Unravel The Minefield That Is Web App Security

By   Stephane Kornakowski
Principal Sales Engineer , Outpost 24 | Dec 02, 2022 08:20 am PST

It is no surprise that in our connected world most organizations are turning towards web-based applications and services to connect with customers and manage their business operations. However, Unravel The Minefield opportunistic cybercriminals have also followed the online activities of businesses, aiming to exploit vulnerabilities and steal data. Worryingly, the 2022 Verizon DBIR Report found that the top cyberattack vector in 2021 was compromised web applications. Evidently, more than ever, it is crucial for businesses to instill strong web application security. But where do you start?

The importance of Web App security testing to unravel minefield

Web application security aims to preventatively circumvent the catastrophic effects of a cyberattack or data breach. Common attack vectors against web-based applications include injections, man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, and session hijacking amongst other types of exploits. There is no doubt about it: web application security is key, especially when studies find that cybercrime will cost $5.2 trillion in lost value across all industries by 2024.

Web application security is an umbrella term that refers to a selection of technologies, processes, or methods for protecting web applications, web servers, and web services from attack by internet-based threats. The goal of web application security is to make sure data, customers, and organisations are protected from web-based threats, including data theft and malware. A good web app security program involves deploying various preventative measures to stop cybercriminals from carrying out successful attacks on the systems including multi-factor authentication (MFA) and web application firewalls (WAFs). Vitally, these measures are deployed before input is processed by an application.

The challenges of protecting web apps and  Unravel The Minefield

Admittedly, it can be difficult to secure web apps. As web application development and technology continues to advance, cybercriminals find ways to evolve their attack methods to match. Equally, customers want access to the internet and web applications on demand. A large hurdle faced is how modern web applications are being built and deployed to be accessible from the internet anywhere across the globe, 24/7/365.

The attack surface for web applications has widened due to the use of open-source components, containers, microservices, APIs, and third-party services, which opens more backdoors for potential exploits.

Another challenge is the rise of agile DevOps and continuous delivery. Web apps are constantly updated – and quickly. New features and functionality tools are released frequently and fast, which makes it difficult to keep up security standard and ensure new vulnerabilities are not being introduced with every release. These concerns are amplified by not being able to find, secure and fix before deployment.

Similarly, it is now easier than ever to develop web applications, leading to a web app sprawl. It seems like every business and organisation has an app now, however many of these are built on insecure codes and without adequate security testing before deployment, posing a significant security risk.

Fortunately, a plethora of application security testing tools have been built to cope with the changing landscape of web application security. However, there is no easy solution for all. Rather each web app, depending on business criticality and frequency of change require its own security strategy. The main concern, regarding the boom of web applications, is trying to keep up with penetration testing, maintenance, patching, and updates.

How businesses can better secure their web applications

There are many ways to Unravel The Minefield secure your web applications. Crucially, it’s about using the right tools for the right job.

If you run an in-house development team, fixing a vulnerability. Production is infinitely more expensive (and risky!) than fixing it during the development or testing stage. It’s important to integrate web application security testing into the software development life cycle (SDLC). As this helps identify and fix vulnerabilities early in the process. It’s far easier doing this before the web app is out in the world.  

However, you can’t protect what you don’t know. In order to secure your business fully, you have to know what’s out there to protect. It’s important to have visibility of all the internet-facing web applications in your environment, both in development and production. You can do that by mapping your attack surface. Once you’ve identified what you own, you should prioritize vulnerability scanning based on business criticality and exposure. This can help detect vulnerabilities in the system that need to be patched first. Without putting too much strain on your remediation resource.

Moving toward continuous testing and monitoring

New vulnerabilities appear all the time, so it can feel impossible to keep on top of them. The best way to Unravel The Minefield manage web application security is to be proactive. It’s critical to have a continuous web applications security program. That combines manual pretesting with automatic scanning to ensure full coverage. A comprehensive package should identify unknown applications. Map out the attack surface and fix vulnerabilities as they arise before causing problems.

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