Improving Your Web Application Security

by Figaro Digital

Web application development is often overlooked at the web development stage. This is usually because there is so much to do before a website is launched including the design, code development, and managing the developing process. Responsible website owners know that their website or web app’s security should not be overlooked. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to ensure your website or web app is secure from cyber threats. We are going to look at some ways of improving your web app security.

Get someone to attack your application

To remain proactive in your security practices, it is always a good idea to find any vulnerabilities before malicious third parties find them. This is done by hiring professionals to “attack” your application. These professionals use every technique they know to find vulnerabilities and weak points.

They usually test for the most common types of attacks including SQL injections, cross-site request attacks, data exposure, broken and vulnerable authentication, cross-site scripting, and insecure deserialisation.

Remember to have all these tests done in an isolated environment. Some of these tests will leave your app vulnerable and you do not want it to be in that state while exposed to the internet.

Hire a competent web development company

A lot of businesses think about their website’s security after a breach has already happened. This is the wrong way of thinking. Instead of being reactive, it pays to be proactive. This means hiring a security-conscious web development company from the start. By hiring such a company, you will be eliminating most website vulnerabilities from the start, and your cybersecurity team will then be left to deal with advanced vulnerabilities, hacking, and intrusion attempts. Companies like Appetiser take security very seriously and this is why Appetiser is Australia’s leading web development company. Appetiser designs, builds, and launches robust websites for notable companies and global icons from all over the globe.

Backup your data app

No matter how secure you feel your application is, there is always the chance of something happening. A security breach or malware could wreck your application so be sure you have adequate backups for when it happens. 

The backups can be used to restore your application in case of a catastrophic attack or failure. Having a backup will also ensure that you are down for as little time as possible because being down for too long will negatively affect the way you are perceived by your customers and clients.

Although a lot of web hosts have automatic backups set up, do your own periodical backups to a different system. This way, you have multiple backups in case something happens to both your application and the server, no matter how unlikely.

Scan for vulnerabilities

It is very expensive to hire professionals to try to break into your application every time you update it. Because of this, you should set up automatic scans and checks. Ideally, these tests should happen once a week. Because security scanners and automatic tests might not be able to catch everything, it is still important to have security professionals come in once in a while to check your security systems.

Sanitise user input

As a general rule, you should never trust any information a user submits on your website. That information could be used as part of an attack and this is why it is so important to sanitise user inputs.

This is often done during the web development stage and it helps strip out any malicious code from all user input. These sanitisation checks should be in place before the application is made available to the public.

Update everything

Updates help you take care of a lot of vulnerabilities at once. Remember that most software companies publish what they have fixed while releasing security updates. This means these vulnerabilities get known and if your system is using old or dated platforms, software or scripts, it could be vulnerable to attacks. 

Keep a list of all the software you are using and ensure you update them as soon as you can. If you cannot make the time for it, have a script written that updates all your software.

HTTPS everywhere

Using SSL or TLS is a requirement for all applications you host online. HTTPS protects vulnerable and sensitive data from interception. It also protects login information for your team members and anyone else who might be using your application.

With HTTPS all information sent to and from your web application is encrypted, and becomes useless to anyone who intercepts it. Also, if you are not using HTTPS your website will be flagged by all popular browsers which could lead to a lot of users turning away from using your website.

Conclusion

Improving your web application security is no longer an option in a world where security breaches are on the rise. Because there are so many ways to improve it, there is no reason why you should not be doing it.