10 things to include in your web application security checklist
The rapid advance of technology in our world has led to web and mobile applications becoming extremely complex. While this means that developers can easily and quickly release new apps and features, this advance comes at a price. With more complexity, there are also more security risks. To build a successful app, you must ensure that your product is safe from outside threats. We at iTrobes have put together a web application security checklist you can refer to while you build an app. This checklist outlines some of the most essential parts of a robust security process.
Here is your web application security checklist
1. Follow a DevSecOps approach
DevSecOps (which is short for development, security, and operations) is an approach to building web applications that includes security measures at every step of the development lifecycle of your app. In the past, organizations would bring in IT security personnel in the later stages. However, with the rise of more sophisticated cybersecurity attacks, you must be vigilant from day one. Adopting a DevSecOps approach will help you eliminate potential threats as soon as they arise. It will also help your organization become proactive about security.
2. Track your assets in real-time
The next item in our web application security checklist might be a no-brainer, but it is still crucial. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what assets exist, there is no way that you will be able to protect them. With the help of a real-time asset inventory system, you can keep an eye on all the devices in your network at any given time. You will also be able to detect any new additions to your network immediately and work quickly to counter any devices that are taking harmful actions.
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3. Invest in the latest technology
While you may want to cut costs, you cannot afford to cut any corners while securing your applications. Modern technology like AI, machine learning, and automation has completely revolutionized the security management process. For example, if you integrate automation with a WAF (web application firewall), you will be able to remedy any breaches in security instantaneously. Of course, you will still need to send in developers to fix the breach permanently. However, if your technology virtually creates a security patch for you, it will ensure that you do not lose a lot of data.
4. Regularly conduct pen tests
Penetration testing (or pen testing for short) is a way to check the vulnerabilities of your application by simulating a cyber attack against it. You would usually do this to ensure that your WAF is working as expected. This part of your web application security checklist has to be performed by a human being so that you can find flaws your automated tools might not pick up. Make sure you invest in experienced personnel who will do a thorough job.
5. Engage in patch management
Patch management can be used in several different ways, but security is one area where it is especially helpful. You can protect your web application from potential security breaches by patching the vulnerabilities in your environment. To do this, you will first need to create a complete list of assets that are associated with your firewalls and antivirus tools. Then, you will have to assess the risk associated with each tool and prioritize your web application security testing.
6. Authorise only when you need to
Giving all your employees access to all your data is the worst possible idea. Instead, make sure that you only give people access to what they need to do their job well. This is called the principle of least privilege, and you should use it for software as well. This is especially important for modules that have to perform actions; you do not want any data to accidentally be leaked or misused.
7. Encrypt all your data
This is a necessary element of your web application security checklist. You must ensure that you encrypt all sensitive information – like usernames and passwords – regardless of whether it is at rest or being transmitted. You can use an SSL certificate to authenticate your website and establish an encrypted connection between your server and a web browser accessing your application.
8. Report and document your entire process
Doing this gives you a solid foundation on which you – or anyone else – can build. This will ensure that you are prepared in case things go wrong. If you have a written guide of what to do in emergencies, all relevant personnel will have an idea of their role in solving the problem. However, if your reports are not up to date, they can cause more harm than good.
9. Validate all input
While input validation cannot be relied on to stop all threats, this technique can provide security to certain forms of data. At every step of execution, your application has to be able to ensure that your program is in a safe state to proceed. You can do this by filtering, scrubbing, or rejecting data whenever it is passing from one step to another. In this way, you can ensure that your users’ sessions are not hijacked or redirected to any malicious sites.
10. Improve your AppSec capabilities
Finally, you must ensure that your entire organization is constantly working towards improving the security of your web application. The more complex your code, the more complex your security solutions have to be. You also have to ensure that you are always one step ahead of cybercriminals who may be looking to steal data from you or your users.
Need help with your web application security checklist?
iTrobes is a web design and web development company that can help you build an efficient and secure web application. We can help you create a (more) concise checklist for web application security that is tailored precisely to your needs, and we will work with you at every step of the way to ensure that your application is robust. Contact us today to start building your application!