The purpose of application security is simple – making apps secure to use. Different applications are created for various purposes and these applications have their respective users. Users need to feel confident when using applications as well as the application’s company. Hence the need for secure applications.
Attackers look for flaws in applications so that they can attack an application with little to no room for unexpected interruptions.
Examples of security issues in applications are Cross-site scripting, SQL Injection, Broken Authentication, and so on. You can find more in the OWASP Top 10 Security Risks & Vulnerabilities. Each of these vulnerabilities, if not attended to in the building and maintaining of applications, can result in malicious attacks.
To help you out, here are four tips to note which can improve application security.
1. Regularly scan your applications
There are many vulnerability scanning tools for all kinds of applications. Some of these tools go as far as providing insights to resolving the vulnerabilities. Furthermore, some of these tools reduce manual or repeated work by allowing you to automate a lot of testing processes.
They can also be integrated into the development environments of your applications to discover security vulnerabilities as soon as possible. You can find a list of those tools here: Top Vulnerability Scanning Tools.
Regularly scanning your applications manually or with these tools helps to ensure timely detection and solutions for vulnerabilities in applications.
2. Regularly update the tools and dependencies used
Developers often use third-party tools and dependencies to speed-up their applications. However, these tools can also have security flaws. Integrating these tools also integrates their flaws into the application, making it vulnerable, too.
When the developers of the third-party tools realize these flaws, they will patch the vulnerabilities and update the tool. For this reason, it is critical to regularly update the tools used in your application so that you are always running the most updated and safe version.
A good application of this tip is in big applications that involve updating Docker images and containers. Docker serves as a great platform for building and deploying applications with integrated technologies. Applications built on this platform are at a big risk if the tool used has security vulnerabilities. Hence, it is great advice to regularly update docker images and containers.
3. Hire Security Professionals
While security testing tools are useful, you would also need professionals with great expertise in security for best practices and effective security solutions.
Some of these professionals are the same people who build the testing tools stated in Tip 1. It is advisable to spend resources on hiring security professionals so that you can focus on achieving the main objectives of your application and at the same time, having a secured and reliable application.
4. Backup Data Regularly
With the above tips in place, unexpected problems can still pop up. To prepare for the worst, backup important data, applications, settings, and configurations regularly. With a robust backup process in place, it will be easy to dump new updates which may contain vulnerabilities and continue from the previous backup.
It is also good practice to have fallback applications. These are applications used when the original ones are unavailable due some issues, for example, an attack.
The essence of backing up and having fallback applications is not to entirely prevent attackers, but to make the experience of users uninterrupted and to prevent valuable information of users or the company.
Two qualities of good applications are reliability and usability. Good security plays an important role in influencing these qualities for users and owners.
In this article, we’ve looked at 4 tips which can improve the security of applications thereby reducing the security risks that the applications can experience.