According to recent research by cybersecurityventures, if cybercrime was a country, it would be the third largest economy. With a projected worldwide cost of USD 6 trillion, cybercrime would be the third biggest economy in the world, behind only the United States and China. And in these circumstances, we all have to take part in protecting ourselves against cyber attacks.
And when we are trying to protect ourselves from cyber-attacks, it is very important to take extra care of our web applications because web applications are particularly susceptible to cyberattacks. By their very nature, firewalls are unable to provide adequate protection for them. Unless they exist on an intranet, they are required to be accessible to anybody and everyone, around the clock. Therefore, malicious hackers have an easier possibility of attempting to attack them.
Common Web Application Vulnerabilities
It is important to understand where web application attacks originate or where to look for them before trying to prevent them. So, here are a few most common web application vulnerabilities:
Poorly developed authentication as well as session management services are often the root of broken authentication. Attacks that exploit broken authentication attempt to gain control of one or more accounts and provide the attacker the same rights as the target user. When hackers are able to utilize compromised passwords, keys, user account information, session tokens, and other credentials to assume user identities, authentication is said to be “broken.”
Here are a few common risk factors that cause broken authentication:
- When authentication credentials are not protected when stored
- Predictable login information
- Session value that persists after logout and is not timed out or invalidated
- Sending session IDs, passwords, and other sensitive information via unsecured networks
It’s no secret that web applications are under constant attack from malicious actors. One of the most common ways these attackers gain access to sensitive data is through injection flaws.
Injection flaws happen when an attacker can put malicious data into a web app, which can then be used to attack the app’s database or directories.
According to the OWASP: Injection vulnerability has ranked #1 in the top ten web application security risks. The CWE (Common Weakness Enumeration) Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Weaknesses list includes a number of injection attacks.
While this may sound alarming, there are steps we can take to protect our web applications from injection attacks. Attackers will find it much harder to use injection flaws in the apps if we follow best practices for coding and database security.
A security misconfiguration happens when important security settings are not set up or are set up incorrectly. These kinds of mistakes create security flaws that make the application, its data, as well as the organization itself vulnerable to a cyber breach or attack.
Here are a few common reasons why security misconfiguration happens:
- Unpatched flaws
- Insufficient access controls
- Unneeded services and features, as well as unused pages
- Insecure XML files and bad coding techniques
XSS (Cross-Site Scripting)
Cross-site scripting, which is abbreviated as XSS, is a form of a computer security flaw that often exhibits itself in web applications. XSS gives attackers the ability to insert malicious code within web pages that other users are viewing. While XSS can be used to launch malicious attacks such as phishing and malware infection, it can also be used for more benign purposes such as displaying humorous messages on web pages.
Even though it could be dangerous, XSS is a fairly easy vulnerability to use, so it is quite common.
Best Practices To Ensure Web Application Security
There’s no silver bullet when it comes to web application security, but there are a number of best practices you can follow to help keep your applications safe. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your applications are protected against common threats.
1. Keep your software up-to-date
There is no hiding the fact that the frequency of cyberattacks is only expected to increase. In fact, they’re now so common that it’s estimated that a cyber attack occurs every 39 seconds! That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re regularly updating your software. By keeping your software up-to-date, you can help protect yourself from these attacks.
So, how often should you be updating your software?
Ideally, you should update your software as soon as a new version is released. However, if you can’t do this, then you should aim to update your software at least once a month.
By doing this, you’ll help to keep your computer safe from the latest threats. And, if you do happen to get attacked, you’ll be able to recover more easily as you’ll have the latest backups.
So, there you have it! Make sure you’re regularly updating your software to help protect yourself from cyber attacks.
2. Use strong passwords
We all know that we should be using strong passwords to protect our web applications from cyber attacks. But, what exactly is a strong password? And why are they so important?
A strong password is one that is difficult for someone to guess. It should be at least eight characters long, and include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
The reason strong passwords are so important is because they are one of the best ways to protect your web applications from cyber attacks. Hackers often use automated tools to try to guess passwords, and if they are able to guess your password, they could gain access to your account and any sensitive information that is stored there.
There are a few other things you can do to help protect your web applications from cyber attacks, but using strong passwords is one of the most important. So, next time you are creating a password, make sure to choose something that will be difficult for someone to guess.
3. Enable two-factor authentication
Two factor authentication (2FA) is an important security measure that can protect your web applications from cyber attacks.
When 2FA is enabled, users must provide two forms of identification in order to access their account. This can be something like a password and a fingerprint, or a password and a one-time code from a mobile app.
2FA adds an extra layer of security, making it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your accounts. Even if they manage to steal your password, they won’t be able to login unless they also have your second form of identification.
2FA is an important security measure for any organization, but it’s especially important for organizations that deal with sensitive data. If a hacker were to gain access to your account, they could potentially access sensitive information or even commit fraud.
Enabling 2FA is a simple way to significantly improve the security of your web applications. It’s an important step in protecting your organization from cyber attacks.
The process of converting data that can be read into a format that cannot be read is known as encryption.This makes it much more difficult for hackers to access your data, as they would need to decrypt it first. Even if they were able to do this, the data would be useless to them as it would be unreadable.
There are many different types of encryption, but the most common and most effective is SSL encryption. When you visit a website that begins with https://, this sort of encryption is employed. You can tell if a website is using SSL encryption if there is a padlock icon in the address bar.
SSL encryption is incredibly important for protecting your web application from cyber attacks. If your website doesn’t use SSL encryption, then it is much more vulnerable to attack. Hackers could potentially access your database and steal sensitive information, or even inject malicious code into your website.
Encryption is not a silver bullet, but it is a vital part of protecting your web application from cyber attacks. If you are not using encryption, then you are putting your data at risk. Make sure that you are using SSL encryption on your website to help keep your data safe.
In 2020 alone, data breaches have taken a huge toll on 155.8 million individuals. And in the first half of the same year, there has been an 800% rise in web application attacks, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Considering these grave figures, web application security should be any businesses’ top concern. Careful steps to mitigate the activities of threat actors should be laid right from the application design phase itself.
Our expert engineers with their product-thinking DNA bring the culture of automation and decentralization by leveraging trending and best-performing APIs, cloud tech, LDEs to minimize operational overheads thereby ensuring the application’s reliability and security. Further, our seasoned developers keep themselves continuously updated with the latest cybersecurity improvements and transfer this knowledge to whatever they are building.
Reach out to us on all your application security that are hindering you from building a future-ready web application.