custom application development, mobile application development, creative web design, Microsoft solutions, SAP solutions, open source development, Java development, Oracle development, big data solutions, digital experience solutions, CAD/CAM architectural services, testing automation, infrastructure automation and cloud, digital marketing, ITeS, etc