Is Your Web Application Safe? 6 Cyber Security Threats to Your Web-Based Application

Is Your Web Application Safe? 6 Cyber Security Threats to Your Web-Based Application
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12 min
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Website design and technology are always changing. At the same time, hackers have become very good at coming up with new and complex ways to attack. To prevent these types of assaults from exploiting flaws in their own code, companies offering web development services must have a firm grasp of how they work. Cybercriminals will always find new ways to get into your website, no matter how well you build it. This is why it's so important to keep your defense system in good shape.

To do that, you need to understand different cyber security threats and take a series of actions to solve them.

What Is Application Security?

The goal of web application security is to protect websites, web apps, and web-based resources from online risks, no matter what device or computer is utilized to access them.

Small businesses with online stores, for example, need safety measures to keep their buyers and their businesses safe from online threats. This is also true for any internet-based communication path between two systems: it needs to be strongly protected so that the message doesn't get sent to an unsafe location.

To avoid problems with OS compatibility, companies decide on web-based applications that can be used from any browser.

What Are Security Threats?

When someone else gets into a system or network without permission, it's called a security risk. Someone who does a hacking is called an attacker or hacker.

Threats to security have a number of bad effects. When an attack happens, data leaks can happen, which can mean that data is lost or changed. There are cash losses, problems with customer trust, and harm to the company's image. We put in place the right security steps to stop hacking. This is how you keep networks, computers, and their parts safe from people who shouldn't have access to them.

Types of Security Threats

Now that you’re familiar with the security of web applications, it’s time to become familiar with the most common security threats that may harm your infrastructure. Here are six big ones:

Security Misconfiguration

This is a major threat in web and mobile app development processes. It happens when security settings in a web app or the systems around it are not set up properly.

For instance, security configuration mishaps may include identified vulnerabilities unpatched or leaving cloud storage open to the Internet without identification. Other examples are default settings that aren't safe, or warning messages that are too specific and give attackers access to private data.

Application security experts are in charge of making sure that all apps, frameworks, operating systems, and tools are set up securely. It's crucial to update and fix these as soon as they become available.

SQL Injection

Another serious danger to be aware of is SQL injection. Cybercriminals put harmful code on your website in order to get into databases, manipulate data, extract information, or inject malware into the code. Scripts, system calls, and files may be used in these kinds of attacks.

A hacker may quickly impact your application via an injection attack if you haven't adequately secured your code by verifying all inputs and outputs. These kinds of hacks can be stopped by cleaning up your data, validating your input, using customized searches, and setting up stored procedures.

You should also not link the database to an account with root access. If you do, the whole system is open to attack. To help protect against injection risks, you could set up a firewall.

Poor Log Monitoring

This is the main reason why most big breaches happen. Since most businesses don't spend money on tracking, logging, or responding quickly to threats, intruders are able to penetrate the security system and keep working for days. 

Most companies don't notice a breach until months have passed, and there's no alarm for most breaches. Because the hackers keep taking data behind the scenes, the company loses a lot of money. They may have also done additional harm.

Insecure Authentication

This is an example of a web application's faulty login mechanism, which can lead to a number of security challenges. For example, the attacker uses a brute force attack to pretend to be a user and lets the users utilize insecure passwords like 12345. 

Because of this, it is important to let users create strong passwords that use a mix of letters, numbers, and special symbols. This can also happen if you use too many credentials, change the URL, or don't change your session IDs often enough.

Sensitive Data Exposure

This is what every business fears the most. Data breaches have become common in all fields, which means that no business, no matter how big or small, is safe. Cybercriminals are very good at getting into software and networked systems. You need to think about how you're protecting your private data. Open doors are an invitation for hackers.

If you store private or sensitive data online, like credit card information, addresses, and telephone numbers, you should use strong encryption to keep it safe from people who don't need to see it.

Having safe and clean devices also relies on a secure network that can withstand assaults. Hackers can get to your data at any time, but if it's protected, they won't be able to use it for anything as easily. Also, don't forget about the security of your third-party associates and suppliers. Data breaches may occur at any point in your system.

