9+ Web Application Security Best Practices

Web security plays a huge role in the protection of websites due to the high chance of being attacked by hackers.

These attacks can vary, coming from DDoS attacks or even phishing attacks. 

Many people study the field of technology and cybercrime in order to steal and potentially ransom sensitive information in order to gain either attention or a huge paycheck, which makes the internet a very dangerous place for any business.

Experienced hackers around the world could target any website, ranging from small businesses or personal blogs to giant corporate ecosystems. 

They can even target software packages and side-load malware onto them to potentially spy or even steal data from the potential install base of people.

Luckily for you, there are methods you can take advantage of in order to secure your web application from these potential attacks. 

Here are the best 11 web application security practices to place onto your website in order to stay secure in 2020 and beyond.

  1. Inventory Management

Make sure to manage your inventory in order to keep track of and know precisely what applications are being used. 

This can range from the amount, efficiency and location.

This process can be, initially, extremely time-consuming, but long-term it can eventually become extremely convenient as everything will be organized and you’ll know exactly what is being used and where it is being used.

2. Prioritization hierarchy 

Once everything is said and done, and you’ve successfully managed your inventory of applications, the next step is the prioritization part.

This can be done in several categories such as Normal priority, Serious priority, and critical priority or level.

By successfully managing and prioritizing your applications you can efficiently manage how they’re utilized.

3. Add an SSL Certificate

Having an SSL Certificate can ensure that all data passes within the website, from the user to the server and back, isn’t written in plain text but is encrypted, and in turn, this encrypted data is more difficult to hack and potentially exploit. The SSL Certificate can tremendously improve the security of your website and is highly recommended.

However, cyber intruders always try to find the hole in information/communication tunnel and SSL helps to keep them away from this online information. In case you have an application, SSL can also help you to sign the code with a Code Signing Certificate, which ensures that the code is not changed since it is signed.

Adding a code signing certificate helps the users verify that the application hasn’t been tampered with and is secure to use. 

4. Adjust application privileges 

All web applications have specific privileges that take place within them in order to allow access to certain features they provide.

By adjusting these privileges, you can ensure that only people with a high level of authorization can access and make system changes to these applications.

5. Secure Cookies

Cookies can be effective for doing online business as they allow websites to remember users and load faster in future visits while maintaining a recommendations list based on the actions they made the visit that happened prior.

It should go without saying that you shouldn’t use cookies to store sensitive and important information such as user login credentials.

Always encrypt the information that is stored within these cookies.

6. Implement Database access layer or DAL

DALs can help with the prevention of SQL injection attacks.

SQL Injection can lead to failure due to incorrect implementation. 

When tinkering with DALs, all database entries need to be individually modified, so its implementation can be tricky.

7. Making the file system unwritable

A huge security advantage you can have and implement within your web application is making the file system unwritable. 

Implementing this can lead to making nearly every single type of exploitation within the file system impossible to pull off. 

8. Disable autocomplete and require strong passwords

In order to increase the protection on your website from attacks such as brute force attacks, you need to disable the autocomplete feature as well as require users to use strong passwords.

If you implement one of these features without the other, it can cause issues.

Some people might want to choose simpler passwords if the browser doesn’t want to remember them, so requiring strong passwords can improve their security.

9. Implement security frameworks 

Implementing security frameworks can give you increased security due to the libraries that go alongside them.

These libraries are used to handle and sanitize and reject user input such as XSS, SQLi and so on.

In order to successfully implement these kinds of libraries you are usually required to change many of the functions on your site, so it is better to implement these during the beginning.

10. Keep the servers updated

Always make it a good practice to keep the servers up to date.

These updates usually come with improved security features and fix loopholes found in the security of prior versions.

You can also automize this process, although that can require extra effort.

In conclusion, application security plays a key role in keeping your website and applications safe from attacks.

These practices will take your security to the next level and ensure that you have a higher level of protection than ever before.

Always keep everything up to date and follow the latest trends in cybersecurity in order to stay safe on the internet.

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