Top 10 Application Security Best Practices

Top 10 Application Security Best Practices

  • 16th Dec, 2021

Mobile and web applications have become part and parcel of our lives. They have just simplified our lives. Whether it’s adjusting room temperature in your smart home, or buying an air ticket to your favorite holiday destination, whether it’s accessing your drug store or ordering your favorite pizza, all these have been made possible through the use of applications. However, this barrage of advantages comes with a whole set of disadvantages: Applications have become the primary target for hackers, being the most vulnerable to attacks. Application security is a continuous process that begins at development and goes on even after it has been released to the end-user.

Below is a list of the top 10 application security best practices.

Adopt the OWASP Top Ten Document

This document contains a comprehensive list of the top ten threats that developers need to be aware of. This probably is the most important thing to consider since it will enable you build an application that has been secured with fewer chances of security-related incidents.

The OWASP top ten list covers risks such as broken access controls, cryptographic failures, injection, insecure design, and security misconfiguration.

Train Users on Security

You need to cultivate a culture of training for app developers and other employees/users. This might need the services of experienced security experts who will dig into the finer details of application security. Today users have become one of the biggest threats to application security due to intentional/ unintentional errors.

Also, Read: The First Line of Defence: A Strong Password

Penetration Testing

We can never emphasize enough on the need to frequently conduct pen tests on your applications. Pen testers will dig through your system comprehensively in a bid to find any vulnerabilities that can be exploited. If a pentester can access your application data then you can be rest assured that a hacker will do the same.

Implement Least Privilege Strategy

Give users privileges/rights that are only enough for them to do what they are meant to do, and nothing more. Giving users privileges that are not necessary significantly broadens the attack surface. Application admins need to be careful on this and always ensure that any user access right that is no longer relevant is revoked immediately.

Patch your Applications

Most hackers will exploit well-known vulnerabilities that have to do with outdated programs. Installing the latest security patches is one of the most effective ways of maintaining application security.

Examine all Ingress and Egress Traffic

Using a Web Application Firewall, you can set rules on the kind of traffic that can be allowed into and out of your system. This will give you some level of control over what comes in and goes out.

Data Encryption

This can be done using secure protocols such as SSL/TLS and HTTPS to encrypt data. We can also use specialized encryption software. Encryption can be used to safeguard data both in transit and at rest.

Risk Assessment

Conduct a thorough evaluation of the application and cover all security related aspects. This will help you understand existing threats and come up with ways to counter them.

Application/OS Hardening

This is the process of securing a computer system by eliminating potential vulnerabilities and reducing its attack surface. This is done by coming up with policies that will govern it in a more secure manner. Hardening should not be limited to the specific application but it ought to be extended to the entire Operating System.

Automation of Processes

Handling application security can be a tall order if everything were to be done manually. This is due to the ever-increasing number of vulnerabilities and attacking strategies that cybercriminals are coming up with on a continual basis. One would be literally overwhelmed by the huge number of security issues that emerge every now and then. Automating some of the basic processes will allow the IT security teams to focus on and deal with more complicated and serious issues.

Also, Read:

How Managed Security Providers Help Organizations Achieve their Security/Business Objective.

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Log4j vulnerability and the impact

Cyber Security Compliance and Regulation in India

Benefits of Having an Information Security Program in an Organization

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