Insecure Data Sources

It is one of the most common security threats examples. You wouldn't eat something if you didn't know where it came from, right? The same rule applies to web apps that use modules, plugins, or categories that come from sources that haven't been checked out. If you don't carefully check the trustworthiness of these sources, you're leaving yourself open to harmful code, illegal access, and possible compromise.

Many software delivery systems today have an auto-update feature. This useful tool helps keep your software up to date by automatically getting and installing updates, often without asking for permission. Even though this is helpful, it also gives cybercriminals a great chance to do damage.

How to Boost Web Application Security

Now that you understand the major threats to your web application security, you need to know how to secure web application tools. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

#1 Get a List of All Web Applications

If you don't know about something, you can't keep it safe. You should start creating a list of all the web applications you use, including yours and third-party provider apps.

Even if your business makes and releases its own web applications, you must consider the apps that your users utilize to connect with your company. It is also important to include the web apps that your business uses every day.

#2 Take a Look at the Source Code

Check the source code thoroughly. Aside from whatever custom code the developers may have added, this also includes any open-source libraries or fragments that were included in the final product. Given the magnitude of the issue, an entire organization (OWASP) has been established to combat security flaws in open source. Usually, this part is done by the QA team that can serve as a guide to embedded software development, web app development, mobile app development, or other similar processes. However, based on the scale of the business, they could hire a separate cybersecurity expert as well.

#3 Identify the Security Holes

You can get a list of obvious gaps, unclear weaknesses, and code that could be used in an attack in the future by reviewing the source code or doing white-box testing. Start by making a complete list of these problems so that everyone in the company can see it. Get Dev and the product team to give you their thoughts. When developers are making a product, they often know there are flaws but choose to ignore them in order to save time. The smart people in your company will work together to make a thorough list.

#4 Rank the Security Issues by Risk Score

Rank each application by how much damage it could cause if something happens. The app for scheduling drinks with coworkers on Friday nights is less important than, say, the app that handles your wire transfers.

The ranking will be based on a number of factors, such as what will happen if hackers attack the weakness. Would data be made public? If so, who is the data subject? How hard would it be to take advantage of the vulnerability? You should prioritize issues that have the worst possible outcomes, could reveal sensitive or customer data, and or can quickly hurt your company.

#5 Develop a Full Report

As coders check the code and report any bugs they find, the test case report will include a full list of all the bugs they found. It talks about the risk, names the people in charge, and presents the ideal situation. When doing a web application security audit, especially for big businesses, it's important to have a report. It helps the program stay on track when there are changes to the source code or changes to the resources.

#6 Run Some Tests

This is the main thing you do when you run the test cases. Pay close attention to the documents you have, and make changes to them whenever you need to adjust how you test. In the execution part, you will check the level of risk, the chance of a breach, and what would happen in the worst-case situation.

When there are common problems that are easy to record and fix, automated tests are great. But for more complex problems, it's better to do things manually.

Bonus Tip: Keep an Eye on Credentials

This is a tricky issue, especially for businesses that are growing quickly or using a temporary workforce. But it's very important to keep a collection of user passwords for web apps and remove credentials when a staff member leaves. One example is not giving complete admin access when reading or modification permissions are enough. You may think it takes a lot of time, but it will give you a secure web application.


Are web applications and mobile apps the same in terms of security?

The main difference between the two is that in web apps, users can only see just a portion of the code. But in mobile apps, the app code is saved on the device itself.

How can businesses secure web applications?

A business can use a number of different application security tools, services, and gadgets. Some ways to keep potential intruders from getting into a system are firewalls, security software, and data encryption.

Who is in charge of web application security?

The IT team and the development team could all be in charge of web app security in a company. But security is also the job of both the company as a whole and the application provider.

How much does it cost to implement a web application security strategy?

There’s no easy way to answer this because it depends on the scale of your company and project. Of course, you can contact LANARS team representatives to get an accurate quote.