7 Steps to Secure Your Web and Mobile Applications
May 3, 2022
Today, it is exceedingly common for web and mobile applications to capture significant amounts of sensitive and confidential corporate and customer data. At the same time, the number of cyber threats has only increased, making it vital for all organizations to secure their applications.
Like Quality Assurance (QA) testing, security testing is vital to the success of any application development project as it uncovers vulnerabilities that could compromise the application.
Additionally, the use of security tools can shield applications from a variety of threats. These tools work to identify security issues and attacks in real time that can lead to a loss of revenue, cripple operations, and damage brand image.
To enhance the security of your web and mobile applications, we have compiled the best practices to follow.
Best Practices for Securing Web and Mobile Applications
Define and Implement a Cybersecurity Framework
For large organizations, having a formal cybersecurity policy and strategy is highly recommended. For those looking to draft their framework for the first time, it is a good idea to begin with established industry standards. Overall, establishing a framework will provide a blueprint for maintaining the security of your applications.
Take Inventory of your Assets
Organizations can have a plethora of digital assets including applications, web services, and APIs. Understanding how your digital assets are connected to one another is key to your ability to secure them. As a result, it is crucial to take inventory of all of your digital assets.
Incorporate Security in SDLC
When building or updating web applications, it is important to incorporate web security into the SDLC. Using Open Web Application Security Project’s (OWASP) OWASP Top 10, the SANS Institute’s SANS web application security checklist, and automated scans can proactively reveal vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the code, making them easier to correct.
Perform Security Audits
A key to cybersecurity is being to stay one step ahead of those who are looking to attack your application. Understanding an app’s vulnerabilities, especially the most critical ones, is essential to this mission. Here, the use of an external security audit can provide the information needed to detect weaknesses and areas of risk and patch them before an attack happens.
Use Tools to Monitor Security
Since vulnerabilities and attacks can rear their ugly heads at any moment, your cybersecurity strategy should incorporate the use of advanced security tools that can autonomously monitor the application for threats and new vulnerabilities in real time. Doing so can enhance your ability to prevent attacks and even detect them as they occur.
Web applications often rely on a multitude of components, and making sure they are updated is important. When using a CMS and plugins, take the time to ensure that you are using the latest versions to enhance the site’s security. These software updates contain crucial bug fixes and often include security improvements to close vulnerabilities, which make it harder for hackers to exploit known security flaws.
Test Logins and Password
For applications with login portals, it is essential to make sure they are secure and protected. One way to do this is by using two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access. Additionally, freezing accounts after several unsuccessful login attempts provides significant security.
When new accounts are created, require users to create passwords that contain at least eight characters and include lower and upper case letters and special characters. This will go a long way toward providing greater protection against brute force or dictionary attacks.