Web Application Security: 12 Best Practices You Should Know in 2019

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Oct 2019
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Author : Michael Georgiou
Web App Security Best Practices

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Internet has changed the way businesses used to conduct their operations on computers. Earlier, businesses heavily relied on desktop software apps for day-to-day business operations, now modern web apps have taken over these tools.

Well, there are many benefits of web apps over desktop apps. With the rise of technologies such as cloud and big data, many businesses are slowly investing in web applications.

Web-based applications allow customers of specific businesses to easily access services and products offered by the business.

When users access these web apps, a staggering amount of information is exchanged between the web app server and the end user’s PC. This data is critical and contains sensitive information.

And, obtaining sensitive user information is a lucrative market for criminals. That’s why providing absolute security to your web app is highly important. According to reports, web app security breaches have been increased by 70% in the last five years.

Attackers mainly target websites and web apps of business organizations. Although security is a vital component of the web app development process, it’s often overlooked by business owners. How do you make sure that your web app is safe from cyber-attacks? Let’s see.

Web Application Security Best Practices

Let’s take a look at 12 web application security best practices to make your web apps safe and secure.

Web app security

1. Test Your Web Application

Whether you have an in-house development team or a third-party development partner, make sure the application is thoroughly tested before the launch. Even the best-laid plans can go wrong, and it’s possible that there are security vulnerabilities that you haven’t considered.

So, before you launch your app and push it to your customers, make sure you’ve spent plenty of time testing it.

2. Firewalls

A firewall isn’t just useful for laptops or desktops. It can also be used in the web app to direct traffic and block any malicious activity.

Even if you have adequate risk management resources, a firewall can be a great idea. Firewalls are a budget-friendly option too. Implementing a firewall in the web app won’t cost you much.

3. Create a Written Cybersecurity Policy

Because web app development in 2019 can present many different security challenges, it’s a good idea to create a written cybersecurity policy.

This helps you clearly outline your expectations regarding the actions your employees should undertake to keep private information safe. It and also ensures they’re all on the same page and there is no room for ambiguity in your cybersecurity policies.

4. Data Backups

Someone stealing sensitive information isn’t the only threat to your web app. In fact, some of the most devastating incidents you could encounter might not come from a place of malice at all.

Simply losing large chunks of data could bring your business to its knees and make conducting your daily tasks almost impossible. Backing up your data regularly is one of 2019’s web application security best practices. Keep your backups encrypted and updated, too.

5. Multi-Factor Authentication

There is a reason that some of the tech industry’s largest players have made multi-factor authentication a norm. Without this kind of authentication, it is too easy to access sensitive information via a hijacked account. When you have multi-factor authentication measures in place, attackers will have little to no chance to log into an account.

6. Keep Passwords Secure

Passwords that use a mix of lower case and upper case letters along with numbers and special characters are considered to be highly secure.

For most of us, memorizing passwords is a big headache. In such cases, you can use password vaults to securely save all the passwords at one place.

7. Monitor Privileged Users

It is likely that your business will need to grant certain employees access to your sensitive data. Known as “privileged users”, these employees will have the ability to read and potentially alter the information. It’s a good idea to only grant users as much access as they need to do their jobs well.

Delete the privileged accounts immediately when those using them are terminated, and implement user activity monitoring software to help keep an eye on what users in your network are doing with your data.

8. Control Third-Party Access

There are a few different situations that might require you to grant access to your data to third parties. This includes:

  • Vendors
  • Business partners
  • Suppliers
  • Subcontractors

Much as you should monitor what employees do while accessing your data, you should monitor third-party access. This allows you to limit what data is accessed and tells you who is doing the accessing. Using one-time passwords can also help limit the risk of third-party users.

9. Beware of Phishing

Phishing techniques have become more advanced, with some perpetrators even using phone calls and seemingly-professional emails to convince their victims that they have a genuine need for your data.

You need to be aware of such phishing activities and implement necessary measures to filter out spammy requests.

10. Educate Your Employees

Take some time out to educate your employees about cybersecurity in general.

Give them information about web application security in 2019 and help them adopt smart habits that will help you keep your information safe. Make them assets to your security program.

11. Control IoT Devices

Do you use smart door locks, security cameras, office equipment that is connected to the internet, or even smart doorbells? If so, you have a myriad of potential access points to your network.

To help minimize the risk, keep track of your IoT devices to ensure that they are properly configured and ensure that every point of access to your network is identified.

12. Deploy Essential Web Security Measures

In addition to the above guidelines, there are some other essential web application security measures that must be implemented while developing the web application. Here are some of the basic yet most important web app security measures that are often overlooked:

  • Implement X-XSS protection to prevent cross-site scripting attacks
  • Route all HTTP traffic to HTTPS
  • Use an updated version of TLS
  • Create and implement a content security policy
  • Enable public key pins

Powerful Web App Development to Transform Your Business

Web applications solve specific business problems and help you improve overall business productivity. If you’re looking to develop a web application for your business, get in touch with us.

We are an award-winning web app development company with vast experience in developing web applications for businesses of all sizes. Contact us today to talk about your next big web app.

 

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