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And we have to admit that along with the increased advancement of security techniques and tools, hackers also become better. It means they can always find ways to discover and exploit your app’s weaknesses. Further, your company needs to follow encryption standards to mitigate back-end interventions web application security practices in data at rest. Some effective activities to secure such information entail encrypting confidential data with robust algorithms and storing them in secure, separate databases. In addition, your company should consider investing in strong network firewalls and infrastructure security.

web application security practices

You can use tools that scan the web apps, such as Abbey Scan, AppScan, AppSpider, and more. Millions of passwords, email addresses, and credit card details were made public. These incidents always lead to losing users’ trust and financial harm to website owners. A web application firewall sits between clients and web servers and serves as a proxy for traffic between them.

Top 10 Web Application Security Solutions

Although SSRF now receives small attention in Mapped CWEs, Designveloper still wants to warn about its increased severity which is a result of architectural complexity and cloud services. This refers to failures invalidating the user’s identity, establishing secure authentication, and managing sessions. This security risk shows up when web applications allow default, known-to-be-weak passwords, use ineffective multi-factor authentication, and more. This failure should be distinguished from development-related flaws which arise during the project development process.

web application security practices

Because CloudFront is one of the cheapest cloud delivery network solutions out there. The AWS Route 53 service allows you to manage your DNS records and has a built-in DNSSEC feature. It is when an attacker changes the origin of your domain and may redirect it to a malicious webpage. You must ensure that at every step of software development, you have integrity in your application. Also, ensure your code remains integrable during the CI/CD (continuous integration/delivery) flow. A CI/CD pipeline is an abstract automated series of steps that must be performed to test, build and deliver the application.

Conduct a Security Audit Testing

In a black box test, the testing system does not have access to the internals of the tested system. A testing tool or human tester must perform reconnaissance to identify systems being tested and discover vulnerabilities. Black box testing is highly valuable but is insufficient, because it cannot test underlying security weaknesses of applications. When these mechanisms do not work, it hinders the application’s visibility and compromises alerting and forensics.

They often perform different types of mock attacks to help you protect against real ones. The added advantage is also the realization of how different security elements are woven together and cannot be treated separately. The idea behind red teaming is to hire an external organization that continuously tries to challenge your security and to establish a local team that is in charge of stopping such attempts. A continuous exercise means that your business is always prepared for an attack.

In general, data from all potentially untrusted sources should be subject to input validation. Nowadays, almost every programming language has a vast number of libraries. Not all are secure and can be trusted, so using only credible ones is highly recommended. In general, WAF can protect you from a lot of different web attacks.


For example, perhaps you want to enhance your overall compliance, or maybe you need to protect your brand more carefully. It should also prioritize which applications should be secured first and how they will be tested. Whether you choose to do so manually, through a cloud solution, through software that you have on site, through a managed service provider or through some other means. With the increasing number of online transactions and sensitive information being transmitted over the internet, it is more important than ever to ensure that web applications are secure.

“Those web application firewalls have their own database of patterns that they keep an eye out for, and that can add another level of protection. An unvalidated forward can allow an attacker to access private content without authentication. Unvalidated redirects allow an attacker to lure victims into visiting malicious sites.

  • The session cookie should be set with both the HttpOnly and the Secure flags.
  • Firewalls are one of the most popular ways to protect software at the entry points to your network, as they analyze all incoming traffic and stop all suspicious activity.
  • Injection is a family of attack methods where malicious code is inserted into browsers or other entry forms.
  • Encrypting data, both at rest and in transit, is a key protection in the event of a breach.
  • WhiteSource helps companies track and audit their open-source dependencies by checking them against a database of known security vulnerabilities.
  • In general, WAF can protect you from a lot of different web attacks.

Through this, he has been able to work with tech companies from the US, India, and Kenya. All in all, you should use diverse security measures, but you should not just believe that purchasing them and giving them to your security team will solve the problem. These security measures must be integrated with your entire environment and automated as much as possible. They are there to reduce the amount of work that the security team has, not increase it. A dedicated security team becomes a bottleneck in the development processes.

Injecting malicious code into web apps is another common way for attackers to implement unintended queries or commands and access confidential data. SQL injection, Cross-site Scripting , or OS command are some most common techniques to incur this flaw. This failure is mainly due to neither checking, filtering nor sanitizing user data.

What application security testing tools are recommended?

When analyzing CVE lists, it’s easy to notice that some types of vulnerabilities recur from time to time (e.g., cross-site scripting , SQL injection, buffer overflow). Determining the root cause when a new vulnerability presents—rather than doing a partial patch—is therefore key to permanently eradicating it. Because developers are also responsible for pushing code into production, it is critical that they receive training from your security team. This training of course should be tailored to the specific developer’s role and security needs. Visibility is the first step toward gaining insight into your organization’s security state, as you can’t secure what you haven’t identified. Knowing precisely which assets make up your applications and software production infrastructure is key.

Logging and monitoring is the process of tracking and recording all data and incidents occurring within the system. Failures in logging and monitoring mean you possibly fail to identify defects that firewalls or scanners hardly discover. Therefore, to avoid this failure, your company needs to establish a business risk profile. This document determines required risk levels and opportunities to help prioritize major threats.

web application security practices

Logging tools like Retrace, Logstash, or Graylog can help collect information on error incidents that occur in your web apps. Logging helps pinpoint the source of a breach and, potentially, the threat actor. Loopholes in an application’s code or operating system can be exploited by cybercriminals to gain access to databases, servers, and other sensitive data. Taking advantage of the sensitive data exposure, hackers then proceed to launch ransomware attacks or other forms of online fraud.

Security Testing

Without SSL-encrypted connections, both websites and applications have weak encryption that can jeopardize the session management and overall security system. See how HTTP vs HTTPS compares and how having an SSL can benefit your site. After completing a security assessment, the following step is to address all of the discovered flaws. A good approach is setting priorities based on the impact level of each type of vulnerability. To ensure a complete and objective perspective on your security audit process, it is best to hire a professional.

How Does Web Application Security Work?

Get rid of ones that don’t actually make any difference to your app and update everything that remains. At the very least, build an update strategy, as updating libraries sounds easier than it actually is. Many developers hesitate to update third-party services for their software because newer versions may lack backwards compatibility and mess up the whole system.

Keep Your Security Tools Close, but Your APIs Closer

Companies are transitioning from annual product releases to monthly, weekly, or daily releases. To accommodate this change, security testing must be part of the development cycle, not added as an afterthought. This way, security testing doesn’t get in the way when you release your product.

See Additional Guides on Key Application Security Topics

APIs usually expose more endpoints than traditional web applications. This nature of APIs means proper and updated documentation becomes critical to security. Additionally, proper hosts and deployed API versions inventory can help mitigate issues related to exposed debug endpoints and deprecated API versions. Injection flaws like command injection, SQL, and NoSQL injection occur when a query or command sends untrusted data to an interpreter. It is typically malicious data that attempts to trick the interpreter into providing unauthorized access to data or executing unintended commands. Vulnerable and outdated components (previously referred to as “using components with known vulnerabilities”) include any vulnerability resulting from outdated or unsupported software